Thursday, December 21

Losing Fame In 19 Frames


It seems some people have an easier time forgiving the present than they do the past. Miss Nevada, from my home state, will not get a second chance.

Just days after Donald Trump refused to fire embattled Miss USA Tara Conner, Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, had no problem firing Katie Rees for photos that are five years old.

In a statement to the TV show "EXTRA," an attorney for Rees says, "Katie wants the public to know she was 17 and had a lapse in judgment. This was an isolated incident that occurred more than five years ago when she was a minor."

While I will not publish them here, the full set of photos has been published at TMZ. Despite block-out stars, several are explicit.

Ultimately, the decision to fire Rees raises an eyebrow over the ethical standards Miss USA is attempting to set. While impossible to defend the behavior in these photos, considering Miss Nevada is meant to be role model, one wonders about the arbitrary state of the pageant, given that press time played a role in the decision.

A week earlier, Rees might have been the one receiving a second chance. She seemed more deserving of one, given the photos are years old and she apologized more sincerely than Miss USA.

Yet, as I've often noted as a public relations instructor: it's always better to err on the side of caution in case you might one day be in the public eye. If not, your greatest embarrassment might be featured in the Wall Street Journal, er, on TMZ.

First runner-up Helen Salas will assume the Miss Nevada title and compete at the 2007 Miss USA Pageant on March 23 in Los Angeles. She was a second runner-up at Miss Teen USA.

1 comments:

Rich on 12/22/06, 8:24 AM said...

“I’ve always been a believer in second chances.” — Donald Trump (About Tara Conner, not Katie Rees.)

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