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June 15, 2007 

Newsweek Reports that Michael Moore's Production Company Credentialed Subjects as Journalists Before Trip to Cuba

An article published yesterday on Newsweek magazine's Daily Edition states that Michael Moore's production company credentialed the subjects of his film that he took to Cuba as journalists.

The article states:

The multimillionaire-dollar question is: under what auspices did Moore get his people to Cuba? Moore, producer Harvey Weinstein and attorney David Boies claim that the group traveled on a legal “journalistic endeavor,” presumably under a license granted to members of the press who can provide evidence to the Treasury that they are regularly employed by a news organization. (Moore's spokesman, Chris Lehane, insists that Moore's group traveled legally, yet he wouldn't say if they actually attained any license from Treasury.) But the subjects of “Sicko” aren’t "regularly employeed" as journalists. NEWSWEEK has learned that Moore’s production company, Dog Eat Dog productions, credentialed the interviewees itself—in essence, knighting them as journalists—and then flew them from Miami to Cuba on a charter flight reserved for licensed travelers. Is that good enough? “Moore is not allowed to travel with companions unless they’re also licensed by the Treasury to travel to Cuba as journalists,” says David Cibrian, international trade attorney at Strasburger & Price. “ Journalists don’t bring people from elsewhere to interview in Cuba. People go to Cuba to interview Cubans.”
The article also notes that:
One final mystery is what documentation Moore’s party presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel in order to legally board a flight from Miami. Treasury claims, in a May letter to Moore, that it has “no record” of issuing the necessary paperwork for Moore to travel. But Angel Marques, public affairs liaison in the Miami Office of Customs and Border Protection, says no one gets on a flight from Miami to Cuba without showing a Treasury license. “I don’t know what charter service Moore used, but it’s safe to say that he would have been asked for paperwork before boarding,” Marques says.
[Full disclosure: The attorney quoted above is my law partner.]

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