Press go easy on Katie

ABC suits were red-faced yesterday after Katie Holmes was interviewed on "Good Morning America" without being asked about claims that her baby, Suri, was created with the sperm of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, not hubby Tom Cruise. "GMA" host Diane Sawyer asked Holmes only inoffensive, softball questions about her hair, her clothes, her baby and her new movie, "Mad Money." Incredibly, she never even brought up Andrew Morton's controversial new book, "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography" - which has set off a worldwide buzz and has the superstar going ballistic and threatening a massive lawsuit. Last night, the network was in full damage-control, trying to say its coverage wasn't a whitewash. "GMA" executive producer Jim Murphy insisted there was no agreement to avoid the touchy subject. He told The Post's Don Kaplan he'd planned for the segment to delve into the personal lives of Cruise and Holmes, but after nearly eight minutes of light banter, didn't know when Sawyer was going to get to it and called for the segment to end. "It was one of those bad calls on my part," Murphy said. "Diane doesn't generally get angry, but was she disappointed in how I handled it, yes." Murphy said Sawyer was going to get into personal issues but, "[she] was looking for the right place to do that. She knew we wanted to be fair and deal with [Holmes' new] movie and she wanted to talk about her life because Diane likes to produce a well-produced segment and bring something special to it when you get somebody that you don't see often on live television - but we had a time issue." But although the allegations in the Morton book have been widely reported around the world, Murphy said "GMA" still would not have mentioned the tome because it has been widely criticized over the quality of its journalism. "A lot of innuendo and gossip in that book is reported as fact," he said. Holmes was also interviewed yesterday on the syndicated show "Live With Regis and Kelly," where there was similarly no mention of the book.

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