When it comes to generating media interest, Tom Cruise is an expert.

Ever since his divorce from the ultra-sexy and ultra-talented Nicole Kidman, it seems Cruise has made it his mission to be featured, talked about, written about and photographed more than his Oscar-winning ex.

And he has succeeded.

In fact, this week, the star of "M: I3" jetted around Manhattan by subway, by boat, by helicopter and by fire engine to promote the premiere of theJ.J. Abrams-helmed action flick.

Do you think he did this because none of us in the entertainment press would notice he's got another movie coming out this Friday?

It's ironic, then, that at the Mexico City premiere of "M: I3," the world's biggest box-office draw claimed that he ignores all media reports about his personal life.

Even more ironic is that if the majority of Americans followed his lead, we'd all be better off.

Ignoring those articles that deal with celebrities' personal lives would not only serve the stars' well-being, but also our own. Would we have to turn to literature to occupy that commuter train or bus ride home?

"Shakespeare for everybody" as Rodney Dangerfield said in his classic comedy "Back to School." Maybe we'd actually have a conversation with a neighbor, rather than burying our heads in some tabloid magazine full of paparazzi pics and made-up stories attributed to "a close friend."

But Cruise is full of it anyway.

While he may personally ignore those articles that deal with his private life, he can't think that we are all so naive as to think that those articles that deal with those portions of his life are not somehow encouraged by him and his camp.

And why not? It is the Hollywood way, after all, especially where there's money to be made.

Did anybody besides Teri Hatcher's publisher, agents and media handlers know that the "Desperate Housewife" had a book, "Burnt Toast," coming out just weeks after revealing to Vanity Fair that she was sexually molested by an uncle?

Yeah, I'm a jaded jerk, but this is the reality of the entertainment business.

I'd be happy to believe Cruise about not paying attention to media reports about his personal life, but wasn't it he who announced to the world that he climbed the Eiffel Tower and proposed to Katie Holmes? Wasn't it he would jumped on Oprah's couch? Wasn't it he who announced the birth of his daughter, Suri?

I've defended Cruise in the past and to some extent, will continue to do so. With the exception of his bizarre behavior and his unsolicited religious beliefs, Tom Cruise is and always will be one of my favorite movie stars.

From "Risky Business" to "All The Right Moves" to "Top Gun," Cruise has brought millions of people unabashed entertainment. In "Magnolia" and "Born On the Fourth of July," he proved he can act.

And in "Jerry Maguire," he grew up before our eyes.

Come to think of it, Tom Cruise's make-believe life is far more interesting than his personal one. It's no wonder he ignores those reports.

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