Prejean Needs No Enemies with Friends Like NBC

Miss California Carrie Prejean appeared on NBC's April 30 “Today” to discuss her role in the new ad against same-sex marriage produced by the National Organization for Marriage.

Co-host Matt Lauer told Miss California Carrie Prejean, “We're happy to give you the platform” to talk about her beliefs, but based on some of his questions, and the interview's set-up, it appeared NBC wanted her on the program to simply hype the idea that her belief in traditional marriage is “controversial.”

Lauer's colleague, Chris Jansing, referred to Prejean as a “conservative sensation” before she quickly re-visited and downplayed the smears leveled at Prejean in an introductory segment.

Jansing characterized the profane rant by celebrity blogger/Miss USA judge/gay rights activist Perez Hilton's as “mocking,” and played a clip in which Hilton referred to Prejean as “a dumb b----.” She labeled British politician Alan Duncan's disgusting comment about murdering Prejean a “joke that got the attention of Scotland Yard” and referred to it as “a transcontinental controversy.” Jansing also veered into tabloid territory by reporting, “Former Miss USA Shana Moakler…quickly shot a print ad against a ban on same-sex marriage then told 'Access Hollywood' that Prejean enhanced the body God gave her with breast implants paid for by the Miss California pageant.”

As for Lauer's interview with Prejean, he did ask her why she decided to help NOM, but then confronted her with a statement released by the director of the Miss California USA Pageant:

In the entire history of Miss USA, no reigning title holder has so readily committed her face and voice to a more divisive or polarizing issue. We're deeply saddened Carrie Prejean has forgotten her platform of the Special Olympics, her commitment to all Californians and solidified her legacy as one that goes beyond the rights to voice her beliefs and instead reveals her opportunistic agenda.

Lauer later asked, “Well, but because this is such a polarizing issue, Carrie, such an explosive issue, did you ever give consideration to perhaps holding your fire on this issue until your reign as Miss California at least ends, and then going forward and taking part in campaigns like the one you're taking part in today?”

Again, at no point did Lauer or Jansing mention the tidbit that Prejean represents the majority view of Californians with regard to same-sex marriage. California citizens voted in favor of defining marriage as between one man and one woman just last November.

Lauer, and the heads of the Miss California pageant, also apparently forgot that Prejean didn't so much “go forward” with her views on same-sex marriage as she was thrust into the marriage debate by a gay activist who injected politics into a beauty pageant.

Instead of praising Prejean for standing strong for her convictions, NBC forced her to defend her position once again.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.