Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Culture Wars and False Premises

Again, I really don't care about the Miss America pageant. I think the whole thing is just stupid. I have never actually watched a pageant, at least not for more than 5 minutes. Yet this Prejean thing just won't go away.

Now John Tantillo believes Trump should have "fired" Miss California. He actually makes a good case. His major argument basically says that Prejean violated the rules of being Miss California. As a marketer, Tantillo argues in his editorial on the FoxNews website,
The best brands follow their own internal rules and demand that those involved with them also follow those rules. When Vanessa Williams was caught out with photographs as Miss America, she resigned. No question about it. She hadn’t followed the rules; she had to go. This raised the prestige of the Miss America brand and in the long run even propelled Vanessa Williams to an outstanding career few, if any, Miss America’s have ever enjoyed.

Sticking to the rules and the resulting prestige of the brand is one of the reasons the Miss America organization was so dominant for so many years. It had standards and everybody knew it — even the people who made fun of it as only a beauty contest.

So he is right. Prejean violated the rules. She should go. But he also says at the beginning of his article why Trump was wrong for keeping Prejean.
He simply did not make the tough decision he needed to for the sake of the Miss USA brand and that alone will relegate the organization to second-rate status.


Because Miss Prejean is still representing Miss Prejean not California and she is certainly not representing the organization that chose her. The problem goes far beyond the photograph question.

So if the issue goes far beyond the photograph, what is the real issue?
As far as I can tell, Donald Trump didn’t demand that Ms. Prejean stop using the Miss California platform to promote herself and her agenda, nor did she make any promises to stop doing this. In fact, according to one news article, the Miss California organization is using the runner-up to make appearances that Miss Prejean is contractually obligated to make as the winner of the crown.
Again, Tantillo may be right. Prejean may not be representing California properly. Yet who forced this issue? Tantillo also says,
A better approach for the Miss USA organization would have been to have strongly “encouraged” Miss Prejean to resign –- along the lines of her ultimately announcing something like: “the media attention surrounding me has made it impossible for me to carry out my duties as Miss California.”
Too much media? So let me get this straight. The judges of the contest ask a question directly and purposefully attempting to inflame the culture wars is Prejean's fault?

Tantillo is right that the issue is not about racy pictures from years ago. The issue is the culture wars entering a pageant contest via a wicked homosexual activist. It has been my observation that the political right quite often is the reactionary side. Prejean did not pick this stupid fight. The radical Left did. Prejean was forced by the very organization that claims to be neutral to take a side. She did, and now she is being punished for it.

Again, I really don't care about Carrie Prejean and whether or not she is stripped of her crown as Miss California. The issues that bring this about point to a much deeper problem. Instead of writing about Prejean, Tantillo should have some testosterone injected in himself and be "speaking about real marketing." He cares "about marketing and what makes brands -– be they people, organizations, political parties or companies— work or not work in both the short and long-term."

Tantillo should be complaining about how Trump should have gone after a radical Left-wing judge who nearly destroyed his product. Tantillo missed the obvious problem (a homosexual activist) and instead goes after and beats up the girl. What a wimp.

Tantillo is inconsistent in his own argument. Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. But then again, that's what happens when you grant the other side false premises and bogus presuppositions.

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