Last night, Miss California Carrie Prejean called into Fox News’ On the Record, hosted by Greta Van Susteren, to talk about her latest venture. You may have heard the news yesterday that Prejean is appearing in an ad for the National Organization for Marriage, the same group that created the much-mocked "Gathering Storm" spot earlier in April. Prejean’s claim to fame is her Q&A session with blogger Perez Hilton during the Miss USA pageant. Hilton asked her whether states should legalize gay marriage, and Prejean responded in the negative, saying she herself believes in "opposite marriage." As my colleague Jennifer Armstrong pointed out, it was a brief soaring moment of journalistic clarity for Hilton. (Whereupon he immediately crashed back to earth by calling Prejean a "dumb b—-" on his video blog. Was the air too thin up on the high road, Perez?)
Prejean became an instant martyr to the anti-gay-marriage cause, claiming that she lost the Miss USA crown because of her views. Now, I’m all for freedom of speech (even for pageant contestants) and Miss Prejean should be able to announce any opinion on marriage, gay or "opposite," that she wants. But after rereading the transcript of Prejean’s interview with Van Susteren again, I have to say: If you’re going to make her into an anti-gay-marriage Joan of Arc, shouldn’t she be better informed? When asked about her thoughts on civil unions or gay adoption or general rights for gay couples, it was obvious Prejean didn’t have any, even saying at one point "I will get back to you on that one." The most she could offer beyond the "promoting marriage" boilerplate was "I think that people that are homosexual should have some rights, you know, hospital rights, and things like that." (Gee, thanks.)
Seriously, is this the best spokesperson NOM could come up with? Someone who gained notoriety from a beauty pageant that goes on television and maligns the rights of an entire group of people while making it clear she hasn’t thought at all about what she’s saying? Or is she just milking the controversy for all the airtime it’s worth, while she carries on with her Miss California "duties"? Seriously, when will her moment in the sun be done? And, more importantly, when will someone take her NOM ad and set it to "It’s Raining Men"?