Cruise watch: With the opening date of Tom Cruise's next movie creeping ever closer, it's time to keep a close eye on our favorite Scientologist. MSNBC's Scoop reports that in a recent interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet Söndag, Cruise allegedly stormed out after the interviewer asked him about Nicole Kidman. Cruise had an equally peculiar reaction earlier in the interview when reporter Björn Benkow suggested that Scientology cannot -- as Cruise has claimed -- cure dyslexia. After a pause, Cruise burst into laughter: "I'm going to admit that you have the courage of a madman. This is something no journalist has dared say to me face-to-face." In other Cruise news, a recent Parade magazine online poll asked readers who was responsible for Cruise's P.R. nightmare and got some surprising results: 84 percent of respondents put the fault on the media. "We at Parade found this a little bit fishy, so we did some investigating," a spokesperson for the magazine told Page Six. "We found out more than 14,000 (of the 18,000-plus votes) that came in were cast from only 10 computers! One computer was responsible for nearly 8,400 votes alone, all blaming the media for Tom's troubles. We also discovered that at least two other machines were the sources of inordinate numbers of votes. It seems these folks (whoever they may be) resorted to extraordinary measures to try to portray Tom in a positive light for the Parade.com survey." (The Scoop, Page Six)
And the Pulitzer goes to: The New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Biloxi Sun Herald picked up Pulitzer prizes for their Katrina coverage. The New York Times won for national reporting (cited for breaking the story of Bush's domestic eavesdropping program), international reporting and Nicholas D. Kristof's commentary. The Washington Post received the most awards in its history, four, including those for its work on uncovering the Jack Abramoff scandal and for Robin Givhan's fashion criticism -- marking the first time a fashion writer has ever won the award. Givhan says that after hearing the news, she immediately went shopping -- and is holding out hope that the award will prompt "The Colbert Report," where she has been a guest, to invite her back. "I've got my fingers crossed," Givhan told Women's Wear Daily. (Romenesko, Washington Post, Women's Wear Daily)
Colin Farrell and ex-Playmate Nicole Narain spent a cozy Easter weekend together with their lawyers, and have managed to reach a settlement in their sex tape case. No details yet about their deal, but Farrell is pressing on with his lawsuit against the group that had been trying to sell the tape online. (Rush & Molloy) ... Under the terms of a secret plea deal, director John McTiernan ("Die Hard," "The Hunt for Red October") pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and hiring investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap producer Charles Roven, though his plea didn't actually shed any light as to why. (Hollywood Reporter) ... George Michael, trying to park his Range Rover in north London over the weekend, reportedly managed to hit not one, not two, but three other cars before driving off. (Sky News) ... Melissa Etheridge has just announced that her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, is pregnant with twins: "To answer the obvious question: We used an anonymous donor from a bank. These are our first two babies conceived together, but not our first time mothering together. For the past 5 years, we have been parenting two children, from a previous time in Melissas life." (Melissa Etheridge.com) ... Gena Lee Nolin, who you may know better as Neely Capshaw from "Baywatch," gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday. (People)
Mary J. Blige on God's plan for her: "My God is a God who wants me to have things. He wants me to bling. He wants me to be the hottest thing on the block." (Blender via the Scoop)
-- Scott Lamb
ABC's "Less Than Perfect" (9:30 p.m. EDT) has its fourth-season premiere, while the History Channel marks the 100th anniversary of the April 18, 1906, San Francisco earthquake with "Mega Disasters: The San Francisco Earthquake" (8 p.m. EDT). And Jane Fonda is on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35 p.m. EDT).
-- Joe DiMento