Parade.com recently conducted an online poll asking readers whether they thought Cruise was responsible for his disastrous public relations year of couch-jumping, sonogram machine buying and psychiatry bashing, or if it was the media's fault. Eighty-four percent of respondents said the media was to blame for his tough year and that Cruise did not bring his image problems on himself.
But Parade magazine found these results "a little bit fishy" — and they were right.
"We did some investigating and found out that more than 14,000 (of the 18,000-plus votes) that came in were cast from only 10 computers," Parade publicist Alexis Collado wrote in a press release. "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."
Parade also speculated how the results could have come to be.
"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. There is even a chance they wrote a special 'bot' program for the sole purpose of skewing the results, rather than casting the votes by hand on a computer. Sounds like a pretty devoted group of people, don't you think?"
Collado told FOXNews.com that people can "draw their own conclusions" as to who is behind the scam.
"We really don't know; there's no way to determine that," she said.
Cruise spokesman Paul Bloch told the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, which broke the story on Tuesday, "I know nothing about the poll, so we have nothing to comment on."