just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean homeland security isn’t writing all this down

LOS ANGELES, May 10 — Michael Moore, the provocative filmmaker who has made a career out of skewering automakers, gun enthusiasts and the Bush administration, is being investigated by the Treasury Department over a trip he made to Cuba for his new film, “Sicko.”

This month the department sent a letter to Mr. Moore saying it was investigating whether he had violated restrictions on travel to Cuba when he accompanied sick workers seeking free medical care as part of a documentary on America’s health care industry.

Treasury Department representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment. On Mr. Moore’s Web site, the film’s producer, Meghan O’Hara, called the department’s actions a “politically motivated investigation.”

The ailing workers shown traveling to Cuba in the film had helped clean up the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The letter from the Treasury Department asked for detailed information about the trip, including evidence that Mr. Moore was employed as a journalist. Journalists can secure permission to go to Cuba.

The government also sought the name and address of the travel agent who made the reservations, and receipts, and the names and addresses of all of those who went on the trip. News of the letter was first reported by The Associated Press.

Chris Lehane, who was press secretary to Vice President Al Gore and has been retained by the Weinstein Company, the film’s distributor, said the Treasury Department had been aware of the trip for a long time.

“We feel comfortable with the terms with which we went to Cuba,” Mr. Lehane said.

Harvey Weinstein, a co-founder of the company, said the timing of the letter suggested an attack by the Bush administration meant to discredit the film. But Mr. Weinstein said: “They are only causing more publicity. It’s so ironic. They should let sleeping dogs lie.”

He said he was concerned that the Treasury Department would try to prevent the part of the movie shot in Cuba from being shown. “We have the resources to fight,” he said.

“Sicko” is set to open at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19 and nationwide on June 29.

If past behavior portends the future, Mr. Moore and his backers will most likely use the government inquiry to the film’s advantage.

In May 2004, Mr. Moore and his agent, Ari Emanuel, went public with complaints that the Walt Disney Company was refusing to distribute the film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” causing a ruckus in Hollywood and Washington. The movie earned $220 million at the box office worldwide.

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truth

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

truth

Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
May 2007
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

bygones


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