Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miss California Carrie Prejean Keeps Crown; Perez Hilton: Loser


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Today, Donald Trump of the Trump Corporation and the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant system (which includes Miss California) briskly walked into a press conference held in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City and announced that Miss California, Carrie Prejean was keeping her crown. Prejean came under fire by uber blogger Perez Hilton for answering his question of her stand on Gay Marriage when she responded - after making it clear she didn't mean to offend anyone - that marriage is between a man and a woman.

That statement sparked Hilton to use his blog and videos to attack Prejean, calling her some really bad names. Here's the video that started it all (warning, language):

Other bloggers took up his voice and within two days after the comment the Internet was abuzz with abusive posts about the beauty queen. Then Prejean was sought out by, and did not refuse to work with, conservative groups working against the passage of Gay Marriage. Then and suddenly file after photo file of a topless Prejean was leaked to the Internet on TheDirty.com and a new charge, that of violation of her contract where she stated she never posed nude, took center stage. Finally, the directors of the Miss California pageant held a firebrand news conference Monday denoucing Prejean, but forgetting that the entire organization was owned by the one person who had final say: Donald Trump.

Carrie Prejean in her own words, in full:

As "trite" as this entire affair may be to some, it's vitally important in the course of American Culture. Why? Because the issue ignited anti-Gay Marriage activists simply due to the way Prejean was treated by activists, led by Perez Hilton. His behavior - amplified by the Internet - may have set back the progress of change in state laws to allow Gay Marriage by two election periods.

At this point, the song "Money changes everything" comes to my mind, but back to the subject. Trump said the photos were acceptable. Moreover, Trump got the Miss California directors Kevin Smith and Shanna Moakler to come to an agreement with Prejean, who agreed to carry out her duties.

I just hope that Shanna Moakler and Kevin Smith will restore Prejean's photo to the Miss California website. She's no where to be seen as of this writing, anywhere on the site. I guess they expected Trump to remove Prejean. Didn't happen.

For heteros who back Gay Marriage like myself, this episode was a watershed moment in sparking a conversation we as a country need to have. For me, this matter is one of a civil right for a person to marry and man or a woman at any point in their lives. The uncharted conversation is that some women and men move in and out of Gay or Lesbian status and I've been personally impacted by this. As I've stated before, I've had girlfriends who at first said they were Lesbian then slept with me, then married a man. So what, is my response. But it's not the central conversation; it should be.

I think the problem is in order to make the case for "equal rights" Gay activists long ago made the case that being Gay was a genetic presdispostion then compared it to being "of color", which set off the political problems we see today. The fact is people chose to behave a certain way based on who they fall in love with regardless of the sex of the person. Some of us, like myself and Prejean, are used to male-female parings, but where we differ is I don't believe everyone has to live as I do. That written, the real question is "Does a person have the right to marry whom they want to male or female?"

I think the answer's "yes" but Perez Hilton's keeping us from getting to "yes" in the future. Today, he called Prejean "ignorant" and "a stupid woman" on HLN, upsetting the hosts of the show. (And even many of the comments on his own blog are against him.)

His childish behavior is "his thing" as Trump said today. All of us in the media commentary business have "our thing" and regardless of how you feel about it, it draws eyeballs, especially for Hilton. So he's empowered but this time he made a mistake he will not personally feel but will observe politically as time marches on. My prayer for the future is that activists on both sides don't take up arms and attack the other person. I hope Hilton leads the charge in calming the waters, but I doubt it.

TV Show "The Blog Report" Features Oakland's Young Politicos


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Last weekend's installment of "The Blog Report with Zennie62" features the 16th District Delegate Election that was held in Alameda in January. The show segment, which is shown here, covers the election process and why its important to the political future of the Democratic Party in the Bay Area.

But the real stars of the show are Oakland's young political activists who are bringing a new energy to the scene here. East Bay Young Democrats President Frieda Edgette, union leader Dan Rush, and Peralta Community College Trustee Abel Guillen are just some of the faces interviewed in the second Episode of "The Blog Report."

Personally, I think Frieda Edgette's the one to watch. The leader of the East Bay Young Dems and "MixitUp East Bay" has a unique combination of energy, intelligence, empathy and direction to rise to the level of congressional representative or senator, and I'm not writing anything here I've not personally told her. In fact, once Frieda learns to ignore the voices that say either directly or indirectly "she can't", she will.

I don't make that statement lightly. The Oakland / East Bay Area political establishment is not known for growing and mentoring future leaders; that happens by the next generation of voters elevating its own officials for the future. In Edgette's case she and others in her organization and many who were former Obama volunteers but not in the East Bay Young Dems have formed new groups of friends and other informal alliances that go out and do everything from raise money for causes to gain votes for delegate candidates like Edgette and Rush; both won the January election.

Take one look at the slate cards made by the organizations aligned with Senator Don Perata last year and one would be hard pressed to find a young political star in the group. Nothing against Senator Perata but it's a wake up call to him that there's a powerful anti-establishment wind blowing and people like Frieda are being carried by it. Perata should get on the right side of it.