Thursday, May 07, 2009

CORRECTION regarding Miss California USA Pageant Co-Producer Shanna Moakler

CORRECTION: In a comment in response to an anonymous reader of my blog post of April 22, 2009, I erroneously wrote that Shanna Moakler, one of the "producers" of the Miss California USA pageant, is a former Miss California USA winner. She is not, and I got several aspects of her history dead wrong.

Here is a part of a short (and enthusiastic!) bio of Moakler as listed on the Miss California USA website:

She started off winning the Miss Rhode Island Teen USA and finished 7th at the Miss TEEN USA! she then went on to win titles as Miss Teen All American and Miss New York USA to eventually win the Miss USA crown in 1995!

However you feel about the pageant industry, it's no small feat to go from Miss Teen Rhode Island to win the whole shebang.

I've decided it was also unfair for me to refer to Moakler as a "b-movie actress." True, she has been in low-budget flops such as Love Stinks, Love Sucks, and Pauly Shore Is Dead, but she also has had roles in hit movies such as The Wedding Singer (the first Adam Sandler movie I thoroughly enjoyed) and Big Momma's House 2 (I'm not a Martin Lawrence guy). In addition, it's inaccurate and incomplete not to refer to her regular role on the popular syndicated cop show Pacific Blue ("high concept": Baywatch meets CHiPs, except it's on bicycles) and her many guest stints on popular TV shows like Friends and Entourage, her work as an Entertainment Tonight reporter, and her reality TV exposure, being the one of the protagonists of the MTV series Meet the Barkers with her former husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.  

Here's what's NOT listed on her bio on the Miss CA USA page: She was Playboy's Playmate of the Month for December 2001. Needless to say, it's quite a contradiction to have as a producer someone who has done what is supposedly verboten for the young adult women entrants to do in light of the new details about Carrie Prejean's pre-pageant modeling career.

Be that as it may, on her official MySpace page, Moakler angrily claims that she is NOT the person who leaked word that the Miss California USA organization was the benefactor of Prejean's breast implants. Her fellow Miss USA judge Alicia Jacobs made a cryptic reference to Prejean being helped by openly gay co-producer Keith Lewis in her own blog thusly:

"Her very own state pageant director, KEITH LEWIS is an openly gay man who has been a very generous benefactor of many ways. (2 ways in particular....if you get my drift??)"

Jacobs first removed those sentences from the post, and later deleted the entire thing, citing alleged death threats. My repost of the original version of Jacobs' blog is here, and my skepticism regarding her reasons for deleting the blog in its entirety is here. For her part, Moakler wrote in her MySpace blog that when she was asked about any enhancement surgery for Prejean in an interview, she chose not to deny the truth, but added that...

"I personally believe Ms. Prejean's Breasts are her own business, It was a option that she vied for and it was HER choice, regulations about plastic surgery in pageants have not been slated as yet, but I believe what ever choices a woman makes personally to feel better about herself are those of her own, for me Confidence is real beauty and if breast augmentation helps with that. then so be it."

"I will NOT talk about this again. I also don't believe that this has ANYTHING to do with the issues that have been discussed and hope it ends from here on out."

Keith Lewis has gone on record as being disappointed in Prejean's response to Mario "Perez Hilton" Lavandeira's loaded question regarding gay marriage, but expressed his support for her as the reigning Miss California USA. Moakler has expressed her support of Prejean as well. This raises the question, who is the source of the implant details, and who provided the media with a .pdf file of her signed application stating she had not allowed herself to be photographed semi-nude? Only someone who is an insider in the Miss Universe organizations (either Miss California USA, Miss USA, or Miss Universe) could possibly have access to the document. Somebody is stabbing her in the back and not leaving bloody fingerprints behind.

With the additional information I have found, I believe there is insufficient evidence to presume Ms. Moakler was among those responsible for the leaks. I regret the factual errors in my hasty reaction, and the unfair characterization of her performing career.

I don't blog as often as I would like to because I try to supply my readers (as relatively few as they may be) with all the facts that form my opinions. That takes time I rarely have. I fell short of that goal this last time because I wanted to get my thoughts out too quickly. I thought better of a truly acid-tongued blog response to the leaking of the Prejean "sideboob" photo in response to spammers who posted dozens of links to it on MY place on the internet (which I have deleted). I decided to try to take the higher road, and stay out of the sewers where Perez Hilton does his work. You know what they say about getting into a pissing contest with a skunk.

This will not be my last word on this controversy, because it is not as trivial as it seems.