Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike's Letter

December 15th, 1998 12:00 AM

Good News, Bad News, Really Bad News

Dear Friends,

It's been one of those weeks.

First the good news, then the bad news, then the really bad news…

GOOD NEWS: We beat the mayor! After some fast work by our legal team and a public outcry from many of you, New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani rescinded the order preventing us from shooting our new TV show, "The Awful Truth", on the streets of New York. Whoever wrote the First Amendment should be on everyone's Christmas list.

And…we beat the bathroom king! Millionaire Ira Rennert, the top toxic polluter in the country, withdrew his lawsuit, admitted that sworn statements he provided the court were not true, and the judge dismissed the case and the restraining order against us "with prejudice" (meaning he is barred from suing us again on this matter).

So we continue to film our story on Mr. Rennert and his home with the 39 bathrooms.

I wish I could share with you all the wild stories we've been filming for "The Awful Truth", which premieres on Bravo in April. In just the last week, we…

–Experienced our first arrest ever. Crackers, our Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken and our producer, Tia Lessin, were taken away in handcuffs, when Crackers confronted Mickey Mouse down in Orlando at DisneyWorld. It was an historic meeting of the two great animal mascots, but the Disney people (the subject of our story) did not see it that way.

–Paid another visit to the Impeachment hearings and interviewed the Clinton-obsessed Congressman Bob Barr about the whipped cream he licked off two women's chests at a fundraiser in 1992. We wanted the impartial Judiciary Committee member to show us how that was done.

–Visited the offices and homes of the CEOs of our top tobacco companies with "The Awful Truth Choir" – composed solely of people who have lost their voice boxes from smoking. They sang Christmas carols to the chairmen, and it was a touching sight.

BAD NEWS: Needless to say, we had a hard time staying on broadcast television with "TV Nation", so now we have moved to the free land of cable on the Bravo channel. Of course, cable isn't free and that's bothersome, but it's that or nothing. (Fortunately, Bravo is no longer a pay cable channel in most places).

The people at Bravo have been great. We are under no cloud of censorship as we were on NBC and FOX (details in our new book, "Adventures in a TV Nation").

But Bravo is available in only one-third of the homes in this country. Many of you have written us to say that your local cable company does not carry Bravo and you were wondering how you'd be able to see "The Awful Truth".

Well, dammit, there's no other way.

So that means you've got to convince your local cable company to pick up Bravo.

These cable operators do respond to public pressure on occasion. They are, for better or worse, regulated by your local government.

We need you to call your local cable company TODAY. Ask for the general manager or the sales manager and tell her/him you want them to carry Bravo. Click here to find out the name and phone number of the cable company in your town.

We are especially targeting these cities which do not carry Bravo:

Portland, OR

Time Warner

(503) 230-2000

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Cable

(513) 247-5060

Buffalo, NY

Adelphia of Buffalo

(716) 853-8900

Baltimore, MD

Comcast of Baltimore

(410) 931-9600

Flint, MI

Comcast Cablevision

(810) 235-9200

Houston, TX

TCI Harris County

(713) 645-2311

Reading, PA

Time Warner Cable

(610) 378-4600

Raleigh/Durham, NC

Time Warner Cable

(919) 821-7925


Time Warner

(607) 432-0500

Grand Rapids


(616) 977-2200

Albuquerque, NM

Jones Intercable

(505) 761-6200

Jackson, MS

Time Warner Cablevision

(601) 982-0922

Altantic City, NJ

Suburban Cable

(609) 641-6700

Southeast Michigan


(313) 945-1111

Pittsburgh, PA


(412) 771-8100

Harrisburg, PA

Suburban Cable

(717) 540-8900

Your cable company will be deciding THIS WEEK which networks they will be ordering for the second quarter of 1999. That's why we need you to make that call today.

AND NOW, THE REALLY BAD NEWS: Does Congress have rocks in its head? Did they not get the point of November 3?

They are actually going ahead with this coup!

So, my friends, let's activate our internet troops once again and…


Here's what we need to do:

- Each of us must call and harass the 20 or so Congress members on the fence. Click here for their names and phone numbers.

- To contact your own member of Congress, call (202) 225-3121 (House) or (202) 224-3121 (Senate).

- If you live on the East Coast, come join myself, Jesse Jackson, John Sweeney and others on the steps of the Capitol to protest the coup this Thursday, December 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

- E-mail your congressman now.

- Get ready to do some work. We're going to change this whole corrupt system and get our country back in the hands of its citizens. Over the holidays, I will write you and propose a number of actions we can take.

This whole impeachment fight has gone way beyond a stained blue dress. It is now about something much bigger than "Bill Clinton". Regardless of how you feel about this horndog, the Radical Right and its agenda of hate must be stopped. They are going to get away with this unless we act now.

I am so sick and tired of listening to them say, "It's not about sex, it's not about lying about sex, it's about PERJURY!"

Really? Just substitute "golf" for "sex" in all their speeches last week and see how this holds up:

"Mr. Chairman, the President claims he can't remember how many putts he took on the 12th hole– HOW CAN HE NOT REMEMBER?! This man looked right in the eye of the American public and LIED when he said "I did not go golfing with that man, Greg Norman!" Then, UNDER OATH, he said his handicap was a "6" instead of what it REALLY is – a "14!" He has committed PERJURY, and for that he should be removed from office!"

Trust me, it's only about sex (and all the other things about your personal life the Right wingnuts want to put their nose into).

But cheer up. There are three silver linings if Clinton is put on trial in the Senate:

Both parties will be so totally consumed with this for 4 to 6 months that they will be paralyzed from enacting more laws that do us harm.

- Thanks to the Republican Road Rage and the Democratic Inability to Put This Thing to Rest, the public is going to come out on the other side with total and complete disgust for these two political "parties". This could spell the end of politics as we've known it and there will be no better time for us to organize new political parties (The New Democratic Party? A Labor Party? Heck, there's even room for the loveable but whacky Libertarians and Peroistes!). Will we have the smarts to take advantage of the suicide the Republocrats are committing? I hope so. Because this impeachment has been a convenient and useful distraction for corporate America. While we've been busy pondering cigars and Altoids, the Fortune 500 has produced record layoffs and mergers this past year.

- This will be a real trial, not a kangaroo court like the one conducted in the Judiciary Committee. This time there are going to be real witnesses, real cross-examination, and real evidence. The good thing that might come out of it is that we will discover what Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Tripp's connections really are. We will learn how the tobacco senators from North Carolina (Helms and Faircloth) conspired to remove the original special prosecutor and appoint one of the tobacco industry's chief attorneys, Ken Starr. This will all come out and it will be good.

I just heard from the Fox News Channel today that Lucianne Goldberg has told them that she does not mind appearing with any pro-Clinton person on their talk shows– but "she will not go on the same show with you, Michael Moore. She hates you."

Whoa! What did I do? I've never met the lady. She kicked this whole coup off by getting Linda Tripp to secretly tape her "friend" Monica Lewinsky, and then she oddly became the only central Monicagate figure not called by Ken Starr to testify in front of the grand jury. Why?

But do you want to hear something weirder? She lives next door to me! I can see into her window! It's true! What do I do with this? Give her a taste of her own privacy invasion? Show the American people the "awful truth" I have to avoid looking at every damn night? Any ideas out there, my fellow Mike's Militia Members?

Take care, call Congress, call your cable company, write to me, and be good to young children between the ages of 5 and 6 1/2.


Michael Moore
The Awful Truth

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