Brent Bozell

Nobody tunes into a beauty pageant and expects a public-policy discussion that could be mistaken for C-SPAN. The long-standing perception about the question-and-answer section at the end is that the aspiring beauty queens will uniformly voice their strong support for world peace, an end to hunger, and free lipstick and mascara for the homeless.

The latest Miss USA pageant on NBC illustrated that beauty pageants are becoming a dangerous culture-war minefield. It doesn't matter how brilliant your answers sound. All that matters is that you provide the politically correct answer, or your dreams will be blown to smithereens.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California, put her high-heeled shoe on a mine when she was asked a gay-marriage question by the gay-activist judge using the wacky pseudonym "Perez Hilton." If you don't know who this man is, it only means you don't care very much about whether Britney Spears wore underwear on her latest outing for the paparazzi. His celebrity-hounding blog is popular enough in Hollywood that movie studios advertise on it.

It quickly became apparent there was only one expected answer to his question: "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?"

Notice how the question was loaded like a gun: Should every state be just like Vermont?

Miss California was a little surprised to be thrown this curveball. Did any other contestant get a question like this? No. She stumbled into an answer: "I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage." But then, still thinking aloud, she made a decision. She decided to take a stand for traditional values. More to the point, she decided to stay true to her principles: "You know what, in my country and in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman -- no offense to anyone out there -- but that's how I was raised, and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman."

Boom! The dream was dead. Carrie Prejean had proclaimed she would rather be "biblically correct" than politically correct. There is now a religion test for Miss USA: Christians need not apply. Defending traditional marriage, even in the most gentle of ways, made Prejean unacceptable.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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