Back to Cruise!

Last Thursday, Tom Cruise was showing the wear and tear of touring the world to promote Katie Holmes . . . er, I mean War of the Worlds . . . when he gave Today’s Matt Lauer a mouthful about the evils of electric-shock therapy and drugging kids. (Cruise, like any good movie star, made the problems sound like the schemes of a supervillain he had to vanquish.) It was unfortunate that this new, I-got-somethin’-to-say! Tom Cruise couldn’t frame his position beyond “I know you are, but what am I,” but the exchange was a wonderfully unhinged moment that one could argue garnered and lost points for both figures. Do drugs work? Yes and no. Was Lauer “glib,” as Cruise accused? A bit, if only because he might have been unprepared. Was Tom Cruise talking like a Scientology-bot? Sure.

Then on Monday, Katie C. had on the experts — two doctors — to milk the Cruise interview . . . uh, I mean continue the debate about antidepressants and Ritalin, and inadvertently won Cruise a few points at the end. With Couric eyeing the stopwatch as she gave Dr. Steven Sharfstein — a drug-therapy defender — a few seconds to close out the segment, he quickly brought up that for many parents, it’s the fact that insurance will pay for the pills and not the therapy that leads to the possible overuse of medication. Couric, though, had to follow that up with: “And that opens up a whole can of worms that we can’t talk about this morning.” Boom. Out. Commercial. Cruise’s accusation of glibness, meanwhile, was hanging in the air.

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