Whoop! There it is!

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 27, 2002

Miss America Pageant misses the bus

By Dale James / Selma Times – Journal

If it makes any difference, Paul Flaherty is an English bloke. The accent tips you off to that right away. At least that explains how he might have gotten it wrong.

How it got past the scrutiny of the suits and ties over at the ABC-TV Standards and Practices office is anybody’s guess.

Flaherty is a writer-producer with Bob Bain Productions. They’re the company that produced this year’s just concluded Miss America Pageant.

They’re also the ones who came up with the questions that were put to each of the contestants in the general knowledge portion of the pageant &045;&045; including this little gem: What was the name of the woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Selma, Alabama, during the civil rights movement?

Flaherty confesses that it was he and another writer who actually composed the multiple choice questions.

After the questions were selected, they were passed to the office of ABC-TV Standards and Practices for review. &uot;That’s standard procedure,&uot; Flaherty said. &uot;They monitor all content.&uot;

Just so the boys over at Standards and Practices don’t feel too badly about the whole thing, none of the contestants pointed out the slip, either &045;&045; including first-runnerup Miss Alabama, Scarlotte Deupree.

We’re positive.

If there is a bright spot, he added, it’s that all of the contestants got the answer correct. Or at least they all gave the answer that the question was intended to elicit.

And, he confided, song of the year is &uot;Your Cheatin’ Heart,&uot; by Johnny Cash.