Carrie's Crocodile Tears

Has Miss California, Carrie Prejean, overstayed her welcome on the media bandwagon? The supposed victimization of Prejean who ostensibly lost the Miss USA crown because one of the judges, gossip blogger Perez Hilton, did not like her answer to his question about same-sex marriage, was a flimsy enough story in itself. But then Miss USA proprietor Donald Trump, he of the Flowbee’d hair and disingenuous scowl, summoned the media for a press conference. And for at least 30 minutes on Tuesday afternoon cable news was wall-to-wall Carrie as Trump held forth on Prejean’s fate and Prejean wagged a finger at the haters.

It seems Trump had enough time to study the racy pictures of a teenage Prejean that were leaked on the Internet and decided that he would not strip her of her Miss California crown. When asked if Prejean would contest the outcome of the pageant, Trump said: “I don’t think she’s going to fight that decision. She’s very content.”

Of course she is.

Does anyone know who actually won the Miss USA pageant?

The photos served to extend Prejean’s time in the spotlight of a lowest-common-denominator media - and gave Trump an excuse to further insert himself into the story, positioning himself as the arbiter of appropriate comportment for women who pay an entry fee to be judge based on how they look in a bikini.

The pictures weren’t all that shocking. The pages of Maxim magazine are bawdier by half. But it has been suggested by Prejean and others that there is a vast conspiracy afoot, perpetrated by the gay marriage lobby to discredit Prejean. This seems a bit far-fetched given her chosen career as a model and beauty queen, a field where “unauthorized” photos are about as common as collagen and silicone.

Furthermore, when Trump was asked if he would have Hilton back as a judge, he said, “I would love to have him back.” His answer gives this whole episode the whiff of something cooked up to bring much-needed publicity to the moribund cheesecake parade.

Same-sex marriage proponents would just like the entire episode to die and have been particularly chagrined that Hilton’s nasty tirade against Prejean gave the story legs.

Obviously the pictures embarrassed Prejean. And she has a right to be distressed by the noxious comments from Hilton and others. But her speech at the press conference was rather hyperbolic, her tone so aggrieved, that it bordered on camp.

“All I want to do is tell my story,” she said, “which no one can take away from me.”

Choking back tears she declared, “this should not happen in America.”

She thanked her family and those who sent letters of support. She noted that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agree with her position on marriage. And then she invoked Gen. George Patton and the Battle of the Bulge! She said her grandfather fought in World War II, and those who would seek to silence her undermine “the constitutional rights that my grandfather fought for.”

God bless America.