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Mike's Letter

June 25th, 1999 12:00 AM

The Final Episode

The final installment of this season's "The Awful Truth" will air this Sunday evening on Bravo. I say "this season" because it appears we are going to be renewed!

Hey, there's a word we've never heard! What did we do wrong?

This has been an incredible 12 weeks. Although we are on a network which has fewer viewers that our previous forays on NBC and Fox, we have received more mail and more attention than ever before. Over 60,000 people have written to us and to Bravo. I am really overwhelmed by the letters I've read; it's clear people want an alternative on the airwaves and, as hard as it's been for us to stay on a medium controlled by the very powers we set out to skewer each week, we have survived ONLY because of your support. Everyone on the staff here thanks you immensely.

Of course the majority of the country still cannot pick up Bravo. We will double our efforts to make sure your local cable company gets the message that their customers deserve at least one intelligent choice on the dial and not another channel devoted to showing reruns of 20-year old game shows.

For those of you without cable, or may have missed some of the recent episodes, we are close to securing a video distributor who will make all 12 weeks of the show available to anyone with a VCR. We will let you know as soon as that happens.

One more piece of good news: Bravo has announced that they will immediately begin an "encore run" of the entire "Awful Truth" series beginning NEXT WEEK! Starting on Sunday, July 4, episode one with our witch hunt visit to Ken Starr and our attempt to save a guy's life by taking on his HMO, will air at our regular time slots -- Sundays at 9pm and 1am ET, 8pm and Midnight CT, 7pm and 11pm MT, and 7pm and 10pm PT. Each show will then be rerun on Friday nights at 10pm and 1am ET, 9pm and Midnight CT, 8pm and 11pm MT and 7pm and 10pm PT. So tell your friends, family and co-workers to catch the shows they missed the first time around -- or if you don't have Bravo, call your cable company and tell them the awful truth.

On our final show this Sunday, I smuggle a laid-off General Motors worker into Mexico and try to get him his old job back at the new GM facility in Juarez, and the staff and I show up at the New York Stock Exchange with a beautiful cake to celebrate the "wedding" of Chrysler and Mercedes Benz.

You're right, I couldn't get through one series without visiting the wonderful men who run our auto industry. Once the 10W40 is in your veins, I guess that's just what you'll always want to do.

Next Thursday, after 96 years in the city that used to build every single one of them, Buick will shut down its entire operations in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. Another 5,000 people will lose their jobs, in addition to the nearly 60,000 ex-GM employees in Flint who have already seen their lives destroyed by a company which last year sold more Buicks than ever before, posted record profits in the billions, and received the highest quality and efficiency rating possible for their Buick factories in Flint. And what is the Buick worker's reward for this success? A boot out the door and the eventual visit for many of them by a certain deputy sheriff who will repossess their homes and cars after their limited savings are shot.

I stopped by the Buick factory this past Monday to see some people there. The mood was sullen, the spirit in them totally defeated. These were folks who used to walk with their heads high, proud of the fact that their hard work led them to participate in that so-called American Dream. Our dads and moms were the first group of working class people in thie history of the world that was able to own their own homes, send their children to the university, have the means to travel anywhere on a paid annual holiday, and not have to worry about paying for the right to get help if they got sick.

As I stood outside the factory, two large trucks pulled up to entrance. The signs on the side of the trucks read, "Ford's Party Rentals." What was this, I asked -- Ford Motor coming to celebrate G.M. leaving?

"No," replied one of the workers, "they are going to hold a cookie and milk give away to all the workers." The party workers began placing signs 5 feet apart from each other on the factory's fence. On each sign was the name of a department in the plant: "Chasis," "Rivet Line," "Paint Shop," "Maintenance," etc. The next day each worker would line up on the fence, by department, and get some cookies from the world's richest company. From a third floor window in the factory, a single assembly line worker in his 60's stared out the window at the scene below. He held out his thumb and turned it downwards, holding it there until someone obviously told him to get away from the window and get back to work.

Hope they didn't take his cookie away from him.

Yours,

Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com

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