Ordinarily, we would probably be wise just to move on from last week's flap over Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean's truthful pageant answer on same-sex marriage, but subsequent news reports reveal we are drawing the wrong lessons from the brouhaha.
Prejean -- in response to the trick question from gay activist blogger Perez Hilton, one of the pageant's judges -- refused to endorse same-sex marriage, which probably resulted in her losing the crown she was favored to win.
Not satisfied with unilaterally disqualifying Prejean and possibly damaging her career, Hilton publicly excoriated her, saying she "gave the worst answer in pageant history" and calling her a dumb B-word and worse.
Prejean, in stark contrast, said that as a Christian, she loved Hilton and was praying for him, a graciousness met with further ungraciousness from Hilton.
Hilton told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer: "I personally would have appreciated it had she left her politics and her religion out, because Miss USA represents all Americans. … The answer she gave alienated myself (and) millions of gays and lesbians. … Miss USA is not a person that's politically incorrect. Miss USA … represents … all America and is inclusive and give(s) the right answers. … I want someone who is going to (say) things that will make everyone feel welcome. … For example … she's a Christian, but I don't want her talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that's offensive to all of the Jewish Americans, to all of the Muslim Americans, to all of the atheist Americans."
But it was Hilton, not Prejean, who injected politics. Hilton's clear message, denounced by no one from the gay activist community or secular left, is that Prejean should have lied or ducked the question because her honest answer offended some. Had she high-fived same-sex marriage, you can bet Hilton wouldn't be decrying her lack of inclusiveness toward the majority and not making them "feel welcome." So if Prejean had agreed with Hilton's minority position -- or pretended to -- she would have represented "all of America"; if she had agreed with the majority, she wouldn't have. Go figure.
Pageant judge Claudia Jordan, obviously another opponent of pageant integrity, said, "In pageants, just like in politics, it's probably best to just give a neutral answer, where you're not committed to one side or the other, if you want to win."