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Beauty and the Leaks: Miss USA Contestants Respond (Sort Of) to NSA Snooping

God bless America.
Miss Alabama takes the stage for her turn at Q&A (Getty Images)

Miss Alabama takes the stage for her turn at Q&A (Getty Images)

Edward Snowden: hero or traitor? The fiery debate is burning everywhere from the U.S. Justice Department to—you guessed it—the 2013 Miss USA pageant. Besides smizing their eyes out and booty-tooching in bikinis, two of the six finalists also had to answer questions on the recent controversial NSA leaks. Let’s see what Miss Alabama Mary Margaret McCord and Miss South Carolina Megan Pinckney had to say about Mr. Snowden.

Mr. Snowden first reared his anime-lovin’ head during Miss Alabama’s turn, in a question from judge Wendie Malick.

Wendie Malick: “Government tracking of phone records has been in the news lately. Is this an invasion of privacy, or necessary to keep our country safe? Why or why not?”

Miss Alabama: “I think the society that we live in today, it’s sad that we go to the movies, or to the airport, or even to the mall, that we have to worry about our safety. So I would rather someone track my telephone messages and feel safe wherever I go, than feel like they’re encroaching on my privacy.”

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Snowden: Miss Alabama will forego all rights to privacy for safe, unfettered shopping mall access.

Mr. Snowden’s spirit was again present during Miss South Carolina’s turn, in a question posed by judge Christina Milian. (Side note: Christina Milian? Isn’t she still best known for recording the Kim Possible theme song?)

Christina Milian: “Should people who leak classified documents in the name of public information be charged with treason? Why or why not?”

Miss South Carolina: “I don’t believe that they should be charged with treason. Personally, I think that being a part of this country we have been given specific documents for specific reasons. Lawmakers have put that into their decision for certain reasons, and if we feel the need to have to show those documents, then I think that we should show them.”

We owe congratulations to Ms. Pinckney for a highly diplomatic answer. Somehow, she simultaneously sided with the “lawmakers” and renounced Mr. Snowden of treason all in one single, sparkly answer. You go, Miss South Carolina, you go.

Neither contestant went on to win the coveted Miss USA crown—that honor went to Miss Connecticut Erin Brady, who answered a question about DNA testing for criminals. But in the spirit of world peace, we’ll say that everybody did a great job in the Q&A round—oh, except Miss Utah, that is.

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