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Who's exploiting whom?

April 29, 2008 - Kevin Sweeney
In this country we have an annoying habit of turning young, adolescent girls into entertainment icons, and then gasping in shock when they start doing sleazy things to get more of our attention.

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are just a couple of examples. Lindsay Lohan has not responded well to the pressure of being a teen idol.

And now we are shocked, SHOCKED that Miley Cyrus. 15 years old, has posed topless, although with a satin sheet wrapped around her naughty bits, for the magazine Vanity Fair.

As a racy photo, it is not anywhere near as overtly sexual as the photos on the covers of a lot of magazines you see on the news rack in the grocery store. How do I know? Not because I ran out and purchased a copy of Vanity Fair, but because I have seen the photo time and again on the major cable news channels. Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have been showing this photo almost hourly for the past couple of days as their announcers profess their dismay that this up-to-now squeaky clean young entertainer has been used and exploited in this fashion. Is this child abuse, they ask, as they show us the photo yet another time.

Yes, Miley Cyrus has been used and exploited, but not just by Vanity Fair. At least Vanity Fair is claiming the photo was published as an artistic, innocent portrait. The cable news channels are jamming this down our throats as a piece of soft-core porn that we should all look at so we can share their disgust.

Who are the real exploiters?


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