Stop Snickering at Miss Utah Over Flub
Linda Holmes: It wasn't a measure of intelligence, just her ability to create 'cow patties'
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Miss Utah got to go on the Today show this morning for a second crack at the question that she flubbed at the recent Miss USA pageant. This time around, Marissa Powell gave a far more polished response, which KSL.com has in more detail. Good for her, but the next time this happens to a pageant contestant, and it surely will, just remember that these questions test not intelligence but the "ability to generate cow patties on demand," writes Linda Holmes at NPR.

Holmes breaks down the original question—"A recent report shows that in 40% of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?"—and finds it to be simultaneously "dumb" and "impossible to answer." She's studied family and gender issues for years and has no idea how she would have responded. Powell could have blathered some vapid answer, but as long as she did so smoothly, it would have drawn no attention. "She's not in the news for being dumb; she's in the news for being bad at spontaneous but convincing balderdash manufacturing." Click for the full column.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
future2083
Jun 19, 2013 10:55 AM CDT
Its wasn't a dumb question. Maybe a loaded one but still... Could have went with something a little more on the subject and coherent. If we stop valuing these challenging questions then we are basically saying we just praise women on looks and not their personality.
JT119
Jun 19, 2013 9:18 AM CDT
PEOPLE, it was a beauty and not an intelligence contest, GIVE THE GIRL A BREAK, its not a lot of people that can speak to a audience of such magnitude, and what the media and some people are doing to this young girl eracing what ever little confidence she has left, I am sure if one or a small group should engage her in a conversation, they will find that she is intelligent, A lot of these people piling on this girl went out and voted for george bush to run the county, TWICE. he couldn't complete a sentence that made any sense, yet they voted for him
tickle_me_blue
Jun 18, 2013 11:46 PM CDT
People don't watch these because they want to know how smart these women are. If they really want to sit there and ask the women questions, how about going with more relevant questions-such as what would you do if you got the crown? They're supposed to promote some cause, why not ask them what and why. Then we wouldn't be bombarded because another one gave the stereotypical answer rambling about education and never answering the question. Or maybe, tell them they can't bring up education in their answer. But again, its called a beauty pageant for a reason.