ABCNews.com Ignores Prop 8 Vote in Story on Beauty Pageant Gay Marriage Question

Let's get this straight [pardon the pun]: A beauty contest contestant with a conservative view on same-sex marriage upsets an openly gay blogger with her answer to his question about her thoughts on the issue. Yet in reporting the story, ABCNews.com paints her as the bad guy for offending the celebrity judge, while failing to mention that a majority of said beauty queen's fellow Californians agree with her views.

Welcome to the saga of Carrie Prejean, Miss California, whom ABCNews.com describes as having "floored" gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who went on to "skewer" the Miss USA runner-up for her honest answer in an angry video blog entry.

What caused celebrity judge Hilton to seethe so? Only Prejean's honest, politely-delivered answer. Quotes ABCNews.com's Luchina Fisher:

"I think it's great Americans are able to choose one or the other," she said. "We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what in my country, in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman."

While Prejean's answer was hardly the most articulate defense of traditional marriage, Hilton's angry rant -- calling her a "dumb bitch" -- on his blog was highly unprofessional for a public figure chosen to judge the competition.

What's more, Prejean's answer about Americans being "able to choose one or the other" could arguably be construed to mean that she thinks it's great that the gay marriage issue is left up to individual states to decide, regardless of her personal convictions.

While Fisher noted in her April 20 story that an angry Hilton insisted that he would have been happy with Prejean saying that gay marriage is "a question that each state should decide for themselves," Fisher left out of her article that a majority of Californians at the polls last November did just that, agreeing with Prejean by voting 52% in favor of Proposition 8.

Despite representing the majority of her state and answering in a gracious manner, Miss Prejean was not only trashed by Hilton, but by a pagaent official who made clear Prejean's conservative views were unwelcome on the platform, at least as far as the state pagaent organization was concerned:

Keith Lewis, who runs the Miss California competition, released a statement to the media in response to Prejean's answer last night.

"As co-director of the Miss California USA, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman," said Lewis in a statement. "I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit. I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone and religious beliefs have no politics [sic] in the Miss California family."

That a Miss USA pagaent judge and a Miss California USA official ganged up on a pagaent contestant for expressing a conservative political belief during the interview portion of a contest could have and arguably should have been the lede to Fisher's article.

Unfortunately Fisher and her editors opted for making an innocuous, ditzy answer from a beauty queen the perfect excuse for hyping the rant of a notorious gay drama queen.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters