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A Good Kind Of Exploitation

Hollywood couple Angelina Jolie, right, and Brad Pitt give a press conference June 7, 2006, at a Swakopmund, Namibia hotel.
AFP/Getty Images
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
June 20 is Refugee Day — a day the United Nations uses to focus on the plight of refugees around the world.

I mention this because I've been in refugee camps. I have talked to people who have had to run for their lives. I know that they are a brave lot. They are survivors of the highest order.

The reason I know June 20 is Refugee Day is because Angelina Jolie told me. She and Brad Pitt have done a remarkable thing — turning their celebrity and the birth of their child into a platform for causes they care about.

Because their baby was born in Namibia, geographically challenged teenagers in America can suddenly find that country on a map. They sold the rights for the pictures of the sweet-looking little cherub for millions which will go to those causes, too.

Pitt and Jolie are really onto something. As long as people are obsessed with them, why not exploit it — in a good way?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.