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Subject: [alt.tv.tv-nation] Michael Moore FAQ (Part 3 of 3)
This article was archived around: 20 Dec 1998 23:19:18 -0000
Posted-By: auto-faq 3.3 (Perl 5.004)
Last-modified: Jul 24, 1998
6. CANADIAN BACON
6.0. What is CANADIAN BACON?
It is Moore's first foray into narrative filmmaking. The $10
million film was written, produced and directed by Michael
Moore. It stars Alan Alda, John Candy, Bill Nunn, Kevin J.
O'Connor, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollack and Rip Torn. The film also
features cameos by Stephen Wright, James Belushi, Dan Aykroyd,
Michael Moore and Ben Hamper.
The director of photography was Oscar-winning Haskell Wexler
(ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, BOUND FOR GLORY). The production
designer is Carol Spier. Wendey Starzler, who edited ROGER AND ME,
edits. Elmer Bernstein wrote the music score.
Moore has described the film as a cross between DR.
STRANGELOVE and ANIMAL HOUSE. What follows is a synopsis of the
film taken from Denis Sequin's article:
"Faced with high unemployment and industrial sluggishness, the
film's waffling U.S. President (Alan Alda), a Clinton surrogate, is
forced to concede that there's nothing like a full-time enemy to
concentrate the national senses. But when the representatives of
the former Soviet Union are unwilling to negotiate the old enmity
back into existence, the national security adviser (Kevin Pollak)
whispers an unfamiliar arctic name in the president's ear. That
night, the major network newscasts are full of ominous stories from
north of the border....
In Niagara Falls, N.Y., Sheriff Bud Boomer (Candy) is at the
bankruptcy auction of a local weapons plant -- peace is bad for
business -- when he hears word of a Canadian invasion. Later,
watching TV, learning about the infiltration of Canadian
celebrities into the U.S. media, he decides to take matters into
his own hands. While the CIA dusts off its Canada specialist and
the Secret Service readies a clandestine force of fake Canadian
invaders, Bud Boomer mounts a preemptive strike. He attacks the
'capital' of Canada: Toronto."
6.1. Is CANADIAN BACON available on video?
Yes. It is available for rental by Polygram Video. There is
no retail price for the VHS as of yet, but I understand that a
laserdisc is available.
6.2. Why was CANADIAN BACON delayed from release for so long? And
how come I didn't see it playing at my local theater?
A struggle between Moore and the original distributor,
Propaganda Pictures, forced the film to sit on the shelf for two
In an interview with Denis Sequin, Moore elaborates:
Moore's script takes so many whacks at things American --
opportunistic politicians, compliant media, ignorant public -- you
wonder how this film got made in the first place. According to
Moore, it very nearly didn't, and took quite a fight to keep it as
tart as it is.
Although Candy was the prime factor in the studio's financing,
Moore suggested that the producers were rubbing their hands in
anticipation of their very own version of Uncle Buck, an execrable
but profitable Candy vehicle.
"John wanted to do more of what he used to do, sharp-edged
satire and not what Hollywood expected of him," says Moore. When
Candy died in March of '94, a little bit of the film died with him.
"John was my supporter and he was no longer there to back me and my
vision of the film so I lost fights with the studio about content."
If the studio did, as Moore suggests, get more politics than
they bargained for, you have to question what the producers were
doing bankrolling Moore in the first place.
"I told them [the studio] it could make money and be about
something, that it doesn't have to be a dumb comedy. It's not going
to make Dumb And Dumber money but they'll get their money back. But
we live in an economic system where there's no such thing as
'enough.' They're never satisfied because there's always more money
Having given his producers more politics than they bargained
for, Moore shouldn't have been surprised when they gave him more
flak than he expected. Now, with only movie-goers left to vindicate
him, Moore is undoubtedly hoping that they are more inclined to
voting with their entertainment dollar than their suffrage.
An interview with Bob Strauss in PULSE expands upon the conflict
Moore had with Propaganda:
Making _Canadian Bacon_ was something of a war in itself.
Although the film lists as producers such respected names as David
Brown (_Jaws_, _The Sting_, _The Player_) and Ron Rotholz,
president of Madonna's Maverick Pictures, most of the financing
came from an outfit called Propaganda Films. Recently sold to the
giant PolyGram entertainment conglomerate, Propaganda was in dire
need of a hit after backing such tankers as _A Stranger Among Us_
and _Daddy's Dyin' ... Who's Got the Will?) and _SFW_. Moore still
isn't certain what Propaganda executives thought they'd be getting
from his determinedly radical satire. But from day one, it was
clearly not the movie Moore intended.
"They were very much in my face and tried to interfere in the
process from beginning to end," Moore says. "Y'know, these money
guys are around and they're extremely nervous. Here I was: I
finished this film on time, on budget, shot it in 38 days, and they
just couldn't leave it alone. In some ways, what's delayed the
release is my insistence that the film be the way it is, as opposed
to the way that they wanted it to be. They wanted more of _Uncle
Buck_. On the set, they'd be, 'Do you guys think you could write
some more lines for John? Have him do more goofy stuff?' I'm
going, 'Guys, it's not that film.' There's a good enough amount of
that in there already, because it's not an art film. But it's
not _Uncle Buck_."
During production, Candy was Moore's strongest ally. "John
really wanted to do this film because it was cutting edge and it
harkened back to where he came from, _SCTV_," Moore contends. "He
had allowed himself to be placed in a number of films that were not
up to the level he was capable of. He wanted to make a statement,
like he did in that small part in _JFK_, that he's a good actor and
not Uncle Buck.
"He was my backer. Whenever they'd come down on me when we
were shooting, he would just say, 'This is the way we're doin' it.
This is the script I signed up to shoot.' But when John died, I
lost my main support. And they came in like hawks."
Moore contends Propaganda executives wanted to tone down the
film's edgier politics: "Why would you go into business with
somebody who is like I am and then try to enforce your vision, if
I can use that word?" Moore wonders. (For their part, requests to
Propaganda spokespeople for comment were unanswered.)
After the film was cut, director and production company held
dueling test screenings, Moore with hip urban audiences who gave
the picture positive scores, Propaganda at suburban sites packed
with teens who didn't get it. Propaganda took the film away from
original distributor MGM, then refused to release a print to the
most recent Sundance Film Festival. When _Canadian Bacon_ won a
berth at last spring's Cannes Film Festival, Moore finally
triumphed. Steve Golin, Propaganda's cofounder, took his name off
the film, and Moore's version (vision?) is being distributed by
a different, PolyGram-co-owned company, Gramercy Pictures.
With a few minor variations, producer Brown confirms Moore's
descriptions of the postproduction tug-of-war. Brown has no
comment on the nature of the creative differences that occurred
during shooting. But Brown does say of Golin, "We owe the
existence and the backing of the film to him. Steve Golin worked
earnestly on the film and was the reason the film was financed."
* * *
In addition, CANADIAN BACON got a shoddy release from Gramercy
Pictures. It was released in only a couple of cities on September
22, 1995, which in Gramercy bureaucratese constitutes a "national
release" with a minimum of press and advertising. Needless to say,
Michael Moore has said that "he'll only do another Hollywood film
if they send him a blank check with no return address."
6.3. CANADIAN BACON miscellany
From the Alexander Cockburn interview:
"Three dozen different film companies rejected the script and
told me the American public doesn't want anything
political....After GE gave TV NATION the green light, it created an
interest in me and my script. Two months after I shot the pilot
for the TV show, I had the green light for my movie and two months
later I was shooting it....After I made the pilot and showed it to
John Candy and Alan Alda, I got the money."
* * *
Some of the items Moore used to research the film were
brouchures from Niagara Falls motels, maps of Canada and
memorabilia from various Desert Storm celebrations.
* * *
Moore had been working on a drama about a Holocaust survivor
until Operation Desert Storm began in early 1991.
* * *
Interestingly enough, the end of 1997 brings WAG THE DOG to
the movie theater. The plot of this Barry Levinson film is very
similar to CANADIAN BACON -- a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman)
is hired to engineer a war for the president's re-election.
Whether or not Moore will pursue a copyright infringement suit
remains to be seen.
6.3.1. Were there any changes from the initial cut?
According to email@example.com:
- The ending with Wallace Shawn as the Canadian Prime minister was
cut to make the ending more final. Michael described what it
was, and all the Canadians in the audience were very
disappointed that it was removed. Michael has promised to
bring it to the Festival though so we can see it.
There were also scenes of Moore and Hamper in the preview
(cast as milita members, no less) that mysteriously vanished when
the film was released.
7. DOWNSIZE THIS! Random Threats From a Unarmed American
7.0. What is DOWNSIZE THIS
From the back of the book,
"From the creator of the hit BBC TV show TV Nation and the most
popular documentary of all time, Roger and Me, comes the book
for all you disillusioned, political abstainees who are working longer
hours for less pay and have had enough."
"Michael Moore has established himself as someone who just won`t shut
up, go away, or otherwise do what political and corporate fat cats
would like him to do.
Nothing but the truth is sacred in this hilarious screed on
the state of the USA. With chapter headings such as "If Clinton
Had Balls..." and "Why Doesn`t General Motors Sell Crack?" setting
the tone for a biting indictment of American corporate politics,
Moore`s take-no-prisoners attitude is brutually funny, insightful,
irrepressible. The issues raised are universal; here Michael Moore
lifts the veil on the people who set themselves up as our role models
and hysterically exposes their vulnerable underbellies."
7.0.1 Chapter Headings
Chapter headings include,
"Not on the Mayflower? Then Leave!"
"So You Want to Kill the President!"
"Steve Forbes Was an Alien"
"A Sperm`s Right to Life"
"Free Us, Nelson Mandela!"
7.1. How Can I Get It?
The book should be available from your local bookstore, took note
however, of this from Moore:
"Some people have written me to say that their bookstore has run out
of it or has it back in the "humor" section. If you're in a bookstore
this week, will you do me a favor and ask the manager for
the book? If he/she takes you to the section with the Garfield
books tell them my book isn't really that funny, in fact, it's
downright damn depressing and they should move it to the
part of the store where people will see it (up front with all those
other books in Current Non Fiction!)".
Ordering details are;
Published by Crown Publishers in the USA
Published by Boxtree in the UK
Price (HB): $18.90/9.99pounds
First Published: Sept 1996
The book is also available on audio cassette, read by
A paperback version of the book was also issued, containing an
extra chapter entitled "Why O.J. is Guilty."
7.3 Downsize This! Links
The 'Official' Downsize This! website is at;
Other websites about the book or related to topics in the
Using the search engine on The Nation`s website should list 4 articles
written by Moore whilst promoting the book.
8 THE BIG ONE with Michael Moore
8.0 What is THE BIG ONE?
To promote Downsize This, RandomHouse asked Moore to go on a booksigning
tour of 47 American cities. After visting the first few cities
Moore realized that the events on tour could be made into a film;
Amazon.com: I imagine you've been gathering a lot of stories on your
tour. Do you think you'll come out with another book?
Moore: There are so many stories! Yes, I want to write another book,
but, you know.... I actually called the BBC and said, "You've got to
send some cameras over here!"
The things that are happening on this tour are just strange and
bizarre. And meanwhile people are sobbing at the table, telling me how
they're working their fourth job now because they've been laid off or
fired three other times in the last year.
8.1 Where can I see THE BIG ONE?
The film was released in the USA from 10th April onwards. So go see it.
"The Big One" will be released internationally
at a later date
OTHER DATES AND CITIES
"The Big One" will open in other cities depending
on how well it does in these larger markets. The
better it does in these markets the more chance
the message the movie has to offer will get shared
with smaller cities.
8.3 What happened with ... ?
Some of the items in the film had the background only briefly explained by
Moore. This part of the FAQ looks at the history of each item.
8.3.1 Borders Bookstore
In the film we hear Moore explaining what happened at the Philadelphia
bookstore that caused the dispute between himself and Borders
Management. This article, published in The Nation, explains the event
in greater detail.
Banned by Borders
By Michael Moore
On November 9, as I write this, I was supposed to have been at the Borders
bookstore in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, speaking and signing copies of my book
Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American. It was to have
been the final stop of my forty-seven-city tour. But on October 30 I was told
that the book-signing had been canceled. The Fort Lauderdale Borders had
received a memo from its corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
banning me from speaking or signing at any Borders store in the country.
When I was growing up in Michigan, the original Borders was a store that
actively championed free expression. In fact, when I was publishing the
Michigan Voice, Borders would carry my paper when other establishments
would not. Now, Borders is a huge nationwide chain, and its "liberal" views
have earned it the reputation as the "Ben & Jerry's of the book chains."
So why was I banned from Borders? My book was doing well. It has been on
the New York Times best-seller list for a month and was the number two
best-selling Random House book for the entire Borders chain. I've been
banned, I found out, because I made the mistake of uttering a five-letter word the dirtiest word in all of corporate America -- "union."
Back in September, on the second day of my tour, when I arrived at the Borders
store in downtown Philadelphia, I found nearly 100 people picketing the place
because Borders had fired a woman named Miriam Fried. She had led a drive
to organize workers at the store into a union. The effort failed, and, a few
weeks later, Miriam was given the boot.
When I found this out I told the Borders people that I have never crossed a
picket line and would not cross this one. I asked the demonstrators if they
wanted to take the protest inside. They thought it was a good idea. I had no
desire to cause a ruckus, so I asked Borders management if it was O.K. to allow the protesters in. They said yes. So we all came into the store, I gave my talk
,I gave Miriam the microphone so she could talk, everyone behaved themselves
and it was a good day all around -- including for Borders, which ended up
selling a lot of books, breaking the record for a noontime author at that
location. (The record had been held by George Foreman, and I now like to tell
people only Ali and I have beaten Foreman.) I also announced that I would
donate all my royalties for the day to help Miriam out.
Although Anne Kubek, Borders' corporate V.P. in charge of labor relations,
had approved my bringing the protesters inside, upper management decided
that she had made a mistake -- and they were going to take it out on me. On
the following Tuesday I was scheduled to speak at the new Borders store in
New York's World Trade Center. When I arrived, I was met by two Borders
executives. They had flown in from Michigan just to stop me from speaking.
The executives, flanked by two security guards, explained that I could come
into the store and sign books, but I would not be allowed to talk to the people who had come to hear me. They said that the "commotion" I had caused in
Philly raised "security concerns." I couldn't believe I was being censored in a bookstore.
The Borders manager told the assembled crowd that I would not be speaking
because "Port Authority police and fire marshals have banned all daytime
gatherings at Borders." When I heard this, I stepped forward and told the
people this was a lie, that I was forbidden to speak because of my support for
the workers in Philly. Under protest, I signed the books of those who stayed -- beneath a big banner celebrating "Banned Books Week."
On October 13, I spoke to a large crowd in a Des Moines auditorium. After the
speech I went out front and started signing books. "What store are these from?" I innocently asked. "Oh, these are from the local Borders," I was told. Well, I thought, they don't mind if I make them some money -- as long as it's not on
their premises! Then someone slipped me an anonymous note. It read: "We are
employees of the Des Moines Borders. We were told that we could not work
the book table tonight, that only management was working the table, because
they said they wanted to 'protect us' from you."
An hour later, I went out to the parking lot and saw some people standing there in the dark -- the employees from the Des Moines Borders! They said they
were hiding out there because they had spotted Borders' regional director with
another man inside. "He flew in to spy on you, or us, or both," they told me.
"He saw us so we may not have jobs on Monday." (Bookstore employees afraid
they might be fired for attending a public speech at the Herbert Hoover High
School auditorium!) The executive had not introduced himself to me -- or his
colleague, who employees believe is a unionbusting "consultant" hired by
I wished the workers well, and the next night they held their first union
meeting. The previous week, the Borders store in the Lincoln Park section of
Chicago had become the first Borders in the country to vote in a union (United
Food and Commercial Workers). Recently, workers in Des Moines signed
enough cards to hold a union election. It is a victory that should inspire not
only Borders workers but underpaid employees everywhere. That's why I am
not in Fort Lauderdale as I write this. Borders is "protecting" its workers
Well, they're really going to need protection now. First, I am donating my
royalties from the next 1,000 sales of Downsize This! to the organizing drive
at Borders. Second, I am asking each of you to support the Borders workers in
your city. Bring up the union when you're in the store and thank that kid with
the nose ring and green hair for helping to revive the labor movement in
After this was published, Moore recieved a letter from Joe Gable, which
attacked Moore's version of the events at the Philidelphia store. Moore
responded to this letter as follows.
JOE "BORDERS" GABLE AND ME
I remember meeting Joe Gable, the manager of the original Borders
store in Ann Arbor on the street last summer. He had heard that I had
learned of their union troubles and he wanted to set me straight. He
proceeded to attack Miriam Fried, the woman Borders had fired in
Philadelphia, with such aggression that I was sort of taken aback by his
anger toward her and the union. That venom is still present in his letter
"Michael & Me" in which he calls her "the martyred poster girl of the
union organizers." She is not a "girl" and Joe, you are obviously no
friend to the working woman or man. In fact, as I understand it, your own
workers in your Ann Arbor store had organized a union election which, I am
told, so upset you out that you threatened to resign if they voted in the
union. Because they felt so sorry for you, they postponed the election
until next year. You, though, in the meantime, left the store and have
become part of management at Borders corporate headquarters! Didn't you
feel a responsibility to explain to the readers of your letter these
events as they transpired?
So let's deal with the untruths and misleading statements in your
1) The vice-president of human relations did, in fact, give me
permission to bring the Philadelphia protesters inside the store. I felt
bad for you, reading that line you wrote, "Anne Kubek had never given
Michael permission to bring the picketers inside the store." Of course,
you had no idea that I FILMED my conversation with her when she gave me
that explicit permission. Oops!
2) I have never urged people to boycott Borders. That is a bald-faced
lie and you know it. In fact, I have encouraged people to buy the book at
Borders (and talk union!). I did so in my Nation column and in the New
York Times. If I had "trashed Borders and urged people to buy their books
somewhere else" in Philly, why did I then sit there for 2 and 1/2 hours
signing and selling over 200 books? Tell the truth.
3) You were right in describing Borders attitude toward me when I
showed up at your World Trade Center store in Manhattan by stating "word
of this circus performance (BTW, workers trying to organize representation
for themselves is not a "circus performance", unless you think of them as
trained monkeys) raised legitimate security concerns..." But then you put
the blame on the "Port Authority" for shutting my talk down! No one
believes this, Joe! The manager of that store told me very clearly (and
there were witnesses) that "the commotion you caused in Philly" is not
going to happen here "and you are not going to speak." All this, minutes
before I'm supposed to speak to the hundreds who had gathered there.
If, in fact, you and the "Port Authority" were worried about "large
crowds in a small second floor area", then why did you have the Duchess of
York, Sarah Ferguson, a member of the Royal Family and a target of the IRA
in that same exact store (the terrorist-bombed World Trade Center) just
nine weeks after I was considered such a "security risk." Make up a better
story next time you're going to lie!! :>>>)
4) You were not in Des Moines the night I was there (just as you
weren't in Philly or Manhattan), so how do you know what took place?
Again, you forget that I had my camera crew with me and filmed the whole
event! The Des Moines Borders workers first slipped me an anonymous note
telling me they were not allowed to work the book table at my event and
then they met me out in the parking lot later that night to tell me their
plight. They had been paying into your corporate HMO for over six months
-- and were being refused health care! Borders picked an HMO that HAD NO
DOCTOR IN DES MOINES!! No wonder people start unions! Before they left,
they told me that they were going to call a meeting the next night to see
if there was interest in forming a union. I wished them well (and later
pledged money to their cause). Yesterday, at 4:00pm, they held their union
election at the Borders in Des Moines -- and the union won!
I feel bad, Joe, that you had to attack me so personally, calling me
names -- I have never done that to any Borders executive through this
whole conflict. But that is the refuge of one who doesn't have the facts
or the truth on his side, so I understand your malice. I love how you
blame the AFL-CIO for being behind this big, sinister plot to unionize
your stores and other service workers. The AFL-CIO, until recently,
couldn't organize their way out of a paper bag. If you get anything out of
this letter, please understand this: YOU, and other corporations like you,
are organizing the workers. By not paying a liveable wage, by promising
benefits and not delivering --- you have brought this on yourself. I wish
I could take credit for it, but the credit is all yours.
I did have a good meeting with the President of Borders two weeks ago
and I hope something will be resolved shortly. I think he knows the
mistakes that have taken place here. I had tried for two months to resolve
this quietly and only went public after the event in Ft. Lauderdale was
canceled. I look forward to speaking and signing at Borders in the future.
But I will never remain silent when I see something happening that I think
is wrong, even if it is my favorite hometown bookstore doing it, and even
if they are selling a zillion of my books. When it comes down to commerce
vs. conscience, well, it's one thing the nuns taught me right.
Author, "Downsize This"
11 December 1996
P.S. Please feel free to pass this on to others who may have received
Joe's letter. I am also asking Borders to post this in their stores and on
their web site as they did with Joe's.
8.5.2. Richard Jewell
Richard Jewell was a security guard at the 1996 Olympic Games who was
arrested after a bomb exploded in the Olympic Park, killing two people.
After 88 days of media judgement about his involvement with the
bombing, the FBI declared that he was no longer a suspect in the
case. This caused problems for several news organisations, as they
had already put him in the role of the bomber, and had written
articles that assumed his guilt. Jewell brought lawsuits against
NBC and the Atlanta local newspaper that first identified Jewell as the
bomber (and settled for $500,000 from NBC).
8.5.3. Detroit Newspaper Strike
This item had already been featured on TV Nation(Series 2, Episode 7).
9.1. THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW
9.1.1 What is THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW?
Recently, Moore shot over two days a pilot for a proposed weekly talk
show to be aired on FOX featuring Jon Stewart, Sheryl Crow and many others.
The most notable appearance on the show was by O.J. Simpson, who appeared
at the end of the show to a completely stunned audience.
>From a post by Peter Shafran <firstname.lastname@example.org> on alt.tv.tv-nation:
"I was in the audience of the pilot last night. I enjoyed the show for the
most part. let me tell you about it briefly.
The set was very simple--it was a typical talk show set (desk, chairs, etc.
and a small area for musical guests). It was done in early
industrial/garage. It also had a huge monitor/screen for the audience to
watch the taped and live segments.
After a short (somewhat lame) monologue/intro, his "henchman", Lucky and ???
gave out guns to the audience in a "right to bear arms" segment. It was
Then they went to Angola Prison in Louisiana via satellite for an interview
and tour of the facility with the warden. The subject was prison
labor--sort of similar to the NAFTA/Mexico segment from TV Nation. They
went back to the prison several times and then finally, supposedly lost the
feed for the last segment.
The musical guest was Sheryl Crow, who talked about Wal-Mart's effective
censorship of her second album because it contained a reference to
Wal-Mart selling guns to children. Then she sang the song. I
originally thought she sounded somewhat dopey, but by the end she won
me (and most of the audience) over.
BTW, she looks really hot!
There was a lame segment involving pitting 3 Wall St. investment types
(obviously actors) vs. a chimp in picking an investment stock. needless to
say, the chimp won. Usually, the chimp would be funny--here, the bit
There was another segment pitting the NY (i.e., poor hip) audience vs. the
LA (rich out-of-touch) person-on-the-street (obviously pre-taped) and, of
course, the NY audience won.
There was another segment involving tainted meat left over from the summer's
recall and MM's attempt to sell it to 3rd world countries at the UN (pretty
funny) and trying different ways to use the meat, e.g. subway seat cushions,
corking baseball bats, birthday cake icing, etc. Then they went back to the
studio and passed out "free tainted meat burgers". The taped portion was
The final segment was a "surprise" guest---O.J. Simpson. They did a typical
guest interview and it got a little uncomfortable and then downright ugly as
the audience started yelling things out to OJ. He took it in stride and
then the staff came around with mikes to ask OJ questions. I, personally,
don't believe it was really OJ, but an very convincing lookalike or
impersonator who was very knowledgeable about the trial, etc. It really
brought the audience down and I felt like I was watching an Andy
Kaufman-type bit with MM challenging the audience. Whether or not it really
was OJ, I think it was a terrible move on MM's part to use this segment in
his pilot. First of all, it was taped out of order, that is, they purposely
taped the show ending first and asked the audience to wait around for
another segment to be taped out of order. I think they did it this way,
because they knew that many people would have walked out (as many did)
before the show would be over and then when they would have taped the show
ending, there would be many empty seats!
All in all, I think the show would be a welcome alternative to late night TV
(it's being presented to FOX for the Fall '98 lineup). However, many of the
taped segments had a Letterman-esque feel and look. Also, albeit that this
is MM's first attempt with a talk show format, he looked obviously nervous
and a little too laid back at times. The audience, though pumped up for
most of the show, was down for the whole OJ segment."
9.1.2 Will THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW have a regular time slot?
At this time, FOX has not made a decision. As soon as details become
available, they will be posted in an upcoming version of the FAQ.
9.2. BETTER DAYS
9.2.1 What is BETTER DAYS ?
Better Days is a sitcom made for CBS. The pilot episode has been taped,
starring Jim Belushi. The show is about a town where everybody is made
10. THE AWFUL TRUTH
A sequel of sorts to TV Nation, made for Channel 4 in the UK, with
a similiar format and focus. It is currently being filmed.
10.1 Where can I see it?
The show wil be aired early next year in both the USA and the UK.
It will be on Channel 4 in the UK, in the USA it has been picked
up by the cable channel Bravo. However -
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"
( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060988096 )
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
( http://www.bravotv.com/getbravo/main.html )
We are especially targeting these cities which
do not carry Bravo:
Portland, OR Columbia Cable, (503) 644-3188
Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Cable, (513) 242-9111
Buffalo, NY TCI of Buffalo, (716) 853-8900
Baltimore, MD TCI of Baltimore, (410) 649-9000
Flint, MI Comcast Cablevision, (810) 235-9200
Houston, TX TCI Harris County, (713) 451-4611
Union, NJ Comcast Cable of Union, (908) 602-7444
Jacksonville, FL MediaOne, (904) 731-7700
Rochester, NY Time Warner Cable, (716) 756-5000
Charlotte, NC Cablevision, (704) 377-2288
Reading, PA Time Warner Cable, (610) 378-4600
Raleigh/Durham, NC Time Warner Cable, (919) 821-7925
Richmond, VA MediaOne, (804) 262-4004
Green Bay, WI Time Warner, (414) 496-2040
Worcester, MA Time Warner, (607) 432-0500
Grand Rapids, MI TCI, (616) 977-2200
Greensboro, NC Time Warner, (910) 854-1200
Albuquerque, NM Jones Intercable, (505) 761-6200
Jackson, MS Capitol Cablevision, (601) 982-0922
Altantic City, NJ Suburban Cable (609) 641-6700
Southeast Michigan Comcast, (313) 945-1111
Pittsburgh, PA TCI, (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.
During the filming of a particular segment for the new show, a series
of lawsuits were issued against and by Moore and his show. So far
they include -
10.2.1 Ira Renner v Michael Moore
On Nov. 5, two days after the election, I was shooting a segment for our show
about a man named Ira Rennert. He is one of the richest men in the country
and he is considered by the EPA to be the top toxic polluter in the country.
Few people have ever heard of him and a search by our staff has revealed that
there is no video footage of him and only two or three known photographs.
Recently, Mr. Rennert has come into the public spotlight, not because of his
polluting, but because he is building the largest house in America out in the
wealthy Hamptons on Long Island. The $100 million abode will have 28 bedrooms
and 39 bathrooms.
So, on Nov. 5th, I went to his home and office to present him with our
"Man of the Year" award. Any guy who insists on 39 bathrooms is a guy we can
The next day, we received a call from the New York City Mayor's Office of Film
and Television. They told us Mr. Rennert and his attorneys had called the
Mayor's Office to file a complaint.
Three days later, Ira Rennert went to court and sued us. He got a judge to give
him, unbeknownst to us, a temporary restraining order prohibiting us from
coming within 150 feet of his Park Avenue home or his Rockefeller Center
office. If we did, we would be arrested.
10.2.2 Mayor Giuliani v Michael Moore
Our sources within the New York City Police Department told us that an order
had come down directly from the Mayor's Office "to immediately arrest Michael
Moore if he gets anywhere near Rennert's office in Rockefeller Center ."
Then, on Nov. 12, we were informed by the Mayor's Office that our show was
being banned from shooting on the streets of New York City until the matter
with Ira Rennert was "resolved."
10.2.3 Michael Moore v New York
I had never experienced such a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights.
Over the weekend we hired one of the top First Amendment attorneys in the
country, Victor Kovner, and went on the offensive. The New York media rallied
to our side. Within 24 hours, Mayor Giuliani went in front of the TV cameras
and reversed himself. No one in NYC could remember a time when Giuliani had
backed down so quickly.
10.2.4 Michael Moore v Ira Rennert
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
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
So we continue to film our story on Mr. Rennert
and his home with the 39 bathrooms.
11.1. Other Projects
At some time or other the following projects were linked to Moore. When
or if they see daylight is another matter.
* Moore has signed a deal with Channel 4 in the UK to produce a sitcom and a
daily chat show from New York.
email@example.com - <*> - watching them watching us watching them