Headlines Erupt Over "Miley's Shame"

Billy Ray Cyrus, left, and his daughter Miley Cyrus, right, co-host the 2008 CMT Awards on April 14, 2008.
AP Photo/Jeff Christensen
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

The headline on the front page of the New York Post screams "Miley's Shame".

The front page of the Times business section says a topless photo threatens a major Disney franchise. They are referring to Miley Cyrus, a.k.a. Hannah Montana. Cyrus' wholesome television show is second only to American Idol in teen viewers. She herself is an idol for millions of tween girls. Her concert tours are so successful, state legislatures have tried to write laws to prevent scalpers from gobbling up all the tickets. I'm not kidding.

So sweet Miley agrees to do a photo shoot with Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz. Leibovitz wraps Miley's torso in a sheet, hardly more revealing than most swimsuits, and headlines erupt.

Tawdry. Exploitive. Miley told People Magazine she was sorry. Sorry for what? If anything, it only further raises her impossibly high profile. And what the 15-year-old probably already knows is, it was good for business.

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