I’m a staunch Angelina Jolie defender.  I admit it.  I think a lot of people in this country like to criticize her because they see her efforts on behalf of war-torn nations and Africa (and her adoption of non-white children) as narcissistic public-relations ploys to keep her and Brad in the headlines.  I hear this argument a lot, that she and Brad aren’t really serious about what they’re doing.

My answer is, so what?  Even if they are naive or ignorant of some bigger issues surrounding Africa and refugee relief (which I don’t think they are), they’ve used their celebrity to bring money and attention to the places that need it most.  Selling a photo of Shiloh to People magazine for $4 million and giving that money to “various charities in Africa” (according the the managing editor of People) is pretty generous, despite any ethical problems people see with it.

With the Jolie-Pitts, there often occurs the human desire to expose them as holier-than-thou charlatans posing as humanitarians for vanity’s sake.  Even if this is true, thanks to Jolie more people know about the civil war in the Congo than before, and thanks to George Clooney’s video diaries, Darfur enjoyed an actual smidgeon of attention from the mainstream media.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFVlHsaq5yg]

Also check out Jolie’s diary about her visits to Congo.  Some busy web design, but interesting.

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