Miss America Joining America’s Most Wanted
posted by Melissa Waters
Put this one in the category of “too good for a blogger born and raised in the land of beauty pageants (excuse me, scholarship/talent pageants) to pass up.”
Seems Miss America has joined the ever-growing ranks of American heroes lurking in the kiddie chat rooms, catching sexual predators, and then publicly humiliating said predators on national television for our amusement. Lauren Nelson, the reigning Miss America, recently went undercover in a sting operation in which police created an online profile of her as a 14-year-old girl, complete with old photographs of her as a teenager. Said Miss America of her heroic efforts: “I got to chat online with the predators and made phone calls, too!”
Miss America’s brief stint as a crime fighter helped her to fulfill the policy “platform” –Internet safety for children – that she had offered, no doubt with tremendous enthusiasm, to pageant judges in convincing them to give her the crown. But Miss America surely went well beyond the call of duty, or the expectations of pageant officials, placing herself in the line of danger to catch these depraved men. According to an MSNBC report, Miss America arranged to meet the men at a home in Long Island. “I stood outside on the porch, and I would say, ‘Hi’ to them and wave them inside.” (No word on whether Miss America was wearing her crown at the time.) Once inside, the suspects were greeted by local police, “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh – and, of course, a hundred cameras recording their every move. “That part was very scary,” admitted an ever-perky Miss America, “but the police were all over the place. I was nervous, of course, but it was a very controlled environment, very safe.”
Indeed, rest assured, dear reader, that where Miss America’s safety was concerned, pageant officials were on the case. Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, admitted that initially he was hesitant to allow Miss America to participate in the sting operation. But he agreed after talking with the producers of “America’s Most Wanted” – and, of course, after obtaining the consent of Miss America’s father.
Miss America reflected on her all-too-brief stint as an SVU cop with the following, appropriately cheerful verdict: “As many as we caught on that day, there are a lot more out there. It’s nice to know that they were chatting with police officers and me rather than a 14- or 15-year-old girl.”