Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Standards? What Standards?

So, if you are a candidate for Miss USA, and especially if you win the contest, you don’t need to follow the rules that the pageant sets out for contestants. Pity those poor saps that actually believed the rules meant something, that there were standards associated with vying for the title of Miss USA, and lived the life that every contestant is supposed to live, but that only some of them actually do live.

Donald Trump today removed any semblance of honor from that contest by giving Tara Conner a “second chance” to show that she is, after all, the symbol of American young womanhood idealized in the Miss USA Pageant, after a series of allegations to the contrary. He said in the news conference today that she had agreed to enter a rehab program, which confirms that Miss Conner had indeed indulged in the consumption of alcohol or drugs to the extent that she is hooked. What else she did we may never know. There were a myriad of allegations, many or perhaps most of which are likely false, but some of them were no doubt true. The point is this: The Miss USA contest advertises rules that govern the behavior of its candidates, and no one ought to be held to that standard of behavior more strictly than Miss USA herself. Of all the people associated with this pageant, the person holding the title of Miss USA should exemplify the image the pageant puts forth.

So, Mr. Trump has essentially removed whatever credibility the Miss USA Pageant previously had, and has supported the general laxity in the country for bad behavior by looking the other way when unacceptable behavior occurred.

What a shame.

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