Saturday, July 6, 2013

Totally Meaningless News

Among the least-important news stories I have read recently is this one about Donald Trump and his Miss USA Pageant winning a lawsuit against a contestant who said it was fixed:
... pageant contestant Sheena Monnin has been ordered by a judge to pay Donald Trump and his Miss USA pageant $5 million in a defamation lawsuit after she claimed the contest was fixed. 
After the 2012 Miss USA pageant the former Miss Pennsylvania accused the contest of being rigged. She claimed on Facebook and the “Today” show that another contestant saw a written list of five finalists backstage before winners were officially announced onstage, according to the New York Law Journal. 
Monnin quit the contest and wrote on her Facebook page that the pageant was “fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy.”
Trump fired back, calling her accusations “false and reckless,”the New York Post reported. “She was angry that she lost,” he added. 
Trump sued over the “false charge,” and the case went to an arbitrator, who ruled that Monnin had defamed the pageant, ordering her to pay $5 million. The beauty queen sought to have the judgment overturned. The judge ruled against her.
She's right, of course, about the 'trashy' part, but presumably she knew that when she entered the contest. As for it being fixed -- shrug -- who knows? Or cares? It's entertainment, and it wouldn't shock me if the organizers structured an outcome that they thought would most please their audience and advertisers. Hey, it's business. It's not like who wins this sort of thing actually matters.

Which brings up the final point (I'm wasting an awful lot of time on something so insignificant, and so are you if you're reading this), in order to collect damages for defamation, don't you have to prove that you have a reputation that was damaged? Does the Miss USA Pageant have that much of a reputation, that this kind of allegation did it $5mil worth of damage?

Addendum: Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump got into the beauty pageant business?

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