Everything is controversial today. Sports, music and now, Miss America.

The pageant in Atlantic City is just a couple weeks a way from getting underway and the head of the group, former Fox News talking head Gretchen Carlson, has made sure that instead of the focus being on the young women competing for scholarships, the story is all about Gretchen Carlson.

First, she eliminated the swimsuit competition, essentially as a reaction to the #MeToo controversy sweeping through Hollywood. As if removing the swimsuit portion of the competition was elevating women beyond objects of desire. As you know, I've spoken to several past contestants who never thought of the competition as anything remotely close to sexual. The Swimsuit competition is all about courage, confidence and yes, physical fitness. Many pageant contestants agree 100% with the purpose of the swimsuit competition and want to see it stay in the pageant.

Now with the pageant around the corner, Gretchen takes up a battle of words with the reigning Miss America Cara Mund. Gretchen's statements responding to the accusation of bullying are nothing short of condescending and dismissive of what seem to be legitimate concerns raised by the the 2017 crown holder.

Now, many past Miss America winners are standing strong with Cara and calling for Gretchen to resign. Seems to me that the fact that Carlson has become the story and not the upcoming pageant and the reigning Miss America, she's doing more harm than good to a competition that has last for nearly 100 years.

Atlantic City takes great pride as the host city and I know from speaking to the former Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel, who came in Second Runner up to Cara Mund, and the current Miss New Jersey Jamie Gialloreto, the contestants also take pride in the competition.

I think that it's time for Gretchen to step aside and let the young women who have worked so hard to get to the stage in Atlantic City take the spotlight. Isn't it supposed to be about them anyway? Thanks again to former Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel for joining me on the morning show and on Chasing News to discuss the controversy surrounding the pageant.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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