Beauty-pageant interviews tend to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Usually, answers become famous by being the subject of mockery for a flubbed phrase or a nonsensical answer (see recent response by Miss South Carolina in 2007 and Miss Utah in 2013).
But a couple contestants in Sunday’s Miss USA pageant drew attention for coherent answers on some relatively touchy issues. The problem was that Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez and Miss Louisiana Brittany Guidry’s views on a couple issues of the day didn’t sit well with liberal commentators.
I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation, and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out into the public. But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black-belt, I learned from a young age you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself, and I think that is something we should start to implement for a lot of women.
I get that the college sexual assault problem can’t be solved in 30 secs but still icky to pretend like self defense is the answer. #MissUSA— Elisa Benson (@elisabenson) June 9, 2014
Not happy she won.. RT @taramurtha Miss Nevada says teaching women self defense is the best way to reduce sexual assault on college campuses— Mandy Velez (@mandy_velez) June 9, 2014
Let’s hope Nevada uses her media tour to reiterate that teaching girls self defense is NOT the best way to protect against assault #MissUSA— Mandy Velez (@mandy_velez) June 9, 2014
Other Twitter users took to social media to voice their opposition to her answer:
Immediately after, Miss Louisiana Brittany Guidry took the stage and was given a question about the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange. She was asked whether the U.S. government made the correct decision in swapping him for five high-level Taliban leaders.
“I’m glad that we got our guy back, however I do not feel it is right we subject ourselves to the effects of terrorism,” she said, drawing cheers from the audience. “I do agree with our guy being home,” she said.
It’s been widely argued that the prisoners handed over to free Bergdahl, who many fellow soldiers have alleged deserted his unit, were too high a price to pay. The experts sharing her view include House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, former Obama defense secretary Leon Panetta, and U.S. senator John McCain. But plenty took jabs at Guidry’s supposedly unwise response anyway, with Democratic strategist and former Obama-campaign staffer Greg Pinelo joining in the criticism:
Been on pins and needles waiting for her analysis RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: Miss Louisiana Slams Obama Administration For Bergdahl Swap— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) June 9, 2014
Despite the liberal opprobrium for their answers, the two controversial queens did quite well for themselves: Sanchez took home the crown, and Guidry finished as the third runner-up in the contest.
— Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online.