When TheWrap reported that journalists interviewing Tom Cruise for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation had been forced to agree not to ask the actor questions about Scientology or his personal life, there was one shining exception mentioned:
Jon Stewart raised eyebrows with industry insiders for failing to broach the weightier topics in favor of discussing workout routines and Cruise retaining all of his hair at age 53.
“That [agreed upon restrictions] was definitely not the case for his interview on The Daily Show,” a Comedy Central spokesperson said. “No one put any restrictions on questions Jon could ask him.”
Indirectly then, Paul Haggis, in an interview with The Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern, is calling out Stewart with these comments regarding the lack of CoS conversation:
“I don’t know how journalists can continue to call themselves journalists if they aren’t brave enough to ask a question. I mean, how big does the elephant in the room have to be before you ask about it?…”
“There are things called journalistic integrity, and there are things more important than promoting a movie sometimes. It was so glaringly obvious. There was this huge elephant there, and every journalist agreed not to address it. Why? You’re just a PR person at that point. Shame on you.”
Let’s imagine for a moment that Stewart had gone full bore with Cruise on the topic of the alleged misdeeds of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige. The Daily Show host certainly earned the right to conduct final-phase interviews the way he chose. But chances are, had the topic been broached, we would still be talking about that conversation today.