Even as Donald Trump prepared to give Carrie Prejean a second chance as Miss California USA, Prejean continued on Monday to use her title as a soapbox for fundamentalist bigotry — appearing on James Dobson’s daily Focus on the Family’s radio program and playing hooky from official pageant assignments such as this one:
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While other pageant winners were promoting California’s diversity, Prejean was promoting her own superiority. According to U.S. News’ God & Country blog, Prejean told Dobson on Monday:
I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question [about allowing gay Americans to marry]. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, “Do not compromise this. You need to stand up for me and you need to share with all these people . . . you need to witness to them and you need to show that you’re not willing to compromise that for this title of Miss USA.”
In other words, it seems:
- Perez Hilton is Satanic for asking a reasonable question and following it up with a sexist slur
- it’s Satanic to affirm marriage, as equality advocates do, and
- it’s Satanic to oppose the bigotry, sleaze, and compromise that Prejean represents.
The great compromiser in the scandal is, of course, Prejean herself: She freely mixes pro-family rhetoric with erotic photos, contractual infidelity with talk of integrity, icons of women’s progress with stunning ignorance, demands for one-way tolerance with contempt for diversity.
Prejean will appear on Dobson’s program again today, to share more presumptions that her mind and God’s are the one and the same. Whether her sexually questionable behavior is honestly discussed, remains to be seen.
Prejean has offered inconsistent excuses and denials for multiple sets of erotic photos of her — the latest set by TMZ allegedly showing her purposely posing topless for the camera at age 20 just prior to the Miss California pageant. Focus, for its part, has pretended that the photos don’t exist.
Back at the Miss USA organization, Donald Trump may be forgiving. But Miss California USA pageant officials are shoving Prejean aside anyway. They gave runner-up Tami Farrell a promotion to ambassador for their organization, after Prejean refused to take pageant officials’ calls and failed to attend several pageant events — including a public service announcement starring former pageant winners who affirm California’s diversity and tolerance of respectful disagreement.
According to the L.A. Times, Miss California pageant officials accused Prejean of hijacking the organization to promote her own agenda.
“Up to now, we’ve just been riding along as a passenger on this runaway train,” Keith Lewis, co-executive director of the Miss California USA pageant, said Monday morning at a news conference at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. “But that ends today.”
And with that, the organizers labeled her a rogue Miss California and, well, ostracized her. They don’t have the authority to dethrone her. That power lies only with Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageant system. He is scheduled to weigh in on the brouhaha today at a news conference in New York.
Instead the organizers installed the Miss California first runner-up as a kind of shadow Miss California. Tami Farrell, a gleamy-eyed, long-haired blond in a short one-shouldered dress, beamed and took her place on the dais when she was introduced as the “official Beauty of California ambassador” by Shanna Moakler, executive director of the state pageant.
… Pageant officials said that when Prejean became the darling of the anti-same-sex-marriage movement, she began shirking her duties as Miss California. They say she missed appearances, including the filming of a public service announcement the pageant put together featuring former and current Miss USA, Miss California and Miss California Teen winners speaking about the beauty and diversity of the people of California. Organizers said she was generally unreachable by pageant officials — technically a breach of her contract, they said.
“Up to now, it’s been very difficult to get in touch with her,” Moakler said. Asked if she had Prejean’s cellphone number, Moakler added: “We do. She doesn’t answer her phone. Her pastor does.”
While wearing the Miss California crown, Carrie Prejean has left a trail of broken promises, missed engagements, partisan politicking, racy photos, phony appeals to family values, and demonization of Californians who disagree with her misrepresentation of them.
All par for the course, for someone who aspires to become a spokeswoman for the Christian far-right.
One can hope that the Miss California USA organization will continue to rise above the sexist slurs of Perez Hilton, the unprofessionalism of Carrie Prejean, and the cowardice of Donald Trump.