Carrie Prejean and Chas Freeman: Separated at birth?

Are not-quite-Miss-USA Carrie Prejean and not-quite-National-Intelligence-Council-Chairman Chas Freeman the same person? The similarities are uncanny.  Both were candidates for important national positions. Prejean’s position would make her an ambassador for America and Freeman was a career diplomat. Both were denied those positions at least in part because of the unpopular views they expressed. And both were victims ...

585826_090513_carrieb2.jpg
585826_090513_carrieb2.jpg

Are not-quite-Miss-USA Carrie Prejean and not-quite-National-Intelligence-Council-Chairman Chas Freeman the same person? The similarities are uncanny. 

Both were candidates for important national positions. Prejean's position would make her an ambassador for America and Freeman was a career diplomat. Both were denied those positions at least in part because of the unpopular views they expressed. And both were victims of blogospheric overkill that may have done more to damage their critics than it did to them. Certainly, the longer their controversies continued to bubble, the worse their opponents looked. (Last night, for example, even the Rush Limbaugh of liberal America, Jon Stewart, closed his Prejean story with a statement that made it clear he felt the attacks on her were unfair.) 

Are not-quite-Miss-USA Carrie Prejean and not-quite-National-Intelligence-Council-Chairman Chas Freeman the same person? The similarities are uncanny. 

Both were candidates for important national positions. Prejean’s position would make her an ambassador for America and Freeman was a career diplomat. Both were denied those positions at least in part because of the unpopular views they expressed. And both were victims of blogospheric overkill that may have done more to damage their critics than it did to them. Certainly, the longer their controversies continued to bubble, the worse their opponents looked. (Last night, for example, even the Rush Limbaugh of liberal America, Jon Stewart, closed his Prejean story with a statement that made it clear he felt the attacks on her were unfair.) 

Finally, today both are considerably better known than they were before the controversies they didn’t seek and both are considerably more popular among key constituencies that are likely to provide them with long-term support as a consequence of their courage to say what they felt.    

Unfortunately for Chas (and I think for the NIC), Barack Obama did not appoint Donald Trump director of national intelligence because he might have stood up for Chas like he stood up for Carrie. (Well, he would have if he thought Chas was hot in a bikini.) But Chas’s defenders in the administration folded under too much pressure from the likes of noted intelligence connoisseur Nancy Pelosi. 

In fact, given their winning smiles, the only real differences between the two are Prejean’s implants and the fact that Chas is brilliant and she appears to be dumb as a box of rocks. (The rumors that Steve Rosen had nude pics of Freeman have proven to be as unfounded as some other charges against Rosen.)

That said there’s a message here, people: beware the impulse to incite the virtual crowd, because as often happens with real mobs, e-mobs or their actions can get so out of control that they trample the reputations of their organizers and prove seriously counter-productive to their longer term goals. (See: Salem witch trials, McCarthyism, and votefortheworst.com.) 

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

David Rothkopf is visiting professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow. He has been a longtime contributor to Foreign Policy and was CEO and editor of the FP Group from 2012 to May 2017. Twitter: @djrothkopf

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