Carrie Prejean Sideboob Jailbait?

An anonymous commenter on an earlier post just directed me to a blog asserting that Carrie Prejean was a precocious 17 when she posed for the now notorious Cheesecake Photo That Shook The World.

Words cannot sufficiently express my indifference to this “controversy.” If Carrie Prejean were stripped of her Miss California USA title tomorrow — and dibs on the “Carrie Prejean stripped” Google-bomb, just in case Pirate’s Cove thinks they can beat me at that game — so what?

She’s young, she’s beautiful, she’s famous and, one way or another, she’ll soon be very rich. Her future’s so bright, she’s got to wear shades. She’ll get a book contract for at least a million dollars, and the publisher will pay a ghost-writer $75,000 to actually write the book. There will be speaking engagements, magazine interviews and TV appearances. She’ll fly around the country first-class, stay in five-star hotels and eat at the finest restaurants, all of it at someone else’s expense.

And good for her, right? OK, so a bunch of grouchy gay militants are calling her ugly names, but they call me ugly names, too, for which I have not the consolation of either beauty or wealth. (You can help remedy the latter by hitting the tip jar, by the way.)

While I congratulate myself on having the keen capitalistic foresight to include the phrase “Carrie Prejean nude” in my first blog post about Miss California USA, and while I glory in the reward of surging traffic, would you mind if I ask a favor?

Could everybody please stop taking this so seriously? There are children dying in Sudan, OK?

So I’m finding it kind of hard to get all worked up over the “Martyrdom of St. Carrie” meme. To wit:

MEDIA ADVISORY, May 6 /Christian Newswire/ — The “tolerant” proponents of homosexual marriage, following the hateful lead of homosexual, Perez Hilton and the likes of anti-Christian bigot Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, have had their fun bashing Miss California, Carrie Prejean. For simply stating the obvious truth that marriage ought to be between a man and a woman, Carrie has been unjustly slandered, insulted and ridiculed.
“By courageously shining the light of God’s truth on the marriage issue, now homosexuals and their allies irrationally seek to defame and destroy Carrie Prejean,” said Dr. Gary Cass, Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. “Perez Hilton, ‘queen of all media,’ and your sycophant Keith Olbermann, take some advice from Jesus Christ; ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.'”

Dr. Cass, I agree with you wholeheartedly, just as I agree wholeheartedly with you about marriage. (See, “Marriage: A Hill to Die On.”) Yet I hope you will excuse me for saying that, as someone who’s been in the news business since 1986, I think Christian conservatives need to think a little harder about their communications strategy.

Yesterday, in my role as a Joe Friday “just the facts ma’am” reporter, I made a few inquiries trying to get to the bottom of this Carrie Prejean topless photo story. Simple questions: Who took these photos? When? Where? Why?

People associated in various capacities with Miss Prejean either (a) did not have the answers to these questions, (b) were not authorized to address these questions, or (c) didn’t think I was sufficiently important to deserve so much as a “no comment” in reply.

Fine. You are paid to know what you’re doing. But the folks who were managing Sen. George Allen’s 2006 re-election campaign thought they knew what they were doing, too. And one of the things they made sure to do was to ignore my repeated attempts to contact the campaign. “For want of a nail . . .”

As I explained in an e-mail to one of Miss Prejean’s associates yesterday, the fundamental principle of crisis communication is that you can tell your own story to a sympathetic source, or you can allow your enemies to tell their story to an unsympathetic source. To be silent is to surrender the battle to your enemy, who will be only too happy to portray your silence as fearful defensiveness.

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer . . . for there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not. . . . Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Acts 27:22-25, KJV

“Be of good cheer . . . Fear not” — we don’t hear that enough from Christian leaders nowadays. If you have faith and hope, you should also have the courage that God can deliver you. And if you have courage, you can laugh at the folly of those who think themselves greater than God.

Trust me, I know how easy it is to doubt, to become frustrated and impatient, to demand deliverance right now, when it suits God’s purpose to let you be chastised a while longer. We are fearful because we are weak, but we should learn to laugh at our weakness just as we learn to laugh at our persecutors.

So I’ll laugh at the irony of being the Christian conservative blog king of “Carrie Prejean nude,” just as I’ll laugh at the idiots who tell me that believing in marriage as ordained by God is a function of a psychological disorder, “homophobia.” Hey, I’m about nine kinds of crazy, but that’s one kind of crazy I’ve never been.

Lighten up, people. Be of good cheer. Fear not. And don’t fight that urge to hit my tip jar. I’ve got a sexy wife and six beautiful kids to feed.

UPDATE: I noticed I was getting traffic from AnnCoulter.com, and you can go over there to see what she quoted. She’s apparently decided to help us celebrate National Offend A Feminist Week.

The first time I was introduced to Miss Coulter, she shook my hand and said, “A most unfortunate name.” And I said, “Ah! Crazy Cousin John!”

She and my buddy Pete Parisi of The Washington Times were in the same class at the National Journalism Center, and I’ve told the story of the night we all got together at Shelly’s Backroom Tavern. Like many another famous conservative — and some of us not so famous — Miss Coulter’s fearsome reputation is a distortion manufactured by liberals who would rather demonize her than to engage her arguments.

At any rate, Carrie Prejean should say a prayer of thanksgiving that Perez Hilton didn’t ask for her opinion about Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If you think it’s hard being denounced as a “homophobe,” you should try being denounced as a “racist.

UPDATE II: Somebody in the comments just linked a site which actually seems to be trying to drag Miss Prejean’s relatives into this mess. This kind of unlimited personal attack, involving people’s family members, is vile beyond words. Nevertheless, I did not delete the comment, because whatever the facts are, the facts are.

These sleaze merchants are really exposing their own viciousness, and you can evaluate that along with whatever truth there may be in their accusations. It’s out there, and I’m not going to pretend it’s not out there. Please pay attention:

To Carrie Prejean, whoever is “representing” Carrie Prejean, and everyone who knows and cares about Carrie Prejean:
You can’t cover-up or stonewall in the New Media environment. You can’t sit around trying to calculate and worrying about, “Gee, what do they actually know? How much is going to come out?” Assume the answers to those questions are “everything” and “all of it.”
Not only have I spent 23 years in the news business, but I am personally acquainted with some of the top P.R. professionals in the country, including the kind of people that a Fortune 500 company calls when they’ve just been sued for a gazillion dollars and they’re guilty as hell.
It is becoming clear from the way this story has spun out of control that whoever is giving Carrie Prejean media/P.R. advice, their advice isn’t working.
Let me make a suggestion to Carrie Prejean’s team: Call the Clare Boothe Luce Public Policy Center and ask to speak to their director of marketing. I guarantee you she can recommend somebody who knows all about crisis media management.

I hope somebody makes that call soon. Trust me.

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