What’s Up With Keith Olbermann’s Three Finger Salute to Carrie Prejean?


3_finger_saluteLast night on Countdown, Keith Olbermann did another in a long series of segments castigating former Miss California Carrie Prejean, but he added a little something extra at the end.

He signs off the segment, in which he discusses the sex tape that features Prejean “by herself,” with a two, then three, fingered “Girl Scout” salute. Where to begin?

Here’s the segment. Keith’s salute is at the very end, and doesn’t appear in MSNBC’s version of the clip:

The gesture is either a fairly obvious attempt at shock humor, or an accidental one. Given MSNBC’s history of thinly-veiled entendre, and the context here, I’d say it’s the former. It’s ironic that he uses a Girl Scout salute as the fig leaf since, unlike the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl scouts don’t discriminate against gay people.

“The fact that she sent a sex video to her boyfriend doesn’t make her a hypocrite, it makes her an awesome girlfriend.”

The joke is likely to delight many of Prejean’s detractors, embittered toward her over her support of California’s Proposition 8. Just as surely, it will offend many others who observe the double standard that Prejean points out in the segment. I find it emblematic of the wrongheadedness of the anti-Prejean narrative.

The Carrie Prejean story began with an honest answer to a divisive question at a beauty pageant. Asked if she believed that same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states, she stated her personal belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but also said that she was happy to live in a country where people can choose “same-sex marriage or opposite marriage.” As Jake Tapper pointed out, this position hews closely to that of President Obama.

She was immediately and viciously attacked by Perez Hilton, the judge who asked the question, using vile misogynist slurs. The rest of the media piled on by mocking her use of the term “opposite marriage,” elevating her to the status of media martyr. It was only then that she became useful to the National Organization for Marriage, and decided to support the dissolution of thousands of legal marriages.

The response to this was to make fun of her breasts, compare her to a Nazi and a dog, leak R-rated pictures of her, and now, delight in the revelation of this sex tape. The point of this is supposed to be to expose her as a hypocrite, which eludes me somewhat. She’s a model, so how do breast implants and sexy pictures make her a hypocrite? The fact that she sent a sex video to her boyfriend doesn’t make her a hypocrite, it makes her an awesome girlfriend. No, the real point was to embarrass and humiliate her. The effect was not to silence, but to amplify her.

What makes Carrie Prejean a hypocrite is her insistence that she wants to protect marriages by supporting laws that destroy them. If the left had focused more on that, and less on destroying her personally, Carrie Prejean would be a dim memory now. Instead, they get to be wrong right alongside her.

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