Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

August 2nd, 2000 12:00 AM

Philly Cheese and Cheney Please

Dear friends,

Two nights of watching the Republican Convention/Infomercial and I'm in hog-heaven. It is the funniest show I've seen on TV in years. How they were able to round up every one of the 37 black Republicans in the country and then trot them out on the stage to perform for the all-white crowd confirmed my long-held belief that right-wingers are a hell of a lot better organized than we will ever be.

And they haven't just stopped with the African-Americans. They've paraded Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Afghanis, Gays, Jews, and even a blind guy groping his way onto the stage to show the world that they really aren't what they really are -- a party of rich white guys and rich guy-wannabes who believe Bill Clinton's capitulation to the corporate elite just didn't go far enough!

(Please read today's astounding article in the New York Times on how $95 million of the $100 million George W. Bush has raised has come from just 739 people in a nation of 275 million citizens!)

ABC decided it was more important last night to run "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" than "Who ISN'T a Millionaire!!" NBC hasn't carried this "must see tv" at all. My hunch is that the networks actually know the American public isn't as dumb as their own usual schedule of shows implies. They probably thought it best not to focus too much attention on the fat cats throwing a party for themselves while the rest of the country begs their HMO to let them see a doctor.

Other favorite moments of the convention include President Ford misunderstanding a question about "Iranians" and responding that he considers "onions to be my favorite delicacy -- I put them on everything!" He was later rushed to the hospital emergency room where the doctors told him he had ear wax build up. This morning, Ford returned to the hospital still in pain where he learned he had actually suffered two strokes and a bad health plan.

I have also enjoyed the roll call of states, where, more than once, the state party hack has butchered the name "George W. Bush" when he tried to say it (if you have an easier name in the English language to pronounce, I'd like to hear it).

And how about this for the power of "The Awful Truth:" our mosh pit candidate, Alan Keyes, currently leads John McCain in the tally of delegates by a margin of 7 to 1! (Keyes has 7, McCain has one.)

But nothing has been more hilarious than to see the Republicans hail the "heroes" of the Gulf War. General Powell, General Schwarzkopf (speaking live to the convention from a battleship in Camden, NJ, a town that looks like it's been pummeled by a battleship), Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, Poppa Bush up in the stands -- hasn't anyone told George W. that these guys lost the friggin' Gulf War and THAT'S why the American public bounced Poppa outta the Big House?! Not a single person has ever understood why, after recapturing the oil fields for Exxon, re-installing the dictators of Kuwait, and bombing thousands of civilians to their graves, Poppa and Dick and Norm and Powell just didn't go another 40 measely miles and kick Saddam's sorry ass out of the palace! Losers!

So, here we are, 10 years to the hour when Saddam first sent his tanks into Kuwait to stop them from drilling sideways underneath his border and stealing his oil, and we are being asked to hail the idiots who conducted this failed and immoral war. I mean, bringing Richard Roundtree (the original "Shaft") out on stage to convince me that the Republicans now like black people is one thing, but to actively attempt to remind the public that these Gulf War phonies will now come back to power -- man, fold the tents, turn out the lights, and put a fork in little W. because the American people don't have that much wax build-up in their brains and they ain't going down this road again.

Ten years ago tonight, I was sitting in the Green Room on the David Letterman show, waiting to go on. This was going to be my last appearance of what had been a 8-month tour surrounding the release of my first film, "Roger & Me." The tour had begun on December 20, 1989 -- the night of George Bush's other war, the invasion of Panama. Eight months later, on August 2, 1990, Poppa was huffing and puffing and trying to prove to everyone again he wasn't a wimp -- and Dave was out on stage telling the first Saddam jokes.

Well, it's ten years later, and the war continues. Not a week goes by where American and British warplanes don't bomb some target in Iraq. EVERY WEEK -- are you aware of this? The sanctions we've placed on Iraq have not hurt Saddam one bit. They have only killed children -- about 5,000 a month according to the U.N. The kids are dying from starvation and dysentery (there is no clean water and no fresh food becuase we carefully directed our bombs to blow up water purification plants and electrical power stations).

So, hey, what better way to celebrate Our Big Victory -- and at the EXACT minute (10pm ET, 7pm PT) that the Republicans anoint war profiteer Dick Cheney -- than with a special Gulf War edition of "The Awful Truth." On tonight's show, we take over a gas station and re-name it "Saddam Gas." Whoo-wee, wait 'til you see the lines down the block! "Prices Saddam Low -- and That's No Shi'ite!" Plus, we stage the first annual "Gulf War Syndrome Fun Run." It's a race between sick Gulf War veterans whom the government won't help, and malnourished Iraqi kids in Baghdad.

Also, tonight, we wanted to honor one of the men responsible for bringing "The Awful Truth" to you -- Jack Welch, chairman of General Electric. GE (NBC) owns 25% of the company that owns Bravo, and without the good folks at Bravo, there would be no "Awful Truth." NBC also carried our first show, "TV Nation," so we are doubly grateful to the largesse of Jack Welch who is retiring this year.

Thus, we decided to send him off with our own retirement party on tonight's show. I mean, how can you NOT celebrate the genius of man who was able to can 50% of his American workforce, have his company defraud the Pentagon out of millions of dollars, and then see the stock of GE go to record heights -- AND be hailed as the Businessman of the Century! We are honored to salute this man in our own special way, tonight at 10pm ET/PT, on Bravo.

If you live on the east coast or in the midwest and feel compelled to watch the other comedy show from the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, our program is repeated at 1am in the east, and midnight in the central time zone.

If you can't get Bravo because Comcast (or one of the other two cable monopolies) doesn't carry it in your town, we will be announcing details on the home video release of "The Awful Truth" in two weeks.

If you'd like to contribute some food to a dying Iraqi kid that is being killed thanks to your tax dollars (and thanks to Clinton/Gore), contact Voices in the Wilderness

If you'd like Congress to end the sanctions against the civilians of Iraq, sanctions supported by Al Gore and George W. Bush (same person), contact your congress member.


Michael Moore (I would love to read your thoughts, but since the Nader letter, I am too swamped to answer! Sorry!)

P.S. In honor of the incredible momentum Alan Keyes is showing at the Republican Convention, tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, Bravo is airing an encore run of this season's premiere featuring Alan Keyes in the mosh pit. Remember, he may be a right-wing lunatic, but he's OUR right-wing lunatic.

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