RUSH: The Miss America thing? Uh, the Official Program Observer… I guess you’ve been chomping at the bit waiting for me to weigh in on… (interruption) Well, doesn’t surprise me. You act surprised by this. Here’s the news on the Miss America Pageant, which the last time it had significant viewers was when I was a judge and it was in Las Vegas and at Planet Hollywood. We took the show out there for a week and judging the Miss America Pageant was an eight-hour a day thing.
There were two judges, a couple Hollywood comedians, when they found out at the judge orientation, quit. They left. They thought it was just gonna be sitting there gazing at women in swimsuits and voting on them, and when they found out how detailed and involved it was, they skedaddled. It was a major controversy. The Miss America people were wondering whether to announce who they were or not. It was decided to slap a gag order on ’em.
But one of these comedians took me aside, “Man, did you know this was gonna be this involved?” I said, “Well, I had an idea.” “Well, man, to hell with this. This is not what I’m signed up for,” and he just left. Left the hotel, left town. I hung in there, and there were some good judges that year. I won the judge dance contest at the judge party, the night of the pageant, before the TV coverage began. Mario Lopez emceed it, and Shawn…
The great Olympics gymnastics from Iowa, Shawn… I’m having a mental block on her name. Shawn Johnson. She was one of the judges too. Gretchen Carlson is a former Miss America from Minnesota, and she now runs the pageant, and Gretchen has said that it’s not a “pageant” anymore, that it is a “competition.” So no more swimsuit. (summarized) “No more women parading on stage in swimsuits. We’re not gonna have that anymore at Miss America, and we’re gonna ditch the evening gown competition. No more parading in swimsuits, one piece or two, and no more parading around in evening gowns.
“Instead, the contestants will be allowed to dress in whatever makes them comfortable and will have more interaction with the judges about life in general and their feelings and thoughts and so forth — philosophies on life in general — and that will have an even greater weight in the ultimate decision of who is Miss America. Okay. What are the…? (interruption) What are the snarky comments in there? I can see people are already… (interruption)
This is why they don’t have microphones in there, folks, because I can tell by the facial expressions there’s a lot of snark in there. There’s a lot of disrespect in the form of jokes going around in there. (interruption) No, they can’t call it The View. The View is already taken by ABC — and, besides, they’re taking the view out of this. (interruption) Who’s gonna watch women talking? Uh, well, who does that most in the course of your average American day? Other women. (interruption)
Uh… (sigh) Well, you say, you say that it is other women who spend the day listening to other women talk, but… Well, maybe in your world it is. (interruption) No, I don’t think it’s gonna be an increase in ratings, but it’s a statement. This is… (interruption) This is… (interruption) Look, there is… (interruption)Change is constant. You understand that. And this is a direct offshoot of #MeToo. This is a direct offshoot of the objectification of the female body and its purposes. This is a natural… I mean, you have activist women fed up with the casting couch and fed up with Hollywood and fed up with the traditional way women are thought to have to behave in order to advance themselves.
This is a natural evolution of a rejection of all of that. James Woods tweeted something on this. He said, “Yeah, sign me up. A bunch of women in trench coats walking around on a stage. I can’t wait.” Something like that. I’m reading his tweet, not verbatim. I’m paraphrasing it. I don’t think… This is the thing. I can’t think that they’re doing this for audience purposes. This is a statement. Now, the contestants. Is this something that they’re signed up for or they just have to go along with it because these are the new rules?
I don’t know. (interruption) Oh, they’ll find sponsors! They’ll find sponsors for it. There’s gonna be all kinds of people want to throw their money to this for the apparent PR value of it. The new edition of Miss America designed to show an entirely, completely new side of American’s young women and the #MeToo movement and the aftermath or what have you. They won’t have any problem. I don’t know about the audience. I don’t know what their audience now is. Last time I know it was when the year I judged.