These dumb questions aren't intended to actually see whether you're smart or not. Miss Utah USA might be smart and she might not be, but the last thing I'd use to guess at whether she's smart is whether she can answer this kind of question "correctly." Because "correctly" here just means smoothly, expertly, without hesitation or stammering....When you're in a contest, you know the standards in that contest, and you're judged by how well you do under those standards. She was given an open ended prompt — a factoid about women's income and "What does this say about society?" — and she was supposed to speak fluidly while looking poised. Pausing and looking lost and uttering disconnected phrases is incorrect. Holmes is really only saying she doesn't like beauty pageants. Personally, I don't care one way or the other, but they are what they are. If you don't like the game, don't play. Miss Utah chose to play and ended up on the blooper reel. We get to laugh, just like we get to laugh at stuff like this:
She's not in the news for being dumb; she's in the news for being bad at spontaneous but convincing balderdash manufacturing....
June 18, 2013
Linda Holmes at NPR says think about how the question was dumb.