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May 08, 2009

Logical and Moral Consistency

I realize that it will only be a matter of time before Cassandra and her crew at Villainous Company will be clicking over here and sharing their approval or disapproval, and probing me with their eyes, but I can handle that -- I am making a stand for civil discourse, and I stand firm and tall! At least I have the good taste not to post the photo on the front page of this blog, but instead provide a link. If you think you might be offended, please don't click through.

As much as it pains me not to gratify the apparent desire to entrap the blog princess via the tempting display of unclothed man-flesh, I regret to report that I have not, and will not, click on the link provided.

This is not because I don't enjoy looking at the male body. I do. Quite a bit, in fact. I hope the foregoing comment was made in fun, but even if it was, it doesn't present a logically or morally consistent argument. I don't see what is shameful about a grown man voluntarily posting his own photo to support an argument. His argument fails because this situation is not at all analogous to what happened to Ms. Prejean.

What I took issue with the other day is simple. Regardless of your personal opinion of the photos released so far, the following inconvenient facts (which Escort elided right past) are not in dispute:

1. At some point in time, Miss Prejean allowed someone to take not one, but several photos of her in a state of partial undress.

2. She claims to have been underage at the time the photos were taken. Traditionally, adults in civil society have protected minors. We understand that they are not quite adults yet; they have not reached the age at which we hold them fully responsible for errors in judgment.

3. If all Ms. Prejean had been an adult (she claims she wasn't) and voluntarily chose to take some fairly risque lingerie shots, we would not be having this conversation. There is nothing wrong - per se - with lingerie shots. But like K-Lo, I don't believe it's a wise idea for minors or allow others to take revealing photos of them. If you find yourself leaping to attack this notion, stop and ask yourself whether you would like to see your 17 year old daughter in the same photo? Ask yourself whether you would want those photos up on the Internet? If you have no problem with this idea, I have no argument against you. If, on the other hand, you would be unhappy if this conversation were about your daughter, perhaps you should re-examine your position.

If adults choose to engage in nude or semi-nude photo shoots, we recognize that the price of adult freedom is the requirement to accept adult responsibilities. Consequently, we expect that before exercising their new-found freedoms, adults will assess the potential impact of their actions on their future employment prospects, personal relationships, and reputation. If an adult weighs these risks and decides they're acceptible, no more need be said.

But that's not what happened here. Ms. Prejean was not an adult when those photos were taken, and any parent knows it's a rare 17 year old who carefully thinks through the likely ramifications of his or her acts. Teenagers live in the here and now. Planning for the future doesn't loom large on the mental horizon of a minor. This is why both the law and the adult community protect and guide teens. We don't expect them to assume adult responsibilities before they fully appreciate how their actions may be used against them:

It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, but where are our protective instincts? ... One wonders where her adult supervision is. Twenty-one-year-olds will make mistakes, as will 17-year-olds. But that lingerie photo was especially unnecessary, inappropriate, and revealing in a much larger sense. Some adult should have helped her stand up to that job, as she clearly had the courage to stand up to Perez Hilton and the bullies who didn’t want her to speak her mind on marriage. No teenager should be appearing topless in lingerie ads.

I don't know what the law says in California, but there are laws in most jurisdictions about adults photographing minors in a state of deshabille. I happen to think many of these laws are poorly written and overbroad, but however poorly they may be written I approve their purpose. A civil society should protect minors from predatory adults, and Ms. Prejean's official statement takes the position that she was taken advantage of by just such adults. She has stated that she regrets allowing the photos. Actually, she stated that she regretted THE PHOTO, though it would seem there was more than one. I will return to this later, but when was the last time you heard of a lingerie photo shoot that yielded just one photo?

Moreover feels she was somehow misled into allowing the photo shoot. She was not an adult at the time those photos were taken. So I stand by my earlier point:

If you are defending her actions and think she's being unfairly treated, why are you emulating and encouraging her persecutors?

And even if you don't think the publication of these photos is "unfair", what are you doing linking to photos of a minor? If you have a daughter, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

Scratch that. If you have either a son or a daughter, you need to take a look at what you are saying to your children.

3. Equating the intentional release of semi-nude photos by an adult well past the age of majority (and here I'm sorry to disappoint, but somehow I was able to restrain myself from feasting mine eyes upon the proferred display of manflesh) to the involuntary and unwanted release of semi-nude photos taken of a minor fails the common sense test. The key factors here are:

- was the release was intentional?
- had the subject of the photos reached the age of legal consent when the photos were taken?
- did the subject release his or her own photos to achieve some desired goal? Or were they released by a malicious third party to shame and injure the subject?

These two situations are not at all alike. They differ in every particular.

4. Though Ms. Prejean was underaged when the photos were taken, she was an adult when she entered into an employment contract under the false pretense that there were no nude or semi-nude - or even any sexually suggestive - photos of her in existence.

Let's break that down, because it's really quite simple. She lied.

Moreover, she didn't simply lie because she was embarrassed. She lied for pecuniary gain. And she lied not once, but several times. Nowhere in Escort's post does he acknowledge this.

She lied when she signed the contract.

She lied again when she stated there was only one photo out there. And she violated the terms of her contract again when she broke her written promise not to represent other organizations without prior approval from her employers.

5. I can understand why Ms. Prejean didn't want her employers to know about her past. What I don't understand is how conservatives can - with a straight face - elide right past conduct we all know is wrong? Are we now maintaining that it is acceptable to knowingly enter into a contract and accept compensation under false pretenses? If so, I don't want to hear another word from conservatives about the sanctity of contract, because your actions contradict your stated principles.

6. Nowhere have I approved of the shameful way Ms. Prejean has been treated by the media. Nowhere have I stated - much less implied - that the fact that she's in the public eye justifies delving into every juicy aspect of her past. I think the TMZ article linked by Escort is shameful.

That said, let's be honest here. Is Miss California the first pageant winner to have racy photos leaked to the media? Is it accurate, fair, or justified in any way to claim that the ONLY reason this has happened is because she spoke out against gay marriage? Vanessa Williams would be surprised to hear that. So would Katie Rees, who like Prejean was only 17 when the racy photos that cost her her title were taken. Rebekah Revels would, too. These are only three examples - the full list is much longer. Can all these women blame the Left, Perez Hilton and gay activists for their troubles?

Or was it their own conduct, made worse by the decision to accept employment under false pretenses, that made them easy targets? Conservatives who claim that this would not have happened but for Miss Prejean's principled stand on gay marriage are ignoring a long string of pageant winners who have been dethroned when similar (and in some cases, far tamer) photos came to light.

Why is it so advantageous to expose the youthful indiscretions of beauty pageant winners? That's easy:

1. These young women voluntarily sign a contract stating they have NEVER appeared nude, partially nude, or even in a sexually suggestive light. The meaning of this is not even slightly ambiguous. Pageant winners have lost their crowns over photos in which they were fully clothed.

So to make the argument that the undeniably partially nude and undeniably sexually suggestive photos in this case don't violate Ms. Prejean's conditions of employment is pretty ludicrous on its face.

2. There is a huge audience for such photos. In this case, among the most enthusiastic consumers of these "shameful, vicious attacks" would appear to be the very conservatives who are defending Miss Prejean.

If some folks have taken offense at having the irony of their conduct pointed out, that's unfortunate. But it's hard to overlook the conflict between,

"The Left is so mean! How dare they expose this young woman's past conduct!"

and

"Wow! Have you seen the evidence of the Left's shameful exposure of this young woman's past conduct? If not, let me show you. I sure hope there's more where this came from!"

There are two enormously inconvenient truths here. Firstly, it isn't those photos that make Miss Prejean vulnerable. As I observed, they are hardly pornographic (as hypocritical and nasty lefty bloggers have claimed). But they are undeniably semi-nude and sexually suggestive. She is vulnerable as a direct result of lying - not once, but twice - about having taken the photos. She is vulnerable as a direct result of her voluntary decision to accept a lucrative contract under false pretenses.

None of this is surprising. This is a story that has played out many times before, even without the distraction of gay marriage or Perez Hilton's shameless and vicious invective. No doubt the gay marriage aspect played a role in her downfall, but imagine the question had never been asked and she had won the pageant.

Can you honestly say the same incentives that led to the dethroning of other beauty queens with racy photos in their pasts wouldn't have played out just as they have done in the past?

Photos like that come out because people look. If you disapprove of the way she's being treated, don't gratify those who seek her downfall.

Don't look. Because if you do, you're part of the problem.

And don't make dishonest arguments that elide right past facts you find inconducive to your outrage fest. I understand why she lied. She's a young woman who found herself suddenly thrust into the spotlight. In a moment of weakness she made not one, but a long string of bad decisions: signing a contract under false pretenses, not rectifying the error by stepping down afterwards, voluntarily violating her contract by representing NOM. She was blinded by the sudden adoration of the crowd. We put her on a pedestal, and in so doing we made her a easy target for those who maintain there is no right and wrong and that anyone who defends their principles is motivated by hate or hypocrisy rather than idealism.

We do nothing to refute that notion when we willfully ignore intentional misrepresentation of a material fact. We do nothing to refute that notion when we excuse or ignor the deliberate refusal to honor the terms of a voluntarily signed employment contract simply because we like the cause. We don't uphold integrity when we deplore the sexualization of minors and then flock to view private photos of a minor that epitomize everything we claim to oppose. We don't uphold integrity when we establish one standard for men and another for women after deriding the feminist movement for doing just that. Like men, women should be held accountable for their decisions. The decisions to enter into an employment contract under false pretenses and then further violate it by engaging in political advocacy where not made when Ms. Prejean was only 17. With adult freedoms come adult responsibilities.

And worst of all, a sizeable number of conservative bloggers are cherry picking the facts. It's hard to see how our present credibility problems with the American public are helped when we selectively pick and choose facts. The fact is that Ms. Prejean's failure to live up to her values in every instance says nothing about the rightness of what she said on that stage. It's not material to the debate over gay marriage and we need not defend unrelated and undesireable conduct to uphold our position. Talk about buying into your opponents arguments and allowing them to control the terms of the debate. Both the photos and her conduct in relation to the pageant are a distraction. They say nothing about the validity of her opinion on gay marriage, and when we allow our opponents to force us into an intellectually and morally untenable position, we weaken both our own credibility and our arguments.

Why can't we ackowledge that Miss Prejean did right to refuse to back down before an inappropriate and intentionally politicized question? But she did wrong when she lied to her employers on multiple occasions and she did wrong when she chose to violate the terms of her contract by representing NOM. And these distractions have nothing to do with whether or not gay marriage is a good idea. When righty bloggers applaud her more admirable actions and ignore or excuse away the less admirable ones, it only makes us look hypocritical and biased.

When we deplore the Left's "victimization" of a 17 year old girl while enthusiastically hoping they'll provide us more of the same, we tell our children something profoundly depressing about our own sense of right and wrong - about our sense of decency.

Pardon me if I find this not only disappointing, but extremely ironic.

Posted by Cassandra at May 8, 2009 07:00 AM

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Comments

Can't we all just get along?

I admit, I have not followed the zigs and zags of this one. As you point out, the sheer quantity of horse pucky from all sides is a bit hard to take.

The only observation I would make (and you pretty much get there) is that the attacks from the left on Ms. Prejean for the precipitating event, starting with Perez Hilton's crazed and offensive rant, are (obviously) a wrong that is not righted by the finding that Ms. Prejean is herself not perfect.

Alright, I'll make another observation. There is (quite famously) a lot less online modesty among "kids today," and if the various pageants continue to insist on absolutely no history of digital nudity they may find it hard to locate honest contestants. That does not excuse the misrepresentation, but if I had to guess a fairly large number of this year's Miss USA contestants have been captured in partial deshabille at one time or another, by webcam at a minimum. This may actually fall into the same category as claims of never having smoked weed, for example, which are also only randomly true.

Posted by: TigerHawk at May 8, 2009 10:35 AM

Can't we all just get along?

Have I said something uncivil? I disagreed with the premises of a post written for public consumption, and moreover one that called me out specifically, thus inviting a response.

Is commenting upon a post that specifically invited my response somehow 'fighting' or an attack? I don't think so. I didn't attack anyone personally. I did question the logic and consistency of several arguments I've seen put forth.

If this is not acceptable, I guess there's something I don't understand here.
I operate, as always, under the assumption that we all have the right to think whatever we want to and to express said opinions. I didn't take Escort's post as an "attack", but as a difference of opinion even though I might easily have chosen to take offense at the excerpted paragraph.

There is (quite famously) a lot less online modesty among "kids today," and if the various pageants continue to insist on absolutely no history of digital nudity they may find it hard to locate honest contestants.

I imagine your opinion on this will have a lot to do with whether or not you think this is a positive development? Do parents have a right to be concerned about actions that can have a very negative effect on their children, or should they just shrug their shoulders and say, "Kids these days! while commenting upon how wonderful it is that kids are so willing to provide them with eye candy? I have a problem with that when minors are involved. Your mileage may differ.

Ironically, several of the folks who've made the biggest stink about this are ones who expect girls to remain virgins until they marry at 27 or so. I think that's pretty unrealistic. I'm even more mystified when I see proponents of feminine virtue acting in the ways they are acting.

I don't understand the outrage of those who seem to be arguing that adults don't have to fulfill voluntarily assumed responsibilities (especially when they're made in expectation of compensation). This seems an unremarkable assertion.

So, I guess I'm just confused all around ;p

Posted by: Cassanda at May 8, 2009 11:05 AM

"So, I guess I'm just confused all around"
You're not alone but at least you're not frightened. =8^}

Posted by: Cirroc at May 8, 2009 11:10 AM

Have I said something uncivil?

Not at all. I was just being lighthearted.

On the question of kids "sexting" and the like, I absolutely do not support it (I have a 14 year-old daughter). But when kids all have digital cameras in their phones and and computers and pretty much infinite bandwidth, I think it is no more realistic to expect that there will not be semi-nude (at least) digital images than it is to assume that there will not be adolescent sexual activity of some sort or another.

Posted by: TigerHawk at May 8, 2009 11:11 AM

I agree, but that why I wouldn't accept money or valuable services in return for my promise that I had never done... ummm... what I had done and wouldn't do things in the future that I had no intention of refraining from doing.

On the question of mean, vicious personal invective directed at Ms. Prejean, well, shame on those who engage in that kind of nonsense. That's so obvious that I don't think we needed one more person saying it.

But if you remove the gay marriage aspect of this story, it's really no different than any other disgraced beauty queen story? This whole thing is just like Joe the Plumber.

Some poor soul comes along and strikes a blow for conservative ideas and we place that person on a pedestal none of us belong on. And then we're forced to defend everything they've ever done, even if it violates our principles, because we've bought into the notion that their personal virtue has something to do with the intellectual rigor of their opinions.

We do it with Rush, and it's dumb. It's even dumber when we do it to some poor kid who never saw it coming and wasn't ready to carry the banner for enormously contentious social issues.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 8, 2009 11:24 AM

Prejean and Hilton are an opening act in the staged production of "Proposition 8 - The Sequel." All the talk about contracts is well-and-good and entirely correct. That said, the real story is the newly empowered left exercising moderates in the ongoing secular attack on our culture and it's values.

Gestapo gay rights activists are one front of a multi-front assymetrical war on our society. Notre Dame is another front regarding Obama getting an honorary degree from a catholic university as he "celebrates national prayer day" in private. The military is another front as Obama sweet talks U.S.S. Cole families and 9/11 families about "Swift and certain justice" as he frees the perps and cuts military spending. Pelosi is being called to task for lying about her knowlege of EIT at a secret meeting years ago where water boarding was discussed. She is waging a front of her own with Obama on the "Truth or Dare" war with CIA.

That being a partial list of 'fronts' let's keep focused on what is more important, the Prejean "Front" or the steady erosion of our right to question without being called racist or thugs by a President who does little to dissuade us non-believers that he is anything other than a smooth talking Ford Pinto salesman.

You are correct about one thing, this story is about "BOOBS." The only problem is that we have not distinguished between which "BOOBS" we should be discussing. Us for being so easily distracted or the people actually controlling the direction of the discourse.

Posted by: vet66 at May 8, 2009 11:34 AM

Posted by: spd rdr at May 8, 2009 11:55 AM

"Speaking of polar bears...."
The bears must have relayed a message through the dolphins to the Vogons requesting that they turn down the solar thermostat.

It looks like da bears and the rest of us may see, at minima, a cooling climate for a while.

GOREs someones ox... if only I could think of whose ox is being GOREd.

Posted by: bt_Zaphod_hun at May 8, 2009 12:10 PM

I had forebore commenting on this previously. I think that Miss California was ill-used by Mr. Hilton. I think that Miss California was ill-used by the photographer and I do wonder where the heck her parents were in this. I think that she used poor judgment in signing up for this competition, as she should be well aware that one's past will come out once you achieve a certain level of fame in such things (aside from whether or not she had gotten involved in controversy). But then, one's judgment doesn't magically become mature on your 18th birthday, and you don't win beauty contests on the basis of judgment and intellect.

While I feel that she has been ill-used by several people, I didn't adopt her as a spokesperson for my points of view. The validity of the first does not qualify her for the other.

Finally; why hasn't anyone been arrested in this case on a charge of child pornography?

Posted by: RonF at May 8, 2009 12:13 PM

Some poor soul comes along and strikes a blow for conservative ideas and we place that person on a pedestal none of us belong on. ... We do it with Rush, and it's dumb.

A liberal friend of mine - as of two weeks ago, a late friend of mine, and despite his politics the world is worse off without him - would often preface remarks to me about one conservative cause or another by saying "Did you hear what Rush said, ..." and I would interrupt him right there.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, much like Jon Stewart. He is not a journalist. He is under no obligation to be fair or balanced. But most importantly, even though it would be a great convenience and advantage for those on the left he is not a spokesman for the Republican party, nor is he a spokesman for the conservative cause. If you are outraged by what he has said, fine. I don't know what he said because I don't listen to him. His antics and his delivery make him a convenient straw man for the left when they want to attack conservative ideals, but if you want to have a serious discussion about politics or conservative thought we'll have no further discussion about what Rush Limbaugh has said. His main objective is to make money by attracting listeners, not to promote morals, thoughtfulness, reason or logic or to protect the ideals this country needs to progress.

Posted by: RonF at May 8, 2009 12:22 PM

Amen, Ron.

Amen.

Posted by: Cassanda at May 8, 2009 12:31 PM

Just how does any of this help my children?

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 12:36 PM

Rush Limbaugh unwittingly convinced me to tune into sports talk radio. I wittingly never returned.

There's a point there, somewhere.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 8, 2009 12:36 PM

Speaking as an Adorable, Endangered Gay Teen Bear, allow me to state that I have, on occasion, found Rush to be amusing and even informative.

But when he starts yammering on about anal poisoning and conservatives get all uppity about how we musn't say, "Ewwwww" because that will only egg the Left on, I get all growly.

His antics are a distraction, and every second spent defending remarks like that is a second we will never get back.

The quickest way to shut the Left down would be to say, "Not going to defend him because he's not the issue. Now what do you think about gay bearage?"

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 12:48 PM

Oh... and STOP GOOGLING FOR "KNUT CAUGHT SWIMMING NUDE IN A VAT FULL OF GEFILTEFISH".

I see how you are. Oh yes, I see.
You people are disgusting.

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 12:51 PM

Hey KtAGbBPsyTB!

Were you the one who put in the order for lowering the thermostat?

Posted by: bt_Zaphod_hun at May 8, 2009 12:52 PM

"Finally; why hasn't anyone been arrested in this case on a charge of child pornography?"
Ahhh, Let me say this about that. Ahhh, could it be due to California's community standards as reflected by its larger and more progressive metropolis ? Just a guess.

Maybe someone could ask Roman Polanski or those seeking his pardon?

Posted by: bt_Richard-Milhous_hun at May 8, 2009 12:58 PM

If that's what it takes to make our President keep his (**&^ shirt on, I think we can all get behind conservation of energy.

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 12:58 PM

Cassandra -

I think the tipping point for me was the characterization of Carrie Prejean as "homophopic" on the TMZ website, and the ugly innuendo and armchair psychological diagnosis made about the origins of her alleged hate. I believe you can be against gay marriage and not be homophobic.

My post was mostly intended to be silly, which is why I used the lines from Animal House, but to the extent there is a principle involved, it is pro-civil discourse, which means that you defend those with whom you disagree from being the target of intrusive and ad hominem attacks. As you discerned, there isn't really a logical point to the posting of my photo, other than a harmless, funny and ironic way of drawing attention to the lack of civility shown by organizations such as TMZ.

The only reason I called you out -- in good fun -- was for your comments here and here, and also here, all of which I understood to be related to TigerHawk's original posting of Carrie Prejean's (pageant-approved) bikini photo here.

As I said in my addendum to the post, I admire (your) self-restraint, principled stand, and commitment to civil discourse.

You're not really missing out on anything, anyway.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Escort81 at May 8, 2009 01:09 PM

or metropolises...

A dozen people are on the Hun hovel's roof doing a felt-paper/shingle redux at the moment. Between their banging and Cirroc screaming in the region of my brain stem, I think it has to be 5 o'clock somewhere!

Hopefully this evening someone will not have someone else to kick around any more...

*raises arms and flashes Victory sign... or live long and perspire sign... or some semaphore or another all while avoiding a pec exposure accident*

Posted by: bt_Richard-Milhous_hun at May 8, 2009 01:11 PM

Vanessa Williams had already been Miss America. Miss Prejean wasn't even in the running. Huge difference there. The delving into her past because of the comment is typical of those who disagreed with her comments and want to make her out to be a truly reprehensible human being. That those who stand for morals really aren't perfect and how dare they wag the finger of their sacred opinions at the unwashed? They will if they are asked for it.

Vanessa Williams was not underage when she had her photoshoot. She also signed a release. IF Miss Prejean was underage, she could not have legally signed that release unless her guardian did so...which means she lied about her age either when the photos were taken (why is 17 such a convenient age..close enough to 18 to look it but young enough to be jailbait) or lied about her age AFTER they were taken, when it became a scandal.

I was devastated when Williams lost her crown. She is gorgeous, talented and so very much a real person. In the years since, she has moved on and made a good life for herself and I am happy for her.

Prejean never stood a chance. So, let's see if she has the savvy and smarts of Vanessa Williams.
I wish her well.

I am now off to swim with the polar bares. Nothing like a frigid, upright moral sense to get the blood flowing!

Posted by: Cricket at May 8, 2009 01:16 PM

You're not really missing out on anything, anyway.

Amen, brother.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 8, 2009 01:36 PM

I think the tipping point for me was the characterization of Carrie Prejean as "homophopic" on the TMZ website, and the ugly innuendo and armchair psychological diagnosis made about the origins of her alleged hate. I believe you can be against gay marriage and not be homophobic.

Me, too! Me, too! :)

I oppose gay marriage but strongly favor civil unions. I don't think that makes me homophobic either, especially since I truly understand why so many gays favor gay marriage, and also think it is in society's interest to promote monogamy and discourage promiscuity among both heteros and homosexuals (if for no other reason than to stop people from dying from AIDS).

FWIW, I didn't take your 'calling me out' at all amiss. I wondered for a second whether I'd offended you, but then I thought about it and was inclined to take it as all in good fun (even though I completely missed the Animal House references).

I just worry a lot about upsetting people. Ask spd - he twacks me over the head regularly for being such a ditz :p

I like to argue ideas, but I don't like to upset anyone or make them mad. I hope nothing I said was offensive. If it was, it wasn't meant that way :) When I see an inconsistency, I can be overly tenacious about trying to clear it up. It's mostly my way of figuring out where I stand - or should stand - on an issue and isn't meant to provoke or offend.

Thanks for the comment - I'll be over when I get a minute to look at the update :)

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 01:53 PM

You're such a ditz.
THWACK!

Posted by: spd rdr - living up to his reputation at May 8, 2009 02:00 PM

If intent counts in understanding this attack on Carrie one should remember that her life mistakes themselves do not matter. Nudity is entirely beside the point and Escort81 (an thought-provokingly odd posting name in this context) should really just keep his pictures to himself. If anyone else is contemplating posting middle aged nude photos, really, please take take a deep breath and move on to something else. It's a silly, beside the point gesture.


If Carrie had a history of being fired from her after school jobs, or if her mother had some sort of mental illness, or her father a criminal record, those would be the vehicles for the group assault. Paraphrasing Justice Thomas, this is nothing more than a high-tech rape. It designed to prove the superior power of the assaulters, and it is very much an act of intimidating violence.

That it is violence against a defenseless young woman is self-evident, but against whom is the intimidation being aimed? After all, she herself has bravely shown that she can withstand the intimidation. No, it is not at Carrie that the media rapists are directing their brutal and disgusting efforts. It is you, and me and others who might hold opinions in agreement with Carrie. That should be obvious now.

Posted by: MTF at May 8, 2009 02:02 PM

FWIW, I haven't been reading all that much about this, either.

I tend to agree with RonF. I think she's been treated very badly, but I also have some questions about some of her decisions as an adult. I think it's not unreasonable to ask questions.

I also don't think one or two instances of being untruthful make a person "a liar". Habitually lying is one thing.

Being in the spotlight and letting it go to your head, or making an error in judgment (like signing that contract) speak more to me of immaturity and inexperience than anything else.

But I still think it's important to admit that her behavior in those instances was wrong. To me, this isn't bashing her as a person, but just being honest about how her behavior measures up against traditional standards of right and wrong.

If having a single imperfect human express an idea were accepted as "proof" the idea was wrong, there would be no valid or right ideas because we're all fallible. The idea is laughable on its face.

It seems less destructive to refuse to link a speaker's personal conduct and their opinion, since doing that encourages the notion that personal attacks on a speaker somehow refute their arguments.

Posted by: Knut, the Adorably Gay But Borderline Psychotic Teen Bear at May 8, 2009 02:07 PM

*cough*

mr rdr.... WHACK WHACK WHACK!!!!! :)

You may resume your seat now.

Posted by: Sister Mary Ita, Taking It Up a Notch at May 8, 2009 02:08 PM

The whacking is all out of proportion. I propose we take one of the whack spd got and donate it to whomever needs it.

Posted by: Cricket at May 8, 2009 02:25 PM

Are you taking nominees?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 8, 2009 03:11 PM

Yes and while I won't dare say 'I am open to...' on this blog, I will consider input. I also did the 'maths' and there are two whacks too many.

There is another whack looking for a home.

Posted by: Cricket at May 8, 2009 03:24 PM

I propose we take one of the whack spd got and donate it to whomever needs it.

SOCIALISM!!!

spd demands the right to keep his hard-earned whacks.

Posted by: Redistribution is Whack at May 8, 2009 03:25 PM

Whack away, peasants. All I need to rule the world is a smile and teleprompter.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 8, 2009 04:00 PM

At least he's not running through the woods with a hockey mask in the altogether anymore.

Posted by: Redistribution is Whack at May 8, 2009 04:30 PM

You can't handle the truth.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 8, 2009 04:46 PM

Probably not, if it's delivered by a nekkid dude in a hockey mask :p

Posted by: Redistribution is Whack at May 8, 2009 05:19 PM

Which, of course, means that I win again!
You peoples are too easy.

Posted by: spd rdr- still undefeated at May 8, 2009 05:58 PM

Think fast. I just stole your vowels.

Posted by: spd rdr's n-nyng lttl sstr at May 8, 2009 06:23 PM

Hll Plc?

Lk t rprt a crm.

nkkd mn wrng hck msk stl m vwls whl ws rdng a lst f sx ftshs t th cngss!

Posted by: Alcee Hastings at May 8, 2009 06:44 PM

I'm considering a move to the SEC. I understand that they play football there in between cheating scandals. Or is that the Big Ten?

Posted by: spd rdr - Friday Night Fights at May 8, 2009 06:57 PM

Cassandara said: "At some point in time, Miss Prejean allowed someone to take not one, but several photos of her in a state of partial undress."

Has it actually been established there was more than one? The last I heard, two photos had been posted online, but Prejean's rep disputes the authenticity of the second photo, claiming the head is photoshopped.


Posted by: Jon at May 8, 2009 08:42 PM

Do any of you remember who won the crown the year after Vanessa Williams had to step down to give it to the first runner-up?

Sharlene Wells Hawkes. RememberMyService.org.

Posted by: Cricket at May 8, 2009 09:41 PM

Let's break that down, because it's really quite simple. She lied.

Lying implies intent. Did she really intend to lie (I ask because I really don't know)? I mean, did she read all the codicils in the contract? I suspect it is probable that she didn't think some pretty standard modeling shots violated the terms of the contract. I mean, suppose someone unearthed some old baby pictures of Miss Prejean in the nude. Technically that would violate the contract, but would anybody care.

I am only responding here because, in addition to being pretty well savaged from the left, Miss Prejean is taking some pretty heavy body blows from the right, which I think are undeserved. This woman didn't deserve what is happening to her, and I think it is pretty rotten that she is getting slammed from our side as well. At some point, we need to be willing to defend even imperfect people who stand up for our values, or we are going to find that no one will be willing to. Allow me to ask a question, do you think the next Carrie Prejean is going to be willing to take a stand if she knows she is likely to be slammed from her own side too?

Posted by: ucfengr at May 9, 2009 08:45 AM

I will return to this later, but when was the last time you heard of a lingerie photo shoot that yielded just one photo?

Well, The Scare Force One Statue of Liberty Fly-by And New Yorker Terrifying Photo Shoot yielded only one photo...

Posted by: MathMom at May 9, 2009 09:53 AM

1. I never said (and have never implied) that she deserved to be treated the way she's been treated.

2. That said, people are conflating two things that aren't necessarily causally related: the nasty and vicious remarks made about her (which I unequivocally agree she doesn't deserve) and the release of these photos and possible loss of her title (which, sadly, is a result of her actions, and moreover follows a long pattern of other beauty queens - most of them state pageant winners - losing their crowns FOR EXACTLY THE SAME REASON EVEN WITHOUT HAVING MADE COMMENTS ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE).

3. My point is simple:

- no one should be treated the way Hilton, et al, treated Prejean just because she uttered a politically correct sentiment

- but to pretend that "this would never have happened" except for the gay marriage dustup is a claim that is difficult if not impossible to reconcile with the historical record

- Ms. Prejean should be defended against the vicious and hateful remarks directed at her because of her stance on gay marriage

- but if you defend her against the consequences of her own actions, you add fuel to the fire and validate the Left's argument that her other conduct weakens her argument against gay marriage.

It doesn't. The two are not related, and we ought to just say so. It's a distraction from the real issue, and what good does it do to laud her for standing up for traditional marriage and then allow the idea she championed to be eclipsed by your defense of actions you would never defend, otherwise?

Now, you've not only strengthened the implication that she's a hypocrite but have made every person on the right who defends her actions a hypocrite, too (because we defend our own when they do wrong, but attack the other side for the same things).

She isn't being "slammed" for defending gay marriage. She's being "slammed" (and calling an action what it is without personally attacking her isn't "slamming", by the way) because she violated her contract and instead of taking her lumps and doing the right thing, is now playing the victim card.

We would never defend her if she were in the same position, but was a progressive and you know it. In fact, your very argument is that we ought to make excuses for her just because she's a conservative.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 9, 2009 10:02 AM

Also, not reading the contract isn't a defense against a breach of contract action in any court of law I've ever seen :p

That's a real whopper.

Plus, anyone who's ever picked up a newspaper knows other beauty queens have lost their crowns for similar behavior. So even if she didn't read the contract, it's common knowledge that pageant organizers regularly fire pageant winners for risque photos.

And we're not talking about a member of the general public, but someone intimately involved in the pageant business here. The reasonable expectation is not that she would be LESS informed than the general public on this issue, but MORE aware and informed by virtue of her involvement.

Not exactly rocket science here.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 9, 2009 10:06 AM

You say that she exhibited poor judgement by allowing the photographs to be taken, and poor judgement by entering the contest even though they were taken.

However, if she had not entered the contest, she would not be famous today. As a model it greatly helps her career to be famous, regardless of the reasons for the fame.

In this day and age, I don't think tasteful semi-nude photos such as those of her are offensive, and it is probably with that belief that she signed the contract. Actually, the photo in question showed little more than what you would see if she was lying in the beach in a bikini. You cannot be modest if you want to be a professional model!

She's famous and I suspect this controversy is going to make her an exceedingly well off household name.

Seems to me she hasn't made any mistakes at all.

D

Posted by: David Dennis at May 9, 2009 10:26 AM

Ah... the end justifies the means :p

In this day and age, I don't think tasteful semi-nude photos such as those of her are offensive, and it is probably with that belief that she signed the contract.

She wasn't asked whether she had allowed "offensive" pictures to be taken.

She was asked whether she had allowed sexually suggestive or partially nude photos to be taken. Last time I checked, any women who showed up in public clad only in her underpants would be arrested, even if her hair covered her breasts.

Come on. We all know what "partially nude" means. Let's not play games here.

And none of this addresses the 2nd breach of contract - becoming the spokesperson for NOM. This young woman, whether you like it or not, is asserting the "right" to accept all the benefits of a voluntarily signed contract while thumbing her nose at its terms.

Not conduct conservatives should defend.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 9, 2009 10:45 AM

But I suppose in the era of Obama bailouts, contracts really don't mean anything anymore :p

So maybe I shouldn't be surprised to see conservatives defending this nonsense.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 9, 2009 10:47 AM

I take it back M'lady. Not only are you not frightened, you are most assuredly not confused either.

Consistency. It's what's for breakfast.

Posted by: Cirroc at May 9, 2009 11:28 AM

Well, the SF1 'photo op' is covering dirty lingerie...is that the difference?

Posted by: Cricket at May 10, 2009 10:35 PM

Also, not reading the contract isn't a defense against a breach of contract action in any court of law I've ever seen :p

but it is a defense against lying, which is what you've accused her of.

She was asked whether she had allowed sexually suggestive or partially nude photos to be taken. Last time I checked, any women who showed up in public clad only in her underpants would be arrested, even if her hair covered her breasts.

but similar pictures in a Victoria's Secret catalog or an issue of Vanity Fair wouldn't cause an arrest. And since images like that are increasingly common, it is reasonable to assert that she didn't think she was violating the contract by having pictures, assuming she read the relevant portions of the contract and assuming she remembered every picture shoot of her modeling career.

We would never defend her if she were in the same position, but was a progressive and you know it. In fact, your very argument is that we ought to make excuses for her just because she's a conservative.

You know, I wouldn't be all that crazy about some conservative group releasing risque pictures of Wanda Sykes, or for that matter, Chelsea Clinton either. The way to resolve political differences is by engagement in the arena of ideas, not by personally destroying your opponents.

Posted by: ucfengr at May 11, 2009 09:28 AM

You are still conflating issues that are separate.

I'm not talking about defending someone against someone releasing revealing photos.

I'm talking about defending a person who (according to you) didn't bother to read an employment contract and then complained when the other party tried to enforce it.

Certainly, one can also not bother to read a contract before signing it. But that is pretty stupid. And if you receive money in return for the consideration in the contract (asserting that you've never had sexually suggestive or partially nude photos taken of you and agreeing you won't act as a spokesperson for other groups without getting prior approval from your employer) then you really have no right to complain when they fire your sorry butt.

Whether or not the photos would be OK in Victoria's Secret is irrelevant. My example was used only to counter the assertion that the photos weren't "partially nude" because if you wear a two piece bathing suit (not just the bottoms) you're not partially nude - an assertion that is frankly silly. For women, topless is partially nude.

And by the way, two wrongs don't make a right.

Just because your deception is found out via an action that is wrong in and of itself (releasing photos - and for all we know, she may even have signed a release, in which case the release of the photos wouldn't be wrong at all) doesn't excuse your own breaches of your employment contract.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 09:47 AM

Perhaps, Cassandra, you could explain this eventuality re: your comments on other Miss USA/California pageant winners losing their crown for doing the same thing as Miss Pajean:

http://www.tmz.com/2009/05/10/miss-usa-not-all-topless-photos-are-equal/

Note the text: -- but there was no controversy over the pics because they were all seen and approved by the Miss USA pageant officials.

There is no controversy here, because the photos only fall into the descriptions given in the contract if you are viewing them from a most decidedly puritanical standpoint. Unless you think a backless swimsuit is considered semi-nude...and women wear all kinds of clothes that are "sexually suggestive" even at their place of employment.

Posted by: DL at May 11, 2009 10:00 AM

*sigh*

1. I don't have to explain anything. If you sign a contract and then breach it, it is up to your employer (and the various cases dealt with different employers who made different decisions about whether or not to fire pageant winners for breaching the contract).

The breach in these cases was not ambiguous. An employer can choose whether to terminate an employee for breaking the conditions of an employment contract.

The contract doesn't state the employer HAS to fire you. Just that they can. This really isn't rocket science, guys. You need to learn to separate your feelings from the facts.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 10:13 AM

1. Sorry, but that is a cop-out. If person a (the link above) does something while employed by the same person that supposedly violates the contract (according to you), but the Miss USA employer agrees with, while person b does the same thing...then obviously *it is not a violation of the contract* -- and if they claim so, their motivations are wholly different than an objective view of the circumstances would other suggest.

Given that you completely disregard this evidence to the contrary of your theory, perhaps a mirror is needed when you suggest "learn to separate your feelings from the facts". What I have shown you is fact. Nothing more.

An employer is required to treat each employee the same when they have the same contract. They obviously have not done so in this regard. If a clause is not enforced in one instance, it cannot be enforced in another (for a much less racy photo). Without basis for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Posted by: DL at May 11, 2009 11:35 AM

does something while employed by the same person

Oh for Pete's sake.

1. We have no evidence that these women all signed the same contract, and we know for a fact they weren't employed by the same employer. But other than that... you go with that theory :p

The fact is that the contracting employers (i.e., the pageants) are all different. Yet you assume the contract language reads exactly the same.

That's a real whopper of an assumption.

2. An employer is required to treat each employee the same when they have the same contract. They obviously have not done so in this regard.

Again, not the same employer. Nice try, though.

Wrongful termination is a different matter. It doesn't say that you didn't breach the contract, just that the contract wasn't enforced evenly.

Given that your argument is that she didn't breach her contract (because other people breached similar contracts, too!), I'm not sure how that applies.

Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I think I'll argue that since speeding laws are not 100%evenly enforced, I wasn't really speeding. That may get you off in court, but there is a difference between having the judge let you off and a verdict of not guilty, just as there is a difference between a verdict of not guilty and a person being innocent of the charge.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 12:09 PM

The above should have said, "wrongful termination in your example", by the way. There are other reasons for wrongful termination suits.

And at any rate, she also violated the exclusive representation clause :p

How inconveeeeeeeeeeeenient.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 12:11 PM

That's a real whopper of an assumption.

Cassandra: Now you are really starting to grasp at straws. Contracts in these things are standardized. As are most employee contracts. Do you really think that the Miss USA pageant would bill lawyers enough to write up custom contracts for every contestant? No, it isn't a "whopper of an assumption". It's very realistic, especially considering not one of the Miss USA contestants that have piped up to date have mentioned that it is a possibility that her contract was different, and their comments pretty much presume that they are the same.


Again, not the same employer. Nice try, though.

If you follow this link you will see that we are indeed talking about the same employer: The Miss Universe organization -- the Miss California organization is part of the Miss Universe organization -- or at the very least, they work in tandem. Which definitely supports my "assumption" of standardized contracts.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519112,00.html


Wrongful termination is a different matter. It doesn't say that you didn't breach the contract, just that the contract wasn't enforced evenly.

Given that your argument is that she didn't breach her contract (because other people breached similar contracts, too!), I'm not sure how that applies.

If a clause of a contract is not enforced by the employer in one instance, it cannot be enforced in another...it simply ceases to exist in legal terms. Thus, there is no breech of contract. Which is the whole basis of the wrongful termination. They are trying to enforce a clause of a contract that they have voluntarily abrogated.

Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I think I'll argue that since speeding laws are not 100%evenly enforced, I wasn't really speeding.

Traffic law and contract law are not even close to the same thing. I'll just paraphrase you: "Nice Try though".

And at any rate, she also violated the exclusive representation clause :p

How inconveeeeeeeeeeeenient.

Then, if that is the case, she is quite easily terminated on that clause. But the public will make a determination as to the motivations of the Miss California organization/Miss Universe organization for the termination. Personally, I don't think they will be able to stand the political heat as much as Miss Pajean.

However, just like the photo controversy, all Miss Pajean has to do is find a single interview from a Miss USA contestant that was not authorized by the Miss Universe organization, and she has proven that she has not violated that clause as well. Discovery is gonna be fun for Miss Pajean's lawyers -- and a major pain for the Miss Universe organization as all their dirty laundry will get aired in the press. Turn about is fair play, here.

That may get you off in court, but there is a difference between having the judge let you off and a verdict of not guilty

From a practical standpoint, no, there isn't. Either way, you don't have to pay the fine. The end result is the same.

Posted by: DL at May 11, 2009 01:30 PM

Cassandra: See this link: Same employer:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12300858

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Tuesday it appears Prejean has violated the 12-page contract all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.

Posted by: DL at May 11, 2009 01:35 PM

Cassandra, it seems to me you're one of those folks who insists that others take their "....lumps and do the right thing," but is rather parsimonious about doling out the warranted praise when an imperfect Carrie Prejean takes a stand and gets rewarded for taking that stand (and believe me, Carrie will be a superstar if The Donald and his business associates take her crown from her).

I swear, I wonder why Carrie Prejean, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Sarah Palin even bother to take stands that favor conservatives. I mean, Cassandra, do your principles mean much of anything if no one is willing to validate them? After all, the human needs of praise, attention, affection, AND VALIDATION are rather strong, nonnegotiable principles in and of themselves.

Sometimes, you have to back away from the principles and moral consistency if you hope to gain anything from them.

Posted by: Brad Schwartze at May 11, 2009 02:48 PM

I've posted at TigerHawk about the Miss Rhode Island pictures, and characterized the two situations as somewhat different. I do raise the issue of equitable treatment.

I am not sure the term "employee" should be used in this case, since an employer-employee relationship does not exist -- I believe that all state pageant contestants and winners would be considered independent contractors, at least in the eyes of th IRS.

It would be interesting if a California court (I assume that's where a case would be filed) would find that the Miss USA / Miss California pageant was within its rights to strip Carrie Prejean of her title for reasons relating to the photos, but not strip other contestants with functionally equivalent photos, and hang their hat soley upon disclosure. Stranger things have happened.

Posted by: Escort81 at May 11, 2009 02:51 PM

Is Miss California the first pageant winner to have racy photos leaked to the media? Is it accurate, fair, or justified in any way to claim that the ONLY reason this has happened is because she spoke out against gay marriage? Vanessa Williams would be surprised to hear that. So would Katie Rees, who like Prejean was only 17 when the racy photos that cost her her title were taken. Rebekah Revels would, too. These are only three examples - the full list is much longer. Can all these women blame the Left, Perez Hilton and gay activists for their troubles?

A few points. Yes, the gay marriage question is why these photos came out. She was merely a runner up, not a champion. So she was different than the other people you mentioned. She likely would not have been famous enough to bother publishing these photos had it not been for the publicity from the gay marriage question. Then with her speaking for that promotion of marriage group she added to her 15 minutes and made herself an even more attractive target of a photo scandal attack.

Everything else you said though, just fine.

I think gay polar bears need to quit complaining and get their own life in order.

DL, your contract analysis is not exactly correct. Uneven enforcement may not mean much in this context. Uneven enforcement does not do away with a clause. It might be relevent if ther eis a charge of discrimination, but political thought is not a protected class, so discrimination on that basis is a "so what." One could argue "wavier" or "estoppel" but that would only work if you could show knowledge of the other breach and reliance on that "non-enforcement." If she didn't know about uneven enforcement prior to violating the clause she isn't going to win a waiver argument. If the contract is well written (e.g., "all breaches that are not strictly enforced shall not be deemed waived unless done so in writing", etc.)

Posted by: KJ at May 11, 2009 03:37 PM

DL,

A lie is a pretty simple thing. There are 3 criteria.

A lie is telling a knowingly false statement with intent to deceive.

1) Knowledge: Early astronomers were not lieing when they said the Earth was the center of the solar system. They just did not know that they were wrong. As such there were simply mistaken. But Ms. Prejean doesn't have this excuse. She was, afterall, there. :-) Additionally, I have not heard her claim that she had forgotten about them which would have provided her with that "I was mistaken" defense.

2) Falsity: Self-evident criteria. It's not lieing if you're correct. Evidence for this is pretty obvious as there is photographic evidence that partially nude pictures do exist. BTW, this is where I stated my objections earlier in the thread. As the pictures were unpublished and the excerpted language was present/future tense and not past tense, there is a loophole where she could truthfully say "I *had appeared*, but am not currently *appearing* in partially nude photos". However, with the presentation of new evidence that the contract did contain language about having ever appeared in such photos, that option disappears.

3) Intent to deceive. The history in The Lord of the Rings is not a lie as there was no claim that the story was anything other than fiction. The same cannot be said of a contract. There is a very high expectation that the content is accurate. And the claim that she was unaware of the contracts requirements with regard to risque pictures does not seem reasonable given the history of similar cases of de-crowning.

So, the evidence points out that she did knowingly state a falsity. Moreover, given the expectation of truthfulness the only purpose for so doing would be for deception.

So did she lie? Absolutely.

Does it have any relavence to her opinion on Gay Marriage? Absolutely not.

In any discussion on Gay Marriage and Ms. Prejean, the retort: "But she lied on her contract" should be met with a resounding "Yeah, so f&*$&^% what?" Not, "No she didn't, she's completely above board on that!"

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 11, 2009 03:55 PM

Sometimes, you have to back away from the principles and moral consistency if you hope to gain anything from them.

*sigh*

OK, I'm about to say something *else* that will make people mad :p

You do not know why this young woman chose to "stand up for conservative principles", and neither do I.

I do know that I don't "want anything from her". If she feels strongly about an issue, she should speak out -- for no other reason than that this is what she *wants* to do. There is no implied contract between she and her fellow conservatives (i.e., if she speaks out, we'll defend everything she does, no matter whether it violates our individual principles or no).

Frankly, I don't really care that she spoke out against gay marriage (or for traditional marriage, or whatever it is that she did). I find the adulation a bit odd. Yes, it's nice to see a young person stand up for their beliefs, no matter which side of the aisle they're on. But I don't feel that she struck some kind of blow for conservatism everywhere, nor do I - frankly - think that was what was running through her mind at the time, though of course I can't know that.

I have said - several times - that I applaud her standing up for what she believes. If she went out and robbed a 7-11 after that, I wouldn't defend her for doing that. Sorry, but there it is. This is exactly the kind of tribal nonsense we make fun of Dems for engaging in, and I'm not interested.

I think Escort81 makes an interesting point re: the perceived unevenness of contractual enforcement. But I never think spurious lawsuits are a good idea and I'm not about to say that someone who clearly breached their contract (and went back on their word) should sue because other folks may have gotten away with the same thing. That's not what I'd call a principled stance, but then that's why we have so many dumb lawsuits these days. Her case would amount to, "Ummmm... yes I signed a contract saying I hadn't and wouldn't do these things. But [insert big crybaby clause here] OTHER PEOPLE DID IT TOO!!!!" :)

That never flew when my kids tried it on me. I'm not going to be any more receptive to that crap in a court of law.

re: the other contestants who have lost their crowns.

I purposely included both state pageant and national pageant winners in my examples, so they ARE the same, actually. She didn't win the national but she DID win California (as Miss NC and Miss Nevada both did).

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 04:00 PM

Heh.

They didn't win California. But they won their respective state pageants.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 04:02 PM

"... do your principles mean much of anything if no one is willing to validate them?"

Individual principles do not miraculously pop into existence only after they've been validated by *someone else*. Principles are core values held by an individual for that individual. What my principles mean to you? Quite frankly, I don't give a damn whether or not you, or anybody else, agree with my principles. And I certainly don't need your approval to *validate* that they are important to me.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 11, 2009 04:27 PM

Heh.

You've got to love a Marine woman :p

That was my reaction exactly - nice that she wasn't afraid to say what *she* thought. But I was never keen on turning her into the poster child for conservative principles.

I think the merits of the gay marriage question stand on their own.

I also don't think we're so desperate that we need defend *anything* just because someone agrees with us. That's not a road I want to go down.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 04:33 PM

Look, it's pretty simple. Conservatives should not be making the person the issue. When we do that we give authority to ad hominem fallacies.

We are in a sense are accepting the premise that only perfect people have valid opinions.

When we do that we accept that there are only 2 types of people who have valid opinions.

1) Those that are Jesus.
2) Those who have no standards at all.

Given that many don't even accept the former and in any case we crucified Him, I'm not too thrilled with ceding the debate to the latter. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 11, 2009 04:37 PM

""... do your principles mean much of anything if no one is willing to validate them?"

Individual principles do not miraculously pop into existence only after they've been validated by *someone else*. Principles are core values held by an individual for that individual. What my principles mean to you? Quite frankly, I don't give a damn whether or not you, or anybody else, agree with my principles. And I certainly don't need your approval to *validate* that they are important to me."

I read the Validated Principle Principle, er comment, earlier and decided that it's no small wonder that I do not understand much of our culture today.

Nice VPP invalidation Sly. Another brew credit goes on to your chit. =8^}

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba- can you validate this urge for me?_hun at May 11, 2009 05:13 PM

Cassandra -

I am not advocating that Carrie Prejean sue if she is stripped -- perhaps her new advisors and agents would tell her to do so if they thought it was a net positive for her "bookability" and revenue stream.

When her ghost-written book does come out, maybe we will all have more information about how the "bad" pictures came about, and how she feels about the alleged misrepresentations she made in her contract with the pageant.

Regarding whether she lied or not, if she ends up saying that she knew about other contestants and their photos, which had been OK'd by pageant officials, and therefore did not feel that she needed to disclose her photos, is it still a lie? That is, if you know the substance of what a particular clause means because you are familiar with its previous enforcement or non-enforcement, is that knowledge relevant as a matter of contract law? Or are you simply substituting your own judgment for that of the party with whom you are contracting when you fail to disclose?

It is concerning to me that she would have posed for suggestive shots at age 17. Had she already enlisted in the Marine Corps, something that a 17 year-old is eligible to do, the photos would still be concerning. What is most bizzare to me is that at least one of her parents evidently signed off on her augmentation procedure while she was under 18, something I just can't fully understand or appreciate.

I think it has something to do with "pageant culture," and the rigid expectations of body type that are placed on young women who wish to compete. I believe this concept has been in place for a few decades. I knew a woman in the early 1990s as a professional acquaintance, and she lived in the MD-VA region. In her spare time, she was involved as a judge at the local pageant level, and had particiapted as a contestant ten years or so prior to that. She told me a story that national judges had informed her that she could have gone pretty far as a contestant if she had an augmentation procedure. Well, in my expert opinion, she did not need it. All I could say to her was, "you've got to be kidding me."

None of this undercuts the fact that Carrie Prejean is being treated harshly because of her rather unremarkable position on marriage.

I want to add an addendum that, with respect to the photo I posted at the link at TigerHawk, all of the snow melted off of me the moment I got back in the hot tub, and I suffered no long-term medical consequences, in case anyone was worried.

Posted by: Escort81 at May 11, 2009 05:22 PM

"...in case anyone was worried."

*makes giant X over little box on wallpaper*
Whew.....*so* glad to hear that...one less thing to do on my "To Do" list. I think I've earned a beer!!
*digs in pocket for beer chit*
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 11, 2009 05:34 PM

DL -

You should let me buy you that beer. It's the least I can do for creating that thirst in the first place.

I knew Cassandra wasn't worried, because she didn't look.

Posted by: Escort81 at May 11, 2009 05:52 PM

...if she ends up saying that she knew about other contestants and their photos, which had been OK'd by pageant officials, and therefore did not feel that she needed to disclose her photos, is it still a lie?

Well, I think it is. I don't think, at the point where you're negotiating a deal (and that's what a contract is - you give me x and I'll give you y) that you get to think to yourself, "Oh. Well in *some* - but not all - cases, pageant officials have not fired other people for violating this clause.

[Actually what I originally said here was wrong, so I'm correcting it] I'd originally said something to the effect that the parties could agree to invalidate part of the contract. But that wasn't sitting right with me, so I looked it up. If the meaning of a clause is extremely uncertain or it isn't complete, a court can invalidate that clause, provided there is a severability clause in place. The usual test is that the contract can "stand" on its own - i.e., still makes sense - without the clause (and I think this one certainly could).[end correction]

But you don't get to take the money and unilaterally decide for the other party that they give up their contractual rights. If you ask them to, and they agree, that's a different situation.

That is, if you know the substance of what a particular clause means because you are familiar with its previous enforcement or non-enforcement, is that knowledge relevant as a matter of contract law?

Well, ordinarily a contract is construed most rigorously against the party who wrote it.

That said, I think Ms. Prejean would really have an uphill battle in court to argue, but "I didn't think they meant what they said."

Or are you simply substituting your own judgment for that of the party with whom you are contracting when you fail to disclose?

That's what I think, and why I don't think this argument would fly in court. If a contractual clause is ambiguous then the reasonable interpretation should apply.

I don't think it's reasonable to say, in effect, "Hmmmm.... here is this pesky clause I don't like. I wonder what they mean by it? Why is it here? Oh well, I know someone else got away with violating it, so I'm going to assume it is something I can ignore."

The fact that she proceeded to ignore the representation clause, too, doesn't make her look too good.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 05:58 PM

Why are you making me feel bad because I didn't look, ya big tease ??? :)

It was nothing personal. I thought your bathing suit photo was very nice. You are just the kind of man I normally find very attractive. And I am aware that, as another poster so pointedly pointed out in his point way, in this day and age it is "prudish" of me not to look at every nekkid man I can :p

I think that's funny. If there is anything I am not, it's a prude. But I am just old fashioned enough that I try not to look at unclothed men other than my husband. To me, the fact that I have the right to see him that way is special. I wouldn't want other women looking at him, so I don't look at other guys. I can only control my own actions (and that, sometimes, just barely :p)

No pun intended.

I've been married for 30 years. What I decide to do isn't a requirement I can, or have any desire to, levy on others. But I got married very young. Over time I've figured out that if there's a line, it is safer for me to stay firmly on the right side of it.

I'm sure that seems stupid or naive. I can't force anyone not to make fun of me, but that's just how I feel about it. We all have to decide what's important to us.

I guess that's important to me.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 06:06 PM

"Hmmmm.... here is this pesky clause I don't like. I wonder what they mean by it? Why is it here?"
This defense strategy has served Cirroc well... Albeit in a frighteningly confused sort of way.

Cirroc thinks that many folk are currently attempting to use this defense to further Miss California's apparent contractual quandary. Was it really a contract or not? What were her motivations? Did she understand what she signed? Did she sign what she signed?

*sigh* Your world frightens and confuses me...

Posted by: Cirroc at May 11, 2009 06:17 PM

You keep using the term, 'partially nude or sexually suggestive'... I do not think it means what you think it means :p

Posted by: The Vizzini Defense Strikes Again at May 11, 2009 06:20 PM

Cassandra -

I don't mean to act as a tease, I genuinely respect your position. I would not want to lead anyone into temptation.

I don't think that there are many non-clergy males who would not click through to a similar photo of a female, which is what makes your self-restraint all the more admirable.

Almost everyone looks, just for a moment, but acting upon the look is a much, much different matter. To go down that path leads to great unhappiness and distress.

Good for you for holding yourself to such a high standard. We need more of that. I will stand in clothed solidarity with you, and pledge no more pictures without at least shorts and a t-shirt on.

Posted by: Escort81 at May 11, 2009 06:27 PM

Well, don't put me too high up on that pedestal, because Sly will knock me off and it's a looooooong way down.

I said I try not to look, not that I've never seen a picture of a nekkid man :p

It's impossible to be on the Intertubes for any period of time and maintain pristine eyeballs. I guess I just think we have sort of lost the idea that there's any such thing as a line between public and private.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 06:51 PM

And FWIW, I wasn't in the least bothered by your posting that photo. You warned people, and they were free to click or not :)

It's just easier for me to color within the lines when I don't go certain places. That's all.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 06:56 PM

"I would not want to lead anyone into temptation."

That's my job around these here parts....
*snnnicker*
0>:~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 11, 2009 06:56 PM

Thought experiment time: I make absolutely no claim that Ms Prejean had done anything even remotely related to these situations. This is purely hypothetical.

1) Line Drawing Excersize.
a) Contestant takes standard string bikini photo. Is this "Partially nude"?
b) Constestant cuts all strings off of her bikini (back and neck) and uses double sided tape to keep her top on. Is this "Partially nude"?
c) She then turns around. Is this "Partially nude"?

2) Reasonable expectation & Line drawing.
Contestant takes a picture in a pose not unsimilar to the VC Logo. (No particular reason to use that as an example other than that I am lazy and while ordinarily I wouldn't shy away from an excuse to find cheesecake, you don't always get what you want*). Obviously, it is not "partially nude". Contestant believes this photo clearly does not violate the "Sexually suggestive" clause as contestant has seen voluminous cases of more risque pictures passing muster. While said picture may still constitute breech of contract, would it be unreasonable to conclude said contestant had honestly erred in her evaluation of her photo portfolio and not lied?

*but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 11, 2009 07:02 PM

"You keep using the term, 'partially nude or sexually suggestive'... I do not think it means what you think it means :p"
Yain't gotta tell me. Ever since my latest contempt of court charge I'ma lost inna partially suggestive funk wonderin' did I?

Posted by: Cletus T. Judd ESQ. at May 11, 2009 07:05 PM

Sorry, there's a missing sentence in the above. It should read:

... contestant has seen voluminous cases of more risque pictures passing muster. Pageant decides the photo violates the sexually suggestive clause. While said picture may still constitute breech of contract...

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 11, 2009 07:06 PM

Just my opinion:

a) Contestant takes standard string bikini photo. Is this "Partially nude"?

Nope. And if it is, the pageant has some 'splainin' to do :p

b) Constestant cuts all strings off of her bikini (back and neck) and uses double sided tape to keep her top on. Is this "Partially nude"?

I don't think so. All the naughty bits are covered.

c) She then turns around. Is this "Partially nude"?

Again, all the naughty bits are covered. In the photo I saw, a rather large expanse of breast was clearly visible under her arm. This is not a part of a woman's breasts (like, say, cleavage) that one normally sees revealed when women are clothed.

2) Reasonable expectation & Line drawing.
Contestant takes a picture in a pose not unsimilar to the VC Logo. (No particular reason to use that as an example other than that I am lazy and while ordinarily I wouldn't shy away from an excuse to find cheesecake, you don't always get what you want*). Obviously, it is not "partially nude".

Agreed.

Contestant believes this photo clearly does not violate the "Sexually suggestive" clause as contestant has seen voluminous cases of more risque pictures passing muster. While said picture may still constitute breech of contract, would it be unreasonable to conclude said contestant had honestly erred in her evaluation of her photo portfolio and not lied?

I've told this story before.

I don't like pantyhose. Never wear the things. Last year after attending a Memorial Day ceremony, I was offered a ride on the back of a motorcycle. A lot of men were standing around the parking lot. I really wanted to ride on the back of that motorcycle. I wanted to do it a lot.

I didn't, though, b/c I was wearing a suit and the only way for me to climb on that motorcycle would have been to hike my skirt up about as far as that young lady presiding over us has hers.

I didn't need to think about it much. I knew it wasn't a good idea, so I didn't do it. Now let's keep in mind that you are talking about someone who isn't really all that modest.

When I was younger I streaked, I skinny dipped, I once spent an entire day on a nearly deserted beach with no bikini top on. Yeah, my boyfriend at the time enjoyed that. I've done plenty of things I shouldn't have, many of them in state or national parks :p Very likely why the words "never dare me" cross my lips as often as they do.

But I also understand lines. They're there for a reason.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 07:22 PM

But I also understand lines. They're there for a reason.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2009 07:22 PM

You mean tan lines? So that's the difference!

Posted by: Cricket at May 11, 2009 11:02 PM

Lots of folks are aware of us...

Just sayin'

Posted by: Visible Panty Lines at May 11, 2009 11:19 PM

And then there are those of us who have none....

Posted by: Snark Le'Puss at May 12, 2009 01:47 AM

Again, all the naughty bits are covered.

But if she has fully turned around, how would you know? (This is one reason why I disclaimed any reference to Ms. Prejean as I haven't seen the picture to know what was or was not revealed.)
All the naughty bits are covered, but you'd never know. She wouldn't *be* partially nude, but she would *simulate* it.

On the second, perhaps I wasn't clear as you didn't answer the question I was trying to ask. I don't disagree that there should be lines. In my hypothetical, neither does the contestant. The conundrum is that the contestant (with good reason) honestly believes, however incorrectly, that the line is in a different spot than it really is. That certainly does not absolve the contestant from the consequences of breaking the contract (ignorance is no excuse). But would it qualify as "mistaken" rather than "lieing".

Posted by: Suicide by Blog Princess at May 12, 2009 10:09 AM

Sadly, that photo is everywhere - even on many news accounts.

If (in your example) the photo was a straight-on shot from the back, I agree - you wouldn't know. But that wasn't the way Ms. Prejean was photographed - she is half turned towards the camera with her arms raised and folded over the front of her breasts, but you pretty much see the outer half of breast under her arm (something that would be covered by a bathing suit unless it only covered her nipple).

As to where the line is drawn, I think an old Marine saying applies here:

"'I don't know' doesn't cut it. If you don't know, go find out."

This is what Miss RI did. Her photos were more revealing but she didn't sandbag her employer with them, either. As Escort81 pointed out, she got them cleared. That's what I do when it's pretty clear my employers think something is important but I'm not sure exactly what they want - I ask them :p

It's not difficult. I have asked questions many times when reading contracts because often it's not apparent to me what I'm signing. Similarly, it's hard to believe there was any legitimate doubt about the meaning of the "don't agree to be the spokesperson for anyone else until you clear it with us first" clause. I see a consistent pattern in her behavior with regard to her contractual obligations: rather than communicate with her employer, she pretty much chooses to do what she wants.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2009 10:39 AM

IOW, her crime here isn't so much posing semi-nude as it was creating unwanted controversy for the pageant when they clearly put her on notice via several clauses that they expected her not to embarrass them or involve them in controversy.

That's kind of a fundamental concept in agreeing to "represent" someone: responsible people understand you're getting paid to represent them in the best light. And it ain't about your personal or subject standards anymore. It's about your employer's.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2009 10:42 AM

One could argue "wavier" or "estoppel" but that would only work if you could show knowledge of the other breach and reliance on that "non-enforcement." If she didn't know about uneven enforcement prior to violating the clause she isn't going to win a waiver argument. If the contract is well written (e.g., "all breaches that are not strictly enforced shall not be deemed waived unless done so in writing", etc.)

There is a link to the contract on Fox News. I don't see it as particularly well written.

Also, it looks like this is a moot point. The Miss USA pageant has decided to keep Miss Prejean on as Miss California. Trump decided to keep her.

Posted by: DL at May 12, 2009 11:50 AM

But that wasn't the way Ms. Prejean was photographed

You keep bringing it back to Ms. Prejean even though I specifically asked that the hypothetical be considered in the abstract and completely unrelated to her. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 12, 2009 12:10 PM

Sorry, Yu-Ain.

I comment on very quick breaks from work and I don't always pay as much attention as I should. My bad.

DL, it may shock you to learn that I am fine with that.

My argument was never that the pageant "ought" to fire her. I don't care what they do, and as Escort81 pointed out, other state pageants have chosen to retain ladies with far racier photos.

My *argument* was that saying it's OK to breach a contract and that the other party shouldn't have the option of exercising their rights under said contract (or arguing she didn't breach it) are not "conservative" ideas. Traditionally conservatives have argued for individual responsibility, accountability, and that people don't need to be protected from the consequences of their own decisions.

Except, apparently, when they're willing to defend traditional marriage while in a state of partial undress :p Under the right circumstances, the rules go right out the window.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2009 12:54 PM

I don't see it as particularly well written.

Then you weren't reading the same contract I read. It is nearly impossible to make things any plainer than that contract did. And she initialed every single provision, so if she didn't bother to read each clause she initialed separately, she was making promises she had no idea of the content of.

Of course, this is perfectly fine.

But not terribly ethical, and certainly not a practice that will hold up well in court. If you don't mean what you say or can't be bothered to read a legally binding document, don't promise and don't sign your name.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2009 02:16 PM

AAR:

For the sake of discussion, what we have is that Prejean signed a contract she had no intention of honoring and Trump had no intention of enforcing. The latter trumps the former. This is how it plays out in the business of beauty pageants supporting a beautiful winner.

Hilton did major harm to the cause of the gay community as they have been forced to apologize for his actions that do not reflect those of the majority of their community. This is what Trump will have to deal with especially since he indicated he could have Hilton back in the future. One can only hope he screens future judges as systematically as he screens contestants.

Selective enforcement of contracts rewards winners and makes money for the enterprise through exposure and publicity. Hilton inadvertently contributed to the drama guaranteeing Trump's desire for finacial success and damaging his own agenda in the process.

I would advise Prejean to sue the photographer that surreptitiously took photos of her, then released them, that were not agreed to or allowed during the shoot setup. Trump, in his Solomonic mode, ruled that the exposure was not gratuitous. Now we know the defintion of what "IS" is.

Hilton is strangely silent on the matter.

Posted by: vet66 at May 13, 2009 09:17 AM

All the reasons vet66 so ably outlined above are why we were not terribly concerned about the "victimization" of Ms. Prejean.

We watched her statement over at HotAir. The part about how her grandfather fought to defend her Constitutional rights was pure theater. Was Congress - or perhaps ToTus - trying to abridge her freedom of speech? If so, VPL missed that part.

We don't have a Constitutional right to say whatever we like without fear that we won't care for the reception our words receive. As fine, upstanding Visible Panty Lines, we think the nasty invective aimed at Ms. Prejean was rude, unwarranted, and unethical to boot. The remedy for that is to call it what it is: a cheap shot.

But in the end, words are only sticks and stones. It's distressing to see malicious people digging through her past to dredge up things to throw at her, but the outrage is pretty funny given the enthusiastic reception such tactics received from conservatives when John Hawkins suggested we ought to begin doing exactly that to teach journalists we consider insufficiently 'unbiased' a lesson.

The arguments about whether the photographs violated the contract or amounted to "partial nudity" are, we hope, overcome by events in the light of the latest releases of Ms. Prejean's "modeling shots". It would be interesting to see the contract she signed with the photographer. Did it stipulate that she retained total control over the images?

If so, we will be greatly surprised :p But then there's that whole "reading the contract" thing again.

The reality, unpleasant though it is, is that if you stand up on the skyline, you make yourself a target for anyone unprincipled enough to engage in the politics of personal destruction.

Personally, we'd always rather hoped that conservatives were above that sort of thing.

Posted by: Visible Panty Lines at May 13, 2009 11:56 AM

And we agree to the point about suing the photographer. If he/she truly did what Ms. Prejean alleges, she ought to sue him within an inch of his miserable life.

The interesting thing about contracts is that they represent the result of a negotiation in which certain rights are conferred and certain duties are incurred. It is fine for a party to the contract to choose not to avail himself of one or more of his contractual rights. That doesn't breach the terms of the contract.

But accepting the benefits of the contract while refusing to perform the duties you freely accepted in return for the value you expected to receive?

Not so good.

Posted by: Visible Panty Lines at May 13, 2009 12:02 PM

And we agree to the point about suing the photographer. If he/she truly did what Ms. Prejean alleges, she ought to sue him within an inch of his miserable life.

Hadn't heard of this. What is she alleging?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 13, 2009 12:54 PM

She has said several times that he didn't have "permission" to release the photos and that they were "private", and also that two of them were photoshopped.

I find it hard to believe a commercial photographer didn't get a release form from her, but I suppose it is possible, and if they had the kind of agreement she's alleging, she's within her rights to go after him.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 13, 2009 01:49 PM

Note to the ladies and a few of the guys; If your photographer places you on a windy bluff and you are wearing a vest of some sort, make sure the camera is covered while setting up your pose. Otherwise, an errant breeze may expose more than you contracted for to the glee of the perv behind the camera.

These may be modeling pictures for you at the beginning of your career but to the photographer of dubious ethics it is an investment in the possibility of future extortion and blackmail. When I used to hear my boss call me by my last name I invariably replied, "I was young, I needed the money."

Welcome to the seedy side of business!

Posted by: vet66 at May 13, 2009 02:38 PM

I find it hard to believe a commercial photographer didn't get a release form from her,

Actually, unless Ms. Prejean specifically contracted otherwise or bought the copyright, the photographer wouldn't need one. By default the photographer owns the image and as such can do with them whatever they please.

It doesn't sound like she claims to have purchased the copyright, so that's out. But given that the pictures were supposedly for "interviewing" purposes she may have contracted that they only be released to the prospective employer. But that sounds like more foresight than a 17 year old would have. More likely it was a verbal agreement: and those are worth the paper they're written on.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 13, 2009 02:43 PM

Let the fallout begin. I see one Ms. Moakler, Pageant Director of sorts, and former Miss USA herself, has resigned in a huff for the way Trump handled the situation. I wonder what kind of relationship she had with Hilton? Pageants make strange bedfellows or something along those lines.

Now we have two people, Hilton and Moakler, who could care less that Prejean had the same opinion on gay marriage as POTUS. Way to go folks. No stimulus or support for GLBT when you need it down the road.

Didn't the Oakridge Boys have a song about building bridges and not burning them?

Posted by: vet66 at May 13, 2009 07:09 PM

I didn't see this anywhere in the comments (I'm been skimming, since I'm behind....):

I saw Ms. Prejean in an interviewed aired on FNC. She stated that the photos of her with her breasts exposed were taken during what was to have been a break in the photo shoot, that the photographer was not authorized to take photos of her with that part of her body exposed, so she wasn't aware that those photos existed until they were recently released...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 13, 2009 11:23 PM

We're never going to know and I don't care about this enough to argue the point.

But for a variety of reasons, that is the biggest load of horse hockey I've ever heard. She has made so many bizarre claims now. What's one more?

My favorite one was, "I didn't violate my contract. I didn't pose for any nude publications" (just the other day).

Except that's not what her contract said. Not even close. In fact, it specifically stated that it was the type of photo rather than the venue that was not kosher.

I am beginning to think this young woman has a future on the stage.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 14, 2009 04:40 AM

Or in politics. After all, it depends on what your definition of 'nude' is...as well as publication versus photo.

I am now in the throes of finding the errors in a trial balance.

Posted by: Cricket at May 14, 2009 08:14 AM

Typical.
Someone has a cow because a girl is photographed topless and decides that this is the same thing as fornication on camera. Topless beaches were everywhere when I was in France or the Seychelles and nobody ever appeared offended or exploited. Only in the US or some Islamic country would there be a problem with topless photographs. My gosh! It's right up there with photographing women in their undergarments.............as the Sears catalog and Victoria's Secret have been doing for decades. OK, I guess their models are just prostitutes they swept up off the street.

Posted by: Curtis at May 16, 2009 08:53 AM

You can move the goalposts all you want, Curtis, but posing topless in and of itself wasn't the problem.

The problem is simple, and all the denial and misdirection in the world doesn't change the facts:

1. She signed a contract swearing that there were no partially nude or suggestive photos of her. Not one, not 6 or 7, but "None". This is a simple yes or no question. She lied in exchange for money.

Now I do not know where you came from, but where I come from that is wrong. I have a sneaking suspicion the Bible frowns on lying, too.

2. She signed a contract promising she wouldn't represent anyone other than the pagaent without clearing it with them first.

And then she violated that promise by agreeding to be the spokesperson for NOM and letting them use pageant footage of her on their website.

3. No one, of whom I'm aware, made references to prostitution or even implied such.

Miss Prejean has made frequent references to her faith and how certain things are "unthinkable" because they would conflict with her religious beliefs. Again, something tells me that posing topless would also conflict with the religious teachings of pretty much every church I've ever seen.

Now you can move all the goalposts by demanding this situation be judged by the prevailing standards in Europe if you want. Hell, the Supreme Court does that all the time.

But it didn't happen in Europe. It happened here. And she still lied. And breached her contract. Facts are stubborn things.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 16, 2009 09:09 AM

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