Miss America Pageant Chief: WE Would Have Respected Carrie Prejean for Having an Opinion

Sounds like there’s a catfight dogfight brewing between Miss USA and Miss America.

The chairman of the board of the latter tells us that had embattled Miss USA 2009 runner-up Carrie Prejean been a contestant in his pageant, she would not have been “persecuted.”

CAPTION: “I feel sorry for her because she had an opinion and she tried to express her opinion and she was grilled for it,” Sam (above, with wife Mary) tells us of Carrie.

“I feel sorry for her because she had an opinion and she tried to express her opinion and she was grilled for it,” Sam (above, with HIS beauty queen, wife Mary) tells us of Carrie.

On April 19, during NBC’s live broad- cast of the 58th annual Miss USA ceremony, one of the pageant judges, Perez Hilton, asked Carrie if she believed that every U.S. state should legalize same-sex marriage.

“In my country, in my family, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there,” said Miss California, who was ultimately voted runner-up.

Perez slammed that answer as “the worst in pageant history,” later telling ABC News that it cost Carrie, who turns 22 today, the crown.

Amid the media firestorm the ensured, the former model claimed that Miss California USA officials leaned on her to apologize, after telling her, “You need to not talk about your faith.”

Two weeks after the beauty queen’s gay-nups pan, semi-nude pics of her, taken when she was 17, found their way onto the Internet.  In turn, speculation built that she’d be stripped of her Miss California title.

"It was not a big deal," Donald (left, with Carrie), said of his contestant's topless snaps. (Photo: ABC News)

"It was not a big deal," Donald (left, with Carrie), said of his contestant's controversial topless snaps. (Photo: ABC News)

Yesterday, how- ever, Miss USA owner Donald Trump held a press conference to announce that Carrie will keep her crown.

But he also took a swipe at his com- petition, the 88- year-old Miss America pageant, telling Good Morning America that asking Miss USA contestants tough questions has kept the event relevant – while Miss America has been relegated to cable TV.

“Miss America’s gone-zo, and we’re doing phenomenally,” The Donald told the morning show.

This week on BlogTalkRadio’s Mr. Media, Miss America chief, and former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency, Sam Haskell discusses the Miss USA controversy with host Bob Andelman.

Promises I Made cover“In the Miss America system, we encourage our young women to have an opinion and if a Miss America contestant had had that opinion on national television, none of our judges would have ever come out against her,” he says.

“None of them would have ever gone on a blog and talked about it to bring all this negative attention. They would have respected her as we ask them to for having an opinion,” adds Sam, whose wife, Mary Donnelly Haskell, is a form- er Miss Mississippi, and whose new memoir is titled Promises I Made My Mother.

“The only way a Miss America contestant can lose points is if she has no opinion. We want them to have opinions. We want them to be who they are. And they will not be persecuted.”

To hear Sam’s full interview, click here.

10 thoughts on “Miss America Pageant Chief: WE Would Have Respected Carrie Prejean for Having an Opinion

  1. Lauren

    I think if she had kept her *opinion* as an *opinion*, that would be one thing. But, she didn’t. She wants to impose her opinion on others’ lives, so that we all should live the way *she* wants. Myself, that’s what did it for me — sorry, but she asked for the firestorm.

    Even if she did just want to express an opinion, it was poorly done, so I can agree with this being a poor answer. An informed and well-expressed opinion is different than a simplistic or fairly illogical opinion. Prejean has said she wants to “protect” marriage — I don’t know how marriage is threatened. Mine is just fine, tyvm, going strong 38 years into this.

  2. Brian

    She was asked her opinion and that’s what she gave. Why does everyone have to be “politically correct” just to please people.

  3. Dr. Blogstein

    I agree, Brian. If she lost points because the judges disagreed with her politics, that’s wrong. But if she lost points because she stammered through her answer and couldn’t clearly convey her thoughts, then I’m okay with that.

    Either way, she’s really just a bimbo in a made for TV contest owned by Donald Trump. In other words, why do we care if she only supports “opposite marriage”??

  4. I Got My Reasons

    Repeat after me: “I’m Against Gay Marriage.” I can teach a three year old to say it. I wouldn’t, because I don’t endorse hate and I can also understand the constitution. The point is it isn’t that hard to talk. Her further mublings about being “punished” (how??) for her “free speech” etc is hysterical. And then there’s the boobjob she had, paid for the contest.

    So, yeah she’s the PERFECT advocate for Maggie Gallagher’s joke group NOM: inarticulate, phony, defensive, and dead wrong (and former nude model). If she releases a porn tape then the cycle of hypocrisy will be complete (and maybe she’ll qualify for a Sean Hannity interview.)

    The people who support gay people’s rights to have, well, the same rights as everyone else, have one wish for Carrie: KEEP TALKING!! USE THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH, GO ON EVERY TALK SHOW YOU CAN!!!

    Hell, I’ll interview her anytime.


    DJ Reasons REMIX of Sean Hannity porn-queen Kim Kardashian interview:



  5. Tracy Thornton

    For me, this is the bottom line: until the pageant rules state a specific position that a candidate must have in order to answer ANY question that would not be deemed offensive, it should not be an issue. I think the big problem is that she gave her opinion and it was UNPOPULAR. If she had said YES, this would not be news. Blow through the smoke screen and take note that this is a political media ploy and unfortunately she is the sacrificial calf. The message: If you speak out against gay marriage you will be ridiculed, stonewalled and be made to look like the world’s biggest idiot.

    My rule of thumb: If you don’t want my opinion….DON’T ASK FOR IT.

  6. T.J.

    NO I don’t think she should have lost her crown. We all know the real reason she lost it and that was because of her opinion, which she was not forcing on anyone. If the guy didn’t like answer then don’t ask the question, it’s as simple as that. Cant believe that jerk asked that question, what does that have to do with her running for Mrs America.

  7. T.J.

    Yes I know right. People got all upset because they didn’t like the answer. She is entitled to her opinion which is what she gave. If that jerk didn’t like the answer then he shouldn’t have asked the question. I can’t stand that guy.


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