The Weinstein Co. has rehired political strategist Chris Lehane as a consultant for Michael Moore's new film, Sicko. Lehane, who formerly served as a spokesperson and lawyer for President Clinton, was a press strategist for Moore's previous film, Fahrenheit 9/11. While this probably won't help Moore's battle with the U.S. Treasury Department, the employment of Lehane is expected to aid in any scuffles that Moore and the Weinsteins get into with HMOs and pharmaceutical companies, which are criticized in the health care-themed documentary. TWC also brought on praiser Ken Sunshine, because Harvey Weinstein says he needs two guys who will strike back if the HMOs strike first (oh wait, I mean strike second).
The film has already been attacked through statements, including one this week (which I can't find anywhere) by Ken Johnson of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Johnson, who likely hasn't seen any footage of the film, claims that Sicko is not balanced, thoughtful or well-researched. He also called Moore a political activist and creator of sensationalist works. Based on some of Moore's films, this isn't an ungrounded assumption, but we can all hope that Moore is learning how to be fair and balanced and less manipulative. Anyway, Lehane and Sunshine will both accompany the film to its premiere at Cannes this month to serve as something like spin bodyguards. Sicko will hit theaters on June 29.