John Oliver exposes Miss America Pageant scholarship debacle (video)

John Oliver weighed in on the Miss America Pageant, which took place last week. Apparently, the pageant claims to provide $45 million per year in scholarships for women. Oliver dug up the tax forms, and it’s more like $482,000 per year.


He’s got some great clips. They actually asked the women last week to solve the ISIS problem. Another was asked about the Gitmo hostage exchange.

Also, Oliver really zings the pageant badly by going and checking out their tax records. While Miss America claims to give $45 million in scholarships a year, he found out that it’s more like $482,000. About $44.5 million short.

Oliver then went and attempted to get the tax filings of every Miss America pageant in every single state. The numbers didn’t add up.

It turns out that they tally the scholarships that individual pageant contestants have been offered by schools around the country. For example, Miss Pennsylvania is offered a choice of four scholarships, but Miss America tallied all four together, even though the winner will really only take one.

old-miss-americaAnother “scholarship,” $2.5m to a school in Alabama, is really only a $54,000 scholarship that Miss America then multiplied by the number of pageant contestants, 48, since they could all theoretically attend the university if they all wanted to. In fact, no one accepted a scholarship from that school that year.

I’m really blown away that Oliver did this. Wow.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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