Miley Cyrus’ Cover Shoot Style for Marie Claire

I’m inclined to give Miley Cyrus a pass on the whole bong-smoking thing. I’m inclined to think, Lord, honey, just steer clear of the cameras next time. And I tell Cyrus this when I meet her. We’re down in New Orleans, where she’s shooting her new comedy, So Undercover, and we’re sitting in her big cozy trailer around twilight, and we’ve spent the day together now, so a certain level of comfort has been established.

The subject of “The Bong Incident” (which, in case you have been living under a rock, involved a two-and-a-half-minute video of Cyrus smoking a bong filled with salvia, an herb sold legally in many health-food stores, posted on TMZ in December) has come up, and after she says all the things you expect her to say (“I’m not perfect … I made a mistake … I’m disappointed in myself for disappointing my fans …”), I cannot help but set my journalist hat aside for a minute and say, “But do you really think it was a mistake? Obviously college kids your age all over America are smoking bongs with a lot more than salvia in them.”