has a new movie due this summer.
And the federal government is unwittingly going to help him promote it.
Or is wittingly trying to sabotage it.
Depends on your point of view.
The Associated Press reports that Moore is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury for taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba - the U.S. has a trade embargo restricting travel to Cuba - for a segment in "Sicko."
"Sicko" purports to go after the health-care industry the way "Fahrenheit 9/11" went after President Bush.
In March, Moore took about 10 ailing workers from the Ground Zero rescue effort for treatment in Cuba, said a person working on the release of "Sicko."
In a statement yesterday, "Sicko" producer Meghan O'Hara said that the Treasury investigation might be an attempt to undermine the film.
Moore declined comment.
"Our health-care system is broken and, all too often, deadly," O'Hara said. "The efforts of the Bush administration to conduct a politically motivated investigation of Michael Moore and 'Sicko' will not stop us from making sure the American people see this film."
Sept. 11 rescue workers "risked their lives searching for survivors, recovering bodies, and clearing away toxic rubble," O'Hara said. "Now, many of these heroes face serious health issues, and far too many of them are not receiving the care they need and deserve."
Treasury officials would not comment specifically about Moore's case. But department spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is "required to investigate potential violations of these programs. In doing so, OFAC issues hundreds of letters each year asking for additional information when possible sanctions violations have occurred."
A letter from OFAC noted that Moore applied Oct. 12, 2006, for permission to go to Cuba, "but no determination had been made by OFAC."
Moore's opponents have often accused him of distorting facts, and his Cuba trip provoked criticism from conservatives including former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson (TV's "Law & Order"), who ripped Moore in a blog at National Review Online.
"I have no expectation that Moore is going to tell the truth about Cuba or health care," wrote Thompson. "I defend his right to do what he does, but Moore's talent for clever falsehoods has been too well-documented."
Maybe, but there's a big difference between Iraq and health care. Very few people were involved with the decision to go to war so that lends itself to subjective he-said she-said reporting. But when it comes to health insurance, if you have it, you have a horror story; and if you don't, you have a horror story.
* Double oops.
Yesterday we "corrected" a TMZ.com story about Paris Hilton judge Michael T. Sauer getting an ovation when he arrived for services at L.A.'s St. Brendan Church. The deacon had e-mailed to say it didn't happen.
After our correction ran, TMZ.com called to dress us down, saying they have two reliable witnesses to the cheers and the only mistake was that it happened Saturday night and not Sunday.
And perhaps the whole church didn't rise as one.
But it's a big church and some people definitely cheered the judge.
They swear. And it's a church.
We regret at least one of the errors and maybe both of them.
* Nick Cannon and Victoria's
Secret model Selita Ebanks are engaged.
Cannon proposed on bent knee Monday in Times Square as the words, "Selita will you marry me?" flashed on a giant TV screen, his publicist, Tracy Nguyen, said yesterday.
Ebanks said yes. Cannon then presented her with a 15-carat diamond ring that he helped design.
The couple wasted no time, having met at a Super Bowl party in Miami in February.
* An employment tribunal in
London ruled yesterday that Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, discriminated against their chef, Jane Martin, by firing her after she became pregnant.
Martin said that she had worked for the Stings for eight years but that Trudie grew unhappy after Jane became pregnant in 2005. Jane, who accused Trudie of having a "grandiose ego," left her job under disputed circumstances in April 2006.
Trudie said the pair will appeal.
"Jane Martin was always treated well and generously as an employee," she said in a statement, "and we remain stunned at her actions and at the verdict of the tribunal."
* The Hollywood Reporter says
Eddie Murphy is set to star in a big-screen "Fantasy Island."
As Murphy will play multiple roles in the film, we might get to see him as both Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) and Tattoo (Herve Villechaize).
* When the Boston Pops
opened its season Wednesday with guest Ben Folds, two balcony patrons turned Symphony Hall into Fenway Park when the Yankees are in town.
During a medley from "Gigi," a fight started after one of the men tapped the other on the shoulder with a program to complain about noise, police said.
Hey, there might not be so much noise if you stopped beating the snot out of each other. *
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.