The recent scandal that rocked Miss Earth had prompted some pageant fans to fall into the trap that the Russian Press had carefully laid. While Missosology.Org had been accused as a blind supporter of Miss Earth, it is important to stress the fact that Missosology.Org is the first beauty pageant related website to give the news and the video a very wide audience. Other people may only have read the exposé on our website and followed our lead accordingly. No wonder the official response of Miss Earth conspicuously mentioned Missosology.
Therefore, any claims that we are blindly supporting Miss Earth is completely false because otherwise we could have just simply swept the entire issue under the rug and pretended it did not happen. On top of that, we are also strong critics of the results at the pageant that we feel are gross injustices.
Of course, there is without doubt that the action of Lorraine Shuck, owner of Miss Earth, to yield to the 4 million dollar offer baited in disguise by the Russian Press was utterly wrong and despicable. But that would be only utterly wrong and despicable if after all angles of the issue had been thoroughly assessed and evaluated. Sure, the video is strong evidence but as in any court of law, guilt is best served when it is beyond reasonable doubt.
But there are reasonable doubts. What did the Russian press aim to achieve in releasing such news report? Was it in retaliation to the disparaging answers of Miss Russia that grabbed headlines across the globe? What about the reputation of the Russian press? An unbiased and independent assessment shows that Russian press is neither free nor fair and had been under the government tether for years. It is a nation where news has a great manipulability and therefore there is a great question about the reliability and reputation about the news network that released the video.
There are other telltale signs that put the validity of the exposé into question.
1.) Another claim in the same news report that the Krassa Rossi crown can be bought was not substantially backed-up.
2.) The same news report claims that Miss Earth received money from mafias and drug lords without presenting any proof.
3.) The same report claims that Miss Czech Republic’s victory was the result of money coming from a steel industrialist. The claim was also never given any form of proof.
4.) The Russian translation on the video obscured the voice of Ms. Schuck yielding to the $4million offer. What was only clear however is the Russian voiceover “translating” the conversation.
5.) The transcript in the news report shows that the latter part was not shown on the video putting into doubt whether the last part was a fabrication.
These are the reasonable doubts that cast a strong shadow over the entire video and news report. The way the news was produced and delivered shows that there is a pattern of deliberate attempt to smear and destroy the Miss Earth pageant. Any self-respecting news organization does not start a news or documentary with the aim to destroy any individual or any organization. It always starts with genuine concern for what is right and the aim to inform the general public in a fair, balanced, and ethical manner.
Miss Earth is a relatively young and growing pageant in need of sponsorships. It is a business after all just like Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Universe. What would be wrong is to subject Miss Earth into stringent moral and ethical standards based on questionable news reporting when in fact other Big4 pageants had been embroiled in similar scandals.
In 1970, Julia Morley briefly resigned as chairman of Miss World after it was reported that the results were rigged. In 2009, news reports circled that the results of Miss Universe 2009 were also rigged largely from a statement of a choreographer that was twisted by the media. The allegations did appear so serious that Paula Shugart was forced to issue an official statement.
The year 2012 was equally controversial. Miss World was attacked relentlessly after an obviously inferior delegate from China won the crown in a pageant that was held in China and was largely financed by the Chinese. Various international media reported the controversy yet the same people who hold Miss Earth accountable in the name of integrity barely lifted a finger.
The same controversy was raised at Miss International when Miss Japan won this year for the very first time albeit the reaction was muted. On the same grounds that pageant observers believe that Miss USA shouldn’t have won the Miss Universe crown. After all, it was Miss Philippines who shined well and who answered the final question with brilliance.
Sourgraping and wild allegations by contestants are equally not new. If we hold Miss Earth accountable on the basis of allegations of only two contestants, did we hold Miss World, Miss International and Miss Universe accountable on the allegations of some contestants against these pageants in all those years?
In the end it is obvious that some quarters are desperately trying to put down Miss Earth way before the video surfaced. The final decision of Missosology is to continue to support Miss Earth because beyond all of these controversies is a pageant that is well respected largely due to its relentless campaign to save the environment. It is a pageant that is broadcasted live to a vast audience, attracts international media coverage and is widely followed by a lot of beauty pageant fans. When all of these will no longer be present in 2013, then without question Missosology will withdraw its support to Miss Earth. Missosology’s point is not to be rash and be bold with our decisions because we would be ignoring the legacy and good works of a purpose-driven beauty pageant.
This is the very same ethical and moral standards that Missosology applies to Miss World, Miss Universe, or Miss International. We will not pull our support to Miss World on the basis of news reports by international newspapers that the victory of Miss China at Miss World 2012 was rigged. We will not pull our support at Miss International on the basis of allegations by some that the pageant is racist. On the same note that we will not pull our support from Miss Universe on the basis of highly sensationalized news that the 2009 pageant was “rigged”. (Or perhaps using the insinuation of some beauty fans way before the finals that just because Russian Vodka sponsored Miss Universe, Miss Russia will be guaranteed a spot.)
Missosology firmly believes that the video produced by the Russian press was a smear campaign and had a sole purpose of destroying the pageant in retaliation to the disparaging comments of Miss Russia published at the Miss Universe website. The whole scandal did only two things for Miss Earth. One it affirmed the derision of its detractors and two, it cemented the support of its backers believing that the pageant is now getting so famous, a lot of people with crab mentality wants to pull it down.