Thursday, October 29, 2009


I can't begin to image how frustrating and time consuming it must be to moderate a pageant message board. On the rare occasions I post something controversial here, it can be difficult deciding if I should publish some of your comments! Message board moderators have decided to take on that responsibility 24/7! It's a very blurry line between constructive criticism and bashing and between opinion and slander. It's as subjective as a pageant! Intent is lost in the text and anonymity breeds cruelty; wit to one person is damaging to the next. It really is a fascinating study of how quickly communication can regress...! Anyway, I am usually very sympathetic to the moderators of pageant message boards. Usually.

However, yesterday something happened to me that I find so hilarious and obserd, that I'm going to share it! :)

On a popular Miss America chat site known as the Guru Board someone asked if a woman should be allowed to compete if she has a criminal record. Some people immediately said no, other more reasonable individuals noted the difference between misdemeanors and felonies and I noted that it is perfectly fine for one of the national judges to have a criminal record!

Funny, right?! But sadly factual...

My comment was deleted promptly. So I posted it again. It was deleted again and my IP address has been banned from the board. Bum-RUSHED! Oh, the irony!

A friend posted some other undesirable facts about Mr. Limbaugh and has also been booted from the board. We find it hilarious!

I wasn't online much at all when the Lim-bomb went off in pageantland, so I'm not sure if the moderator threw down an edict against inflammatory discussions of this inflammatory man. If that's the case, I can almost understand trying to avoid the debate over him, but I am completely baffled by the banning of people who post facts. Facts!

At this very moment there are tons of negative opinions about contestants written on that board, yet we can't post 100% truths about a media personality and judge? Yes, my IP is banned, but that's easily remedied. In fact, the moderator sent a courtesy message with my "restricted access" notice stating that I could still log in as an AOL user. Hhmm... Then why ban me at all?

Again, I find it all very funny and certainly hypocritical. The healthy laughter and mindless distraction it has brought me is all part of what makes pageants and their message boards such a joyous hobby!


While I'm on the topic, I may as well address another message board MISScommunication. Fans on the Miss Ohio board are clamoring for the Maumee Valley / All*American City / Fallen Timbers contestant list. It is exciting and wonderful that people are so interested! Wageners have entrusted me with the list and asked I post it no sooner than 10 p.m., Ohio time, tomorrow.

Nonetheless, a list has emerged on the message board, based on comments found on Facebook. Again, the interest is awesome! However, it's not completely accurate. At first I thought they had three names wrong, but after a second crosscheck, it's two that someone incorrectly presumed.

I didn't mean to stifle the fun of speculation; in fact, I think figuring out which ones are wrong makes it more interesting! Reactions to my information included "Oh please, whatever Abby does or does not do, would make no difference in people speculating and assuming." and "Listen Abby - all those girls made references to competing on facebook. JENNA for sure. Facebook is an open portal for communication and I am not speculating, I am telling you what I read on facebook."

I said I didn't quite understand the hostility... This is a classic example of message board miscommunication! To me, the words "Oh please, whatever" and "Listen Abby" have some serious attitude behind them. That was my interpretation and I used the word "hostility" as a synonym for attitude, to which someone replied, "I don't see anything written that is to be considered hostile, can't anyone make a comment on here without being viewed as hostile or whatever, assume what you want, but the comment wasn't posted under hostile conditions lol"

Fair enough! Hostility probably wasn't the best word, since it tends to be taken quite literally. I really appreciate the person's "lol" at the end, as opposed to truly having a hostile reaction to my word selection! :) Ah, message boards, gotta love 'em...!


  1. Abby,
    I am not a huge Rush fan, but must correct you here. The charges were eventually dropped, as were the more recent charges when he had viagra that wasn't in his name. So, technically, he has not committed any crimes.

  2. I love reading your blog...even more than the "cut throat banter" on the voy Miss Ohio site. I keep up with your verbage and seem to agree with your way of thinking. I am glad you are able to express your opinion so openly and honestly...I feel the need to "bite my tongue" at the risk of tainting my daughter who is a "newby" to the program.

    Fire away my dear Abby!! Your commentary is very much appreciated!

  3. Abby,

    i have come to the conclusion that the message board ie. Miss Ohio talk really sucks. You can't comment without anyone taking it a step further to engage in an all drawn out dispute. You can't post facts as you said because then you are being ridiculous and heaven forbid you go on there and defend your daughter or any other contestants you know from the harsh remarks and bashing comments, then you yourself are bashed for making the post and told to stay off the boards. Then references are made to the effect that your DD will be black=-balled by the directors because they don't want the parents involved??!! What kind of parent would I be if I didn't support and encourage my daughter to pursue her dreams and help her in every way I can!! I thought the program promoted family and family involvement and support of the contestants!! You just can't win when it comes to the boards...... Bonnie

  4. Anonymous - technically you are incorrect. Yes, the charges were eventually dropped, but not for the reasons you think.

    Mr. Limbaugh took a plea deal that gave him the following punishment:

    -- 18 months' probation, at a cost to Rush of $30 per month, and

    -- $30,000 in payment to the state of Florida to "defray the cost of public investigation", and

    -- 18 months' rehabilitative treatment.

    Once all of those requirements were met, the DA agreed to drop the charges. This is pretty standard fare for a non-violent offender with means.

    So yes, the charges were dropped ... but only as a result of a plea bargain, not due to his actual innocence.

    Your statement that "technically, he has not committed any crimes" is not entirely true ... he worked within the confines of the law to reduce his punishment as a first-time offender. Huge difference.

  5. Thank you Hilary, for articulating all that legal mumbo-jumbo for me! :)



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