Muzzling Miss California

The same-sex marriage controversy that hijacked the recent Miss USA pageant-and our televisions and radios every day since-has now claimed another victim: Miss California co-director Shanna Moakler.  With Donald Trump having decided to let Carrie Prejean keep her crown, there is apparently not room enough for both beauty queens, and Moakler has chosen to resign out of principle, “to be a role model for [her] children.” 

What, exactly, is the principle that Moakler must resign to protect?  It likely has nothing to do with the scandal over Prejean’s topless photos, since Moakler has shown far more of herself in Playboy.  No, Moakler’s concern is Prejean’s insistence on pressing a political agenda: “In the entire history of Miss USA, no reigning titleholder has so readily committed her face and voice to a more divisive or polarizing issue.”

Funny - I don’t recall Prejean injecting the issue of same-sex marriage into Miss USA; the blame for that falls in the lap of celebrity judge and gay activist Perez Hilton, a man best known for decorating celebrity photographs with bodily fluids and infantile commentary.  Prejean did not cause this conflagration.  It must be clear to everybody-even Moakler-that she would have preferred to avoid the question entirely.  

It is not Prejean’s fault that she became a spokesperson on same-sex marriage.  But Moakler isn’t upset that Prejean is speaking out on the topic.  Not really.  Moakler herself has taken a very vocal position in favor of same-sex marriage.  Recently, she even posed for an advertisement with two other beauty queens, all three with mouths taped shut, presumably to make the point that somebody-it isn’t entirely clear who-is muzzling them on the subject of same-sex marriage.  

Moakler’s advertisement is ironic, even if she will never understand that.  The idea that gay-rights activists are somehow being muzzled from speaking their minds is beyond absurd.  Hilton-the other major player in this drama-has certainly been able to speak his.  He intentionally injected this issue into the pageant and, having prompted an answer he didn’t like, published a profanity-laced tirade trashing Prejean.  Yet Hilton’s post-pageant invective-delivered with all of the class and grace we’ve come to expect from Hilton-did not cause Moakler to resign.  Moakler’s children can apparently handle mom’s association with people who speak about young women in such a degrading fashion.  

What they cannot handle, it seems, is Moakler’s association with a young woman who had the temerity-the gall!-to answer a question she did not want to answer, on an issue she did not want to address, in a way consistent with the overwhelming opinion of the American people.  Had Prejean simply lied-had she simply given Moakler, Hilton, and the rest of the gay-rights lobby the answer they demanded-she might be Miss USA today.   

And that, of course, is exactly what Moakler and Hilton want.  They have not been muzzled, and there is no threat that they will be.  It is they who are looking to muzzle us, us being anybody who does not agree with their desire to impose same-sex marriage on a skeptical public.  Those who disagree must be punished.  Prejean has been.  But with Trump letting Prejean keep her Miss California title, Prejean’s public humiliation will not be fully complete in Moakler’s eyes, nor in the eyes of the other activists who simply want to shut down the debate and declare themselves the winners.  

Moakler has resigned from the Miss California organization.  I hope the people of California can somehow manage to survive without her.

Originally published May 15, 2009, at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog.