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June 16, 2009

Give Me A Freaking Break

So may the outward shows be least themselves;
The world is still deceived with ornament.


- Bassanio, The Merchant of Venice

Ay yay yay :) I willingly passed up the opportunity to say "I told you so" when Ms. Prejean was fired by the Miss California pageant recently:

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.

Sadly, I'm beginning to believe that if Carrie Prejean robbed a bank in broad daylight and a security camera caught her dead on, some conservatives would still claim she was being "victimized" because of her opposition to gay marriage. I thought conservatives opposed the victim mentality? Whatever happened to responsibility and accountability?

When will we face the inconvenient truth? Is everyone on the planet persecuting her, or is it just possible that the problem may lie with Ms. Prejean's behavior rather than her opinion on gay marriage?

Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean has lost another contract. The controversial ex-beauty queen lost her endorsement contract with a clothing brand just days after she was fired from the crown.

Sledge USA decided to end their contract with the 22-year-old blonde beauty after she allegedly didn't hold up her end of their deal.

Brand manager Vered Nisim told E! News, "She did not keep her appointments at all. She refused to confirm a time and date, even though we were on a very tight schedule."

Imagine that. This company was perfectly happy to sign a clothing contract with her, defense of traditional marriage notwithstanding. Are we seriously to believe they are now punishing her for an opinion that didn't bother them previously? Note that their reasons for firing her are exactly the same as those given by the Miss USA Pageant.

Coincidence? Or just a massive conspiracy against a victim powerless to control her own behavior?

Let's face a few inconvenient facts. According to the terms of the contract she signed, Prejean agreed that the pageant would have SOLE CONTROL over her publicity and personal appearances. She also agreed not to become the spokesperson or make representations on behalf of any group without first receiving written permission from the Pageant. She clearly breached that contract when she agreed to become the spokesperson for the National Organization for Marriage. This is not even a grey area.

The contract she signed is here. Note that Prejean was required to separately initial every single clause. She cannot credibly claim not to have seen them.

None of them is long and all are written in plain, easily understandable English. How willing was she to abide by the contract she signed? Read her emails, and contrast her tone with that of Keith Lewis:

From: cprejeanXXXXSent: Friday, May 29, 2009 7:57 AMTo: Keith LewisSubject: Re: Messages

You do not cooperate with me, and you pick and chose the the things YOU want me to do. That is not happening anymore. Stop speaking for me. I have MY own voice. What are u gonna do fire me for volunteering for the special olympics hahaha ur crazy No I am doing this appearance. You do not need details. Its for the SPECIAL OLYMPICS!!! You just need to know I will be doing it alright

You will not facilitate this appearance

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Unbelievable. Does this sound like someone who was trying to fulfill her obligations in good faith?

Precisely what part of the fact that she granted the pageant SOLE CONTROL over her appearances did Ms. Prejean not understand?

Conservatives are always complaining about feminists who demand equal rights under the law but refuse to accept equal responsibilities. It would seem that all those lofty conservative values fly right out the window when a pretty woman in a bikini pays lip service to them and then refuses to abide by what she has promised to do.

Carrie Prejean is being punished for her honesty? Hardly.

Posted by Cassandra at June 16, 2009 05:06 PM

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Comments

The Special Olympics? I can't stand those people. I'm glad she got fired.

Posted by: Mrs. Tingle at June 16, 2009 05:54 PM

OK. Now I'm completely confused.

I need to learn when to STFU.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 16, 2009 06:10 PM

I don't know about her defenders, but I'd get fired too if I didn't show up to work when the Boss says so.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2009 06:31 PM

So would I. I once fired a man for doing exactly that.

Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 16, 2009 06:39 PM

Although, Mr. Lewis sounds like a first rate a$$hole in those emails to me too. (Just an a$$hole with good English).

A response to a question asking for more information that essentially boils down to "RTFM" is not exactly de-escalating. It is a response explicitly given to demean.

I wouldn't respond very well to it either. The proper action, however, is not to just stop showing up. All that does is give them ammo to fire you. You quit. Then if anyone asks why, you can then say that while each of you fulfilled your professional obligations, you felt that the interpersonal relationships with your coworkers had become strained and that it was best for all concerned to move on.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2009 06:59 PM

It's funny - his responses seemed incredibly patient to me. It's apparent, though, that there had been other conversation regarding this that wasn't included in the transcript.

I was pretty shocked at her tone right from the get-go, but I must be old fashioned.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 16, 2009 07:10 PM

She would not have been scrutinized so closely if she had given the PC answer expected of her."Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T"? Yikes.

Posted by: nan at June 16, 2009 08:06 PM

She would not have been scrutinized so closely if she had given the PC answer expected of her.

Perhaps. But I can't help wondering what excuse the long line of other pageant winners who've been fired for breaching their contracts use? :p

Also, that theory doesn't do much to explain her being fired for breach of the clothing contract, does it?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 16, 2009 09:24 PM

It's funny - his responses seemed incredibly patient to me.

Thus the problem with email. Tone is very hard to distinguish. Picking up the phone seems much more appropriate.

As for scrutinization: I don't think so. Certainly if a state pageant winner breached her contract it wouldn't exactly be newsworthy, but I doubt the notoriety plays much of a role in her firing. You don't show up, it doesn't matter how well known you are or are not, you get canned.

If it played any role it would be in that your co-workers actively try to make your life a living hell. While they may have to schedule her, they don't have to be polite about it. That's what I saw with the RTFM comment. It's meant to be insulting. He basically called her an idiot to her face. The problem is that there really is no way to prove that one way or the other.

That's why I said he best move would have been to fulfill her obligations but quit over "personality conflicts".

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2009 11:06 PM

Carrie Prejean has a superiority complex, only I'm not sure just what she is so superior about. She's beautiful, definitely. But other than that... ?

She should take a clue from American Idol winners - where is Sanjaya now? I think he's singing at shopping mall grand openings or something. The world does not need Carrie Prejean as much as Carrie seems to think we do.

Posted by: airforcewife at June 16, 2009 11:54 PM

To clarify, going that route keeps her above board (by both fulfilling her legal obligations and not calling the pageant out for malfeasance) while also granting the pageant an out where they can basically agree that there was a personality conflict without needing to get into a he-said/she-said bloodbath.

People will believe whatever they want to believe about motives, but both parties can stay out of the fray

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2009 11:54 PM

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful...

Posted by: camojack at June 17, 2009 12:30 AM

Gosh, the only group that has demonstrated, en masse, outrage and contempt over the way that the Obama administration and the courts have violated the Bankruptcy laws and breached contract rights is conservatives. I'm pretty sure most of us, having read the email trail can reach our own conclusion and it is not one favorable to the beauty contest runner up.

I will go further out on the limb and say that reading YAG's remarks about how snarky Lewis is and how RTFM is no way to deescalate the situation really puzzles me (not so much anymore after 5 years of marriage). I attribute the meaning written to the words I see before me in print. I failed to see any snarkyness and inviting someone's attention to words already written as clarification and the answer seems reasonable enough to me and saves ever so much typing.

Posted by: Curtis at June 17, 2009 03:45 AM

I dunno. I think everyone is still reaching conclusions a little prematurely on this. I have no particular babe in this fight, but I'm willing to reserve judgment until all the facts come out in the form of emails, interviews, book deals, backbiting etc. At this point it appears Ms. Prejean comes across less than glamorous. But who knows. I also can see her being gunned down by selective leaking of materials and purposeful mismanagement of scheduling by some folks in the pageant with an agenda. Clearly it became a contentious relationship for all parties involved.

I have mixed emotions on this. One one hand I feel bad for anyone getting the obvious shaft for expressing the "wrong" opinion in the public arena. Especially when it's an opinion I share. On the other hand, why in the world would anyone (right, left or otherwise) care to invest significant ideological capital in the personal comings and goings of a pampered blond who makes $5,000 an hour striking poses with white tiger cubs while moored on some playboy's yacht in the French Antilles? No offense to Ms. Prejean or others in her trade, but please... why must the rest of us pretend to take any of them so seriously?

Posted by: Scott in OC at June 17, 2009 04:22 AM

I feel bad for anyone getting the obvious shaft for expressing the "wrong" opinion in the public arena.

So do I. And I've already said that she ought to have the right to express her opinion when confronted with an in your face and controversial question designed to torpedo her in a contest.

But that's really not what we're talking about here - the expression of that opinion, nor the defense of her right to express it.

We've said before here that freedom of speech means that we have the right to express our opinions (no matter how offensive) absent government interference. But we do NOT have the right to be shielded from private opposing speech we dislike, nor from the consequences of having said something others don't like.

I can't help wondering how many people who defend Prejean ever bothered to read her contract?

Personally, I would never sign such a contract. It cedes complete control over her appearances for a one year period to the Pageant.

It asks her to agree not to involve the Pageant in any controversy, NOR to make any statements that offend the community or any part of it

It asks her if she's ever had any nude, partially nude, sexually suggestive or compromising pictures taken of her. It doesn't ask whether she has authorized the release of those photos. IT ASKS HER IF THEY EXIST, PERIOD. And it goes on to say that even if they DO exist, that won't necessarily prevent her from being a contestant or holding a title.

All the pageant is doing is trying to keep themselves from being blindsided by controversy or scandal. They're not saying there CAN'T be anything in a contestant's past that might be used against her. They're just saying, "Hey, if there is, please tell us now so we can be prepared."

As I said, I would never sign such a contract because I know I would never be willing to abide by the provisions. But the fact is that many, many young women HAVE chosen to sign it and they have profited immensely by doing so. It's a contract in which they are agreeing to be a spokesperson for the pageant, and the pageant agrees to give them opportunities they would never have on their own.

It is up to each person to decide whether the restrictions are worth it to them. Ms. Prejean, in signing that contract, made a number of false representations and promises.

1. She agreed, for the space of 1 year, TO CEDE SOLE CONTROL - THAT MEANS SHE DOESN'T GET A VETO, AS SHE DISHONESTLY MAINTAINS IN HER EMAILS - OVER HER SCHEDULE AND HER ABILITY TO FREELY ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO THE PAGEANT - THAT FOR THE SPACE OF ONE YEAR SHE AGREES, IN ESSENCE, TO ACT AS MISS CALIFORNIA, NOT CARRIE PREJEAN.

Can anyone honestly say she fulfilled this promise? How does appearing in a NOm ad that used copyrighted pageant footage POSSIBLY, in any sense whatsoever, conform to what she promised? She didnt' appear as Carrie Prejean, but as Miss California. She can't argue she was speaking as a private citizen (but frankly even if she were that would have been a breach of that clause).

As a private individual, Prejean would have had a perfect right to do what she did. But she agreed, in return for receiving expensive plastic surgery and being allowed to be Miss California for a year, to give up that right. No one forced her to do that.

And then she refused to do what she had promised. Same with the Special Olympics appearance.

I am not sure what more evidence anyone could possibly require that she wasn't abiding by a contract she voluntarily signed.

2. She knew about the photos that were released, and yet she concealed them from the pageant. They just weren't that bad and other contestants have been approved after more revealing photos were released because they were honest with the pageant.

Honesty. What a concept.

A reasonable person, if they were in ANY doubt about whether those photos qualified as 'partially nude' would have asked for clarification because it could not have been more obvious that the pageant didn't want to be blindsided. I can't see why any reasonable person would require clarification as to whether being photographed in only your underpants was "partially nude", but I'll grant some people might not understand that if a woman goes out in public that way, she'll be arrested for... duh... indecent exposure.

The pageant put her on notice that they would consider the subsequent discovery of photos like that as grounds for termination UNLESS she told them up front.

She made her choice. And then she whined about getting caught. Zero sympathy.

The fact is, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER OR NOT YOU THINK THE CONTRACT IS REASONABLE. She signed it.

3. As to the issue of her not showing up for commitments, I don't think there's enough evidence to rule one way or another. Of course those who say she's being persecuted for her opinion can't seem to explain why she got fired from the clothing contract deal on exactly the same grounds. That's not proof she was a no show at pageant events, but it's strong circumstantial evidence (which, by the way, is admissable in court) that she had a history of not fulfilling her obligations.

On the other hand, there isn't any evidence to say she DID show up either, and yet conservative bloggers are claiming that they know for a fact that she was only fired b/c she spoke out about gay marriage. How do they know this, if there isn't enough evidence to say she didn't show up those 30 times she's accused of not showing? You can't accuse the pageant of lying on no evidence but your own opinion. The best you can say is that their claims have not been proven.

The bottom line here is this:

She had a right to answer that question the way she did.

But when she signed that contract, she ceased to be a private individual for the space of one year and VOLUNTARILY agreed to restrain herself and represent the pageant.

Did she, in fact, do that?

No. She made appearance after appearance and statement after statement, further inflaming the controversy. She agreed - without telling the pageant first - to become a spokesperson for NOM.

This was a clear violation of her contract. No one forced her to agree to restrain herself. The fact is, she refused to do what she had promised.

When you enter into a contract to be the spokesperson for an organization, it's no secret that your actions reflect upon and will be imputed to that organization. After all, they have publicly said, in effect, "This person speaks for us." If you embroil them in a controversial social issue, they risk losing sponsors and money and have to expend valuable time, effort, and funds defending YOUR actions and personal opinions.

The answer to that question on that stage was not a big problem, but her subsequent actions were. She chose to ignore her contractual obligations, and frankly even though I, too, happen to support traditional marriage, I would have fired her in a heartbeat. There is no requirement for the Miss USA pageant to defend her or the cause of traditional marriage and she should not have fanned the flames after the fact by associating herself with NOM.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the consequences of your own decisions in life. My husband chose to join the Marines, and so (because he did that) he has fewer rights than any civilian. When he's in uniform he can't express his opinions freely. One of the consequences of voluntarily agreeing to speak for or represent someone else is to have the good sense to realize that you are selling an image.

Sometimes, it really isn't all about us and what we want. Sometimes, it's about doing your job. Saying you don't like the contract is beside the point.

She signed it. She didn't have to.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 07:53 AM

As far as why people should take her seriously, IMO they shouldn't.

I don't take people who refuse to do what they've agreed to seriously.

The reason I've written about it is simple. Every day I read reams of conservative blather about how conservatives are all about responsibility and accountability (unlike those *other* people). OK. So how about applying that standard to Ms. Prejean?

Every day I read reams of conservative blather about how allowing women to make choices regarding their employment outside the home has ruined society. I've honestly considered that blather and even, in some cases, agreed there there is a serious downside to pretending women are grownups who ought to be allowed to make their own decisions.

And I think that is largely a pretense in today's world. Because when you grant someone the right to decide freely and then never hold them accountable for their own choices, you're not treating them like an adult.

That's what a lot of conservatives do. They complain bitterly about the double standard (while applying it selectively whenever doing so suits the conclusion they want to achieve). All of which reminds me vividly about that young man I wrote about a while back who complained bitterly about how women were spoiled and irresponsible and then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't wait to have a daughter so he could spoil her rotten and turn her into exactly the kind of woman he hates.

And when I pointed out to him what he was saying, he openly admitted that's what he was doing. But, according to him, that was "someone else's problem".

Nice.

If we want people to behave responsibly, obey the law, or honor their contracts we should support holding them accountable for their actions when they fail to do these things. And if we decide to apply a double standard (i.e., everyone should be responsible for their decisions whether they're male or female... ummm... except this particular woman we like) then we don't have much credibility when we say double standards are wrong and unfair.

After all, we like them too. So long as they operate in our favor.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 08:18 AM

I also have to say that although I see YAG's point on the RTFM answer, I also think Curtis has a valid point.

In my job, I receive emails every day that make it patently obvious the person didn't bother to read the LAST answer I sent him or her. So now they are asking me to take time out of my day to answer a question I already answered because they're too lazy to read what I already told them.

This happened yesterday. I got a one sentence email that provided no information and directly addressed an email I'd sent the prior week. So now I have to try and figure out how to respond diplomatically.

And YAG is right - you can't flame every idiot who refuses to read what you've already told them. But at the same time, if they didn't read the prior email, you have little confidence they're read THIS one :p

In my estimation, Lewis had already answered the "What is this?". That was a snotty and in your face response to his first email, which explained exactly what "this" was and why she should consider attending. If she had a specific question regarding his explanation, why not ask it instead of shooting back, "What is this?"

I wasn't even sure what in the hell that question meant. The answer *was* right in the preceding email:

Carrie,

The Style Network has asked to schedule a general meeting. Generals in the entertainment field are an opportunity for casting and producing executives to gain a better understanding of a potential talents range and demeanor in order to consider them for future projects. They are done without a specific agenda. I have had great success with my actors who have taken generals and would suggest you give it strong consideration. You never know where it may lead and sometimes they develop entire shows around you. The following days are available to meet with them here in LA. Please let me know as soon as possible if any of them work for you.


It's obvious that there was an attachment with even more information, and he clearly told her, "What is this?". Asking him to restate what he'd already said without indicating what part of it she didn't understand struck me as downright passive aggressive and belligerant - like she was spoiling for a fight.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 08:52 AM

I think this issue with Carrie Prejean is just a sad example that it is not only liberals who are celebrity obsessed.

Why do conservatives want her as a standard bearer? Because she's hot and she doesn't believe in gay marriage? Having watched Carrie Prejean speak a few times, I have to wonder if she has even given her opinion on gay marriage (or indeed ANY of her opinions other than which shampoo will produce the shiniest locks) even a smidgin of thought.

In this she is like most celebrities I have seen mouthing off opinions, with a large number of Americans applauding them for "agreeing" and giving them standard bearer status.

Why? In reality, who does any of this help?

A recent Drudge Report link said that celebrities were so numerous in DC now that they are having trouble "drawing attention" to each particular cause. What is this "drawing attention" line? Who DOESN'T know about the gay marriage debate, HIV and AIDS, poverty in Africa, Tibet, etc. ad infinitum? Everyone KNOWS. They just choose to either know more or stagnate their thought. And when a celebrity "brings attention" to something, they generally just add a bunch of fawning sycophants who want to be a part of anything "new" or "cool" (in whatever group they are a part of), not people who are genuinely dedicated to a cause. And certainly not people willing to actually research a cause to create a true and informed opinion.

If you ask me, Gary Sinise has done far more good and created a better life for far more people than Bono - even though Bono spends his time in disaster tourism to "bring attention" to the plight of whomever is the cause du jour and is celebrated by all the beautiful people for what he has "done" (what has he actually DONE, for goodness sake?). Sinise doesn't just jet over and take pictures, he practices what he preaches. To steal an analogy from Jesus, Sinise plants seeds in fertile ground rather than Bono's sowing of the rocky soil.

Anyway, a lot of ranting from me about irritating celebrity spokespersons. I think we put far too much emphasis on them, and I'm tremendously disappointed that conservatives are falling into this trap as well. Which is kind of off topic, but also on topic.

Which is how my mind works usually, anyway.

Posted by: airforcewife at June 17, 2009 09:27 AM

That was kind of what I was saying when I wrote in my last post that we put her up on a pedestal and (in so doing) put ourselves in the position where we had to defend everything she's done, as if it somehow undercuts our side of the gay marriage debate if it turns out not everyone who thinks as we do is 100% perfect in every respect.

That's the argument the Left uses all the time -- "See? That person did x wrong. Therefore it proves that every single opinion they have is invalid."

Except it doesn't. Prove anything of the kind.

Like you, I don't understand the emotional investment in figureheads. We seem to want to invest them with all sorts of qualities on no evidence except that they happen to agree with us, and then when they screw up (as people in the spotlight often do) we confuse defending their actions with defending the larger point.

My point continues to be that her actions say NOTHING about the arguments for or against gay marriage. If Perez Hilton is a egotistical, rude jerk that doesn't make the arguments FOR gay marriage wrong.

And if Carrie Prejean breached her contracts, that doesn't make the arguments AGAINST gay marriage wrong either.

I think people are conflating a whole lot of unrelated issues like whether they agree with the contract (Who cares? You didn't sign it - she did.), whether they think it's "wrong" or unChristian to pose in scanty attire (Again, beside the point. The point is that she wasn't honest when asked a straightforward question and then when she got caught, tried to pretend the issue was that she hadn't *authorized the release* of the photos. That wasn't what she was asked though, and arguing that you didn't think they'd come out when what you were asked is whether they EXISTED is misleading), whether people were "mean" to her (they were, but then we don't have laws against meanness and meanness is not a defense to a breach of contract lawsuit), whether the pageant evenly applied their own rules (again, the police don't ticket everyone who speeds either but that doesn't invalidate speed limits. Laws exist to give society the OPTION of prosecuting. Contracts exist to give both parties the OPTION of obtaining redress for nonperformance or cancelling the contract. But they may decide it's not worth it to do either of these things) or whether Special Olympics is a worthy cause (beside the point - all she had to do is honor her promise to clear outside appearances with the pageant).

These are separate issues unrelated to the question of whether the pageant considered the value she was providing them as sufficient to continue employing her even though she had already breached the contract.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 09:50 AM

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful...

Posted by camojack at June 17, 2009 12:30 AM"

*snort*

Prejean? Is that like a prewash for jeans?

*the perpetually out of touch hun heads outside to weed the vegetable garden
-preweed*

Posted by: bt-the resident-curmudgeon_hun at June 17, 2009 09:58 AM

Oh, I absolutely agree that she was too lazy to read the email fully. The answer *was* in there. I also agree that such laziness is extrememly frustrating. That is the point of an RTFM: It is a purposeful slap in the face. By no means am I saying that she didn't deserve it, I think she did. (And points to Mr. Lewis for observing 'La Politesse' and not flat out laughing at her like she did to him. -1 to Ms. Prejean.)

But just as she appeared to be spoiling for a fight, I think he was as well. Like you and others have said, this is a relationship that had gone toxic long before this email string. But I believe part of management's job* is to work towards trying to improve their employee's attitudes if at all possible. Sometimes it's not, and maybe that point had already been reached. But if it hadn't, I'm just saying "RTFM" isn't a very good management strategy (even if they really, really, really deserve** it).


*and coming from a management perspective, that may color my take. I read that line and thought: "Satisfying, but probably not the smartest thing to say".

**Stress: The condition caused when the mind overrides the body's desire to choke the living $h17 out of someone who deserves it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2009 10:19 AM

I completely agree, Yu-Ain. I also thought at the time, that if I'd been Lewis I would have wanted to keep an audit trail of their official communications (one reason not to just pick up the phone, though he certainly could have done that AND sent her an email saying exactly the same thing to CHA).

And you're right about management being held to a higher standard. I can't fault your logic there.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 10:26 AM

though he certainly could have [called] AND sent her an email

Exactly, I would have sent a two word reply of "Publicity opportunity" to the "What is this for?" response and then picked up the phone.

That two word reply does several things for me as a boss.
1) It answers the question asked
2) It doesn't waste my time, while...
3) Conveying the message (in an audit trail, no less) that "This ain't complicated" but does so without being openly insulting.

Then picking up the phone does something else for me: It cuts off any reply in the audit trail so that I've gotten the last word. :-)

I've prevented a blow-up and come out ahead in the political game. Win-Win for me.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2009 11:36 AM

Sadly, I'm beginning to believe that if Carrie Prejean robbed a bank in broad daylight and a security camera caught her dead on, some conservatives would still claim she was being "victimized" because of her opposition to gay marriage.

Only if she was wearing a bikini, PCFMPs, and a sash saying, "I'm with Obama on DOMA".

Of course people who agree with her on same-sex marriage shouldn't be defending her breach of contract shenanigans. This is really just more of that "letting them define the terms" problem. The other side says, well, she lied about her semi-nude photos and she violated her contract THUS she's wrong about same-sex marriage. Everybody (well, everybody except Cassandra) reacts like one of Pavlov's dogs and spends zillions of hours and gazillions of little electrons trying to show that she didn't *really* lie and she didn't *really* violate THUS she isn't *really* wrong about same-sex marriage.

There is no valid causal chain here. If lying and breaking promises meant any belief a person held was wrong, there are darn few among us who could ever claim to possess a single valid belief. It would be a lot simpler and lot less exhausting to just say, yeah, she lied and yeah, she violated but that doesn't mean she's wrong about same-sex marriage.

Maybe we need little slogans, like mantras. "Don't tell me why she's wrong; tell me why the idea is wrong." "An idea isn't responsible for the people who hold it." That kind of thing.

As for the facts of the case - or at least the emails. On the one hand, to me the email chain shows pretty clearly that Prejean is unworkable with. If I had to deal with her, I'd fire her. On the other hand, it's certainly possible that Lewis and others in the pageant are experts at driving people crazy while looking like they're being nice guys and Prejean has simply reached the end of her rope. But if so that just means the people in the pageant who wanted to drive her out won and she lost because she couldn't control her temper, do what she was supposed to for 12 months, and make them look like fools. (I think that's 3 hands now.)

On the fourth hand, man, is she young. She's supposed to be, what, 21? She sounds about 15 in those emails. Her age (real or emotional) certainly doesn't excuse her failing to live up to her obligations but it does make it possible to understand why she was so happy (and stupid) about those people at NOM - they're nice to her, they're her *friends*; why she felt she could blow off those icky people at Miss California - they hurt her feelings, they don't *like* her; and why she thinks her 15 minutes of fame are enough to build a career on.

For crying out loud, it sounds like Lewis was offering her a chance (however slim) to have her own show on the Style Network. I can understand that she now feels she has something important to say rather than being just another pretty face but I suspect there's more money in being a Style star than a spokewoman for worthy causes - and there's nothing that says you can't do both.

Posted by: Elise at June 17, 2009 01:35 PM

Working hypothesis here:

The defense of Prejean is not meaningfully different than those who support their sports teams even when they suck? She's simply the home team?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2009 02:20 PM

Read the e-mails people. They fired her for helping the special olympics. The Ms. California folks hate crippled people.

Love gays.

Hate crips.

Posted by: TMZ Lover at June 17, 2009 02:24 PM

/smack!

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 02:26 PM

The defense of Prejean is not meaningfully different than those who support their sports teams even when they suck? She's simply the home team?

:D

I'd understand it better if the home team defenders would admit that there might possibly be some relationship between the way their team played the game and their win-loss record vs. saying the home team only lost b/c the other team cheated and they're mean :p

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 02:29 PM

I don't know what you're talking about. My team would have won if they didn't have to beat both the other team and the umpires!

Posted by: Yu-Ar Gonnano how much the other team paid the umpires, cause I'm gonna tell you at June 17, 2009 02:48 PM

I mean blaming the umpires and calling the other team cheaters is a time=honoerd tradition in sports.

And were conservatives, so we *like* time honored traditions, right?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2009 02:51 PM

Good Lord, look at those typos. But they're time-honored traditions on the internets too, so it's OK.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2009 02:53 PM

*snort*

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2009 03:11 PM

ummmm...speaking as a parent who has a child involved in Special Olympics, I would not want Ms. Prejean to speak for me. I want people of integrity and honor to do so.

Let me explain: She can do the SO after her stint as Miss California. I understand prior committments and contracts; she has a duty to them first before she has a duty to herself or others.

As nice as it would be, I would think SO would be embarrassed based on the fact that if she is breaking faith with her signed contract, is she going to suddenly bucket out on those kids?

I am a Mama Bear. She doesn't want me to slap some sense into her.

Posted by: Cricket at June 17, 2009 05:40 PM

"I am a Mama Bear."

Can you get me an autograph from Knut the Polar Bear?

Posted by: Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third--but you can call me Dot at June 17, 2009 06:28 PM

Grizzly, not Polar. However, I will discuss your need with my fellow Mama Bears and see what we can do.

heh.

Posted by: Cricket at June 17, 2009 07:29 PM

Knut is Bi-Polar.

Posted by: Bad, Mean Cricket at June 17, 2009 07:30 PM

Off Topic, but I love the shirt in this blog post. Not advocating...just admiring....

http://peacemoonbeam.typepad.com/scooters_report/

Posted by: kbob in Katy at June 17, 2009 09:45 PM

Just a couple of things before I just "agree with what's already been said":

1) RTFM. Sorry, she deserved it. Should it have been handled better? I'm not so sure it should have. Clearly this isn't the first hostile email exchange these two had. She was looking for a fight about it, and he just simply said, "I already answered this in that email, you clearly didn't read it. Try again."

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to tell customers to RTFM when they ask me the same easily answered question seven times in a row. I DID actually quote page number to one particularly dense person, but that was AFTER she told me she didn't have TIME to read the manual she had been sent. So I read it to her, hung up, and wrote a very polite email to her boss documenting the exchange. She was gone within a week.

2) She was wrong about X so everything she talks about is wrong. This is a classic logical fallacy, why is it STILL so popular? I don't care if it's Carrie Prejean or President Obama. You judge each action on its own, and make up your mind on a case by case basis. For example, President Obama actually decided that troops in Iraq cannot simply be immediately withdrawn. Good. He determined that military tribunals (rather than US courts) were the proper venue for most of the Gitmo detainees. Good. He determined that his justice department needed to fight habeas requests for detainees in Afghanistan. Good. He also decided that the government needs to control the auto industry. Bad. His being wrong (in my opinion) on the last does NOT invalidate his being right on the previous three, nor vice versa. How is this hard for folks to understand?

3) Other than that, I agree with everything said previous. :)

Posted by: MikeD at June 18, 2009 10:01 AM


" . . . conservative values fly right out the window when a pretty woman in a bikini pays lip service to them . . . ."

That's a vicious canard. We don't limit our window value-flying to bikinis.

.

Posted by: Joe Doakes at June 18, 2009 10:21 AM

Well Mike, I never said she didn't deserve it. :-) Just that it's one of the jobs of management to deal with the stress of *not* choking someone who so clearly *does* deserve it.

As management we are expected to de-escalate conflicts and resolve them in a constructive manner if at all possible. One shouldn't lower themselves in the mud and wrestle with a pig. It gets you dirty and the pig might like it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 18, 2009 10:23 AM

I know the Knavery will pummel me with clue bats re: the government takeover of GM. I am against it as well, but when GM begged for taxpayer dollars to bail them out their tight spot, the government isn't supposed to have a say until the debt is paid off? Just exposin' the rhetoric is all.

Posted by: Cricket at June 19, 2009 12:34 AM

The Prejean legal team is disputing the charges. Here is a link to a copy of the letter her attorney is sending to the Mrs. USA Pageant. I'm not sure what you have against this woman, but you appear to only want to look at one side of the story and not acknowledge that there is the slightest possibility that there might be something hinky going on here.

Posted by: ucfengr at June 19, 2009 08:29 AM

Yes, I've read that.

Her attorney is the same guy who (just a few days ago) released a statement over at Big Hollywood citing appearing for Special Olympics as "proof" that Ms. Prejean was meeting her contractual duties.

Interesting argument, since that is one of the outside (i.e., not something Miss USA asked her to do) appearances she coordinated ON HER OWN and then informed the pageant of only afterwards. Yet another breach of her contractual agreement not to appear for anyone else unless she got their approval first :p

But since you mention it, how does my pointing out that:

1. She absolutely DID (despite her statements to the contrary) breach her contract with Miss USA before Trump gave her a second chance?

2. Another company claims they had exactly the same problems with her that Miss USA cites.

... translate to "refusing to admit there may be something hinky going on here"?

The point I was trying to make (which you seem determined to ignore) is that there is already objective evidence that she hasn't dealt squarely with MissUSA.

That doesn't mean MissUSA has proved that she didn't show up 30 times, now does it?

Treating a lawyers press releases as evidence doesn't make a whole lot of sense. An attorney is paid to present his client's case in the best possible light, not to be fair.

I agree that if the pageant can't present any evidence that she failed to show up for commitments, it will look like they were being unreasonable. But since her own emails have her openly refusing to do what she promised to do in her contract (i.e., clear any outside appearances with the pageant first), the argument that somehow you just *know* - without any real evidence for concluding this - that the pageant had no reason for firing her is not only one sided, but logically and factually suspect.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 19, 2009 09:02 AM

...but when GM begged for taxpayer dollars to bail them out their tight spot, the government isn't supposed to have a say until the debt is paid off?

The gummint can set conditions prior to funding the bailout, but handing operational control of GM to the UAW as a political payback kinda stretches the definition of "having a say" in how the company is run.

Posted by: BillT at June 19, 2009 10:47 AM

Treating a lawyers press releases as evidence doesn't make a whole lot of sense. An attorney is paid to present his client's case in the best possible light, not to be fair.

It makes as much sense as treating Miss USA press releases as evidence. Given the amount of time you've spent on this, and your one sided portrayal of the story, it seems that you have something against Miss Prejean. I just wonder what it is.

Posted by: ucfengr at June 19, 2009 11:22 AM

Given the amount of time you've spent on this, and your one sided portrayal of the story, it seems that you have something against Miss Prejean. I just wonder what it is.

Well, for one, it shows me you've done a poor job reading what Cass has said. In fact, you're proving her point. She simply pointing out that because Ms. Prejean has publically defended a conservative viewpoint, conservatives have taken it upon themselves to defend her every action. Including those which are NOT conservative (i.e. violating or at the very least FLOUTING contract law).

And the point is, we don't have to. We can appreciate her defense of conservative values and STILL chastise her for failing to live up to the others. Just as her being right on one topic does not automatically mean she's right on everything, her being WRONG on something doesn't invalidate her defense of conservative values.

Cass is pointing out that conflating the two weakens the conservative position rather that strengthening it. Go back, read her posts again, and think for yourself "why DO I feel obligated to defend her at all, isn't she an adult capable of self-defense?"

Posted by: MikeD at June 19, 2009 12:19 PM

It makes as much sense as treating Miss USA press releases as evidence.

Except that I haven't done that :p

As for my having something "against" Ms. Prejean, that would seem to be yet another instance where you're drawing a conclusion based on no evidence.

Two posts on a story that's been in the news as much as this one has is not a lot of time/energy. Also, the only reason this post was written at all (if you'd bothered to read the first sentence of this post, you'd know I was done with the topic after the last post) was that another blogger sent me the link to his post. Generally the purpose of doing that is either to invite commentary or link to their post.

I provided both :p

As for the rest, what Mike said.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 19, 2009 12:34 PM

She's simply the home team?

That's not how all people roll.

And if Carrie Prejean breached her contracts, that doesn't make the arguments AGAINST gay marriage wrong either.

If Cindy McCain owns more than one mansion, this does indeed invalidate other ancillary views with respect to McCain's economic platforms.

It does indeed make the arguments of for or against gay marriage dependent.

In fantasy land, yes, wishes can be fishes depending on people's preferences. But in the real world, it is how it is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 20, 2009 08:50 PM

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