CBS’s Rodriguez Goes After Miss California Over Breast Implants

Maggie Rodriguez and Keith Lewis, CBS At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez attacked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, over reports that the beauty pageant contestant had breast implants: "Miss California in another scandal. Did pageant organizers pay for her to get breast implants?" Rodriguez later teased the upcoming segment: "And another controversy for Miss California. This time over just how natural a beauty she really is."

Prejean, who expressed her opposition to gay marriage in response to a question during the Miss USA pageant, has been continually criticized in the media for her views. During the Friday story, Rodriguez remarked: "But first, another controversy for Miss California. But this time it isn't about her views on gay marriage, but rather, about her figure...She said those were her real feelings. But now it appears something about Carrie Prejean may not be so real."

Rodriguez later spoke with the co-director of the Miss California Organization, Keith Lewis, and asked about the organization providing funding for the procedure: "Why does that improve her odds of winning? Why in that meeting don't you discourage her from going that route, rather than help her to pay for breast implants?" Lewis replied: " It's a personal choice. Well, I think that -- I think that it's about how a woman feels about herself. In terms of, for me, it's not a personal choice that I would recommend. But at the same time, I know so many women that have done the procedure, and feel better about themselves and the way they present themselves."

At one point, Lewis argued: "But there's plenty of ways of getting to more proportion without doing breast implants." Rodriguez asked: "Well, if you have a flat chest what are you supposed to do?" Lewis explained: "Many of the girls use chicken cutlets...You use chicken cutlets. You use tape. You use anything that you can to enhance the -- the line. There's lots of tricks of the trade. It's just a matter of whether or not you want to go to that next level."

While Rodriguez was highly critical of Prejean using surgery to improve her physical appearance, one wonders what she thinks about her fellow co-host Julie Chen getting a little work done. On April 21, Chen reported on Prejean’s gay marriage comments and provided Miss USA judge and liberal blogger, Perez Hilton, who asked the question, a forum to attack the beauty contestant.

Here is the full transcript of the Friday segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Miss California in another scandal. Did pageant organizers pay for her to get breast implants?

7:12AM TEASE:

RODRIGUEZ: And another controversy for Miss California. This time over just how natural a beauty she really is.

7:30AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But first, another controversy for Miss California. But this time it isn't about her views on gay marriage, but rather, about her figure.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Miss California, Carrie Prejean.

RODRIGUEZ: Miss California made headlines at last month's Miss USA pageant after her remarks about same-sex marriage.

CARRIE PREJEAN: I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there.

RODRIGUEZ: She said those were her real feelings. But now it appears something about Carrie Prejean may not be so real. CBS News has learned Miss California pageant officials assisted in helping Prejean get breast implants just weeks before the competition.

PREJEAN: This is definitely a better part of my life, this pageantry.

RODRIGUEZ: Prejean has not confirmed the story. But the controversy over the possible exchange of money, as well as the surgery itself, has some asking, can real women compete when winning curves can be bought? A question we're going to put to Keith Lewis, the co-director of the Miss California Organization, who joins us this morning from Las Angeles. Good morning to you, Mr. Lewis.

KEITH LEWIS: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: First of all, can you settle this once and for all? Did you pay for, or help pay for, Miss California's breast implants?

LEWIS: We assisted when Carrie came to us, and voiced the interest in having the procedure done, yes.

RODRIGUEZ: Why?

LEWIS: Well, you know, first off, it's not something that we endorse, nor is it something that we suggest. But when we meet with the title holder when she's crowned Miss California, we put to her a litany of questions about how she feels about herself, what she feels she needs to work on, what she may need to change, what is good, what is not good. We want to put her in the best possible confidence in order to present herself in the best possible light on a national stage.

RODRIGUEZ: Why is the best possible confidence involve getting breast implants? Why does that improve her odds of winning? Why in that meeting don't you discourage her from going that route, rather than help her to pay for breast implants?

LEWIS: Well, we would never encourage her to go that route.

RODRIGUEZ: But why not discourage her?

LEWIS: It's a personal choice. Well, I think that -- I think that it's about how a woman feels about herself. In terms of, for me, it's not a personal choice that I would recommend. But at the same time, I know so many women that have done the procedure, and feel better about themselves and the way they present themselves. And I think that's the question, is whether or not, when you're looking at that procedure as an option, 'am I going to feel better about myself?' It's not about one night. It isn't about one night of competition. And doing a procedure like that for one night of competition would be foolish.

RODRIGUEZ: But don't the judges look at proportion when they're judging the swimsuits? Wouldn't she have a better chance of winning if she were more proportioned?

LEWIS: Well, of course she does. But there's plenty of ways of getting to more proportion without doing breast implants. Many of the girls use chicken cutlets-

RODRIGUEZ: Well, if you have a flat chest what are you supposed to do?

LEWIS: You use chicken cutlets. You use tape. You use anything that you can to enhance the -- the line. There's lots of tricks of the trade. It's just a matter of whether or not you want to go to that next level.

RODRIGUEZ: I wonder if you should change the rules and maybe not judge it so much on proportion.

LEWIS: Well, it's a beauty pageant and the swimsuit competition is part of that beauty pageant. So I agree with you, I think that -- I think that we have to look a at the way that we perceive real women, and whether -- whether that needs to be changed in the media. But you see it in television. You see it in advertising. It may be part of this pageantry, as well. But I think it's prevalent everywhere, not just in one area.

RODRIGUEZ: It is. And that is unfortunate. Keith Lewis, thanks for your time.

LEWIS: You're so welcome.

RODRIGUEZ: And now let's get another check of the weather from Dave. Hello, Dave.

DAVE PRICE: Hello, Maggie. I'm just going to keep you abreast of what's going on in the weather world.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC