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Opinion | 1819 News’ vicious attack on pageant winner Is shameful

In the end, this isn’t about titles or pageantry. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about standing up against bullying in all forms.

Sara Milliken, Miss National American Alabama
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When 1819 News decided to fat-shame a young woman who won the Miss National American Alabama title, they not only crossed the line of decency but also exposed their hypocritical nature.

Sara Milliken, after years of hard work, finally achieved her dream, only to be attacked by those who claim to report news under the guise of journalism.

Let’s be clear: 1819 News isn’t interested in facts. They’re interested in tearing down anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow, judgmental views. Remember Mayor Bubba Copeland, who died by suicide after 1819 News outed him as a crossdresser.

First, they chose to nitpick over titles. Miss National American Alabama, Miss Alabama—what’s the big deal? They chose to emphasize that Milliken isn’t the “real” Miss Alabama, as if the significance of her achievement is somehow diminished by the specifics of the pageant she won. This technicality was nothing but a smokescreen to mask their true intention: body-shaming.

In a disgusting display, 1819 News ran not one but two stories back-to-back to continue their attack on Milliken. They stooped to the level of claiming that she and others “purchased” their titles. For an outlet that parades itself as a Christian publication and is funded by unnamed donors, their behavior is nothing short of hypocritical. The heads of 1819 News seem to forget the Christian values of kindness and non-judgment.

Their dogged focus on Milliken’s weight is sadistic and cruel, revealing the horrid underbelly of the publication’s true nature. They cited WHO statistics on obesity, almost gleefully, to paint Milliken in a negative light. They failed to mention the positives of the National American Miss pageant, which promotes positive self-image and offers scholarships to young women. Instead, they decided to cyber bully a young woman who is already in the public eye, a person who has worked hard to achieve her goals despite societal pressures.

Sara Milliken responded to the vile comments with grace and poise, addressing the harmful impacts of cyberbullying and reminding her followers of the real-world consequences of such behavior. She handled the situation with far more dignity than 1819 News has ever shown.

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This so-called news outlet claims to uphold Christian values, yet they embody the very opposite. They shame and bully under the pretense of reporting news, but in reality, they are the bullies hiding behind a keyboard. And the irony is not lost when those who are quick to judge others for their appearance are themselves not paragons of fitness.

In the end, this isn’t about titles or pageantry. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about standing up against bullying in all forms, especially when it comes from those who should know better. Sara Milliken is a symbol of resilience and grace in the face of adversity, and she deserves our support — not the scorn of those who have forgotten the true meaning of their faith.

To 1819 News: take a good look in the mirror before you cast stones at others. And to Sara Milliken: keep shining. Your achievement is valid, and no amount of negativity can take that away from you.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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