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[alt.tv.tv-nation] Michael Moore FAQ (Part 1 of 3)

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Archive-name: celebrities/michael-moore-faq/part1
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Last-modified: Jul 24, 1998

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
[ Apologies for the gap between faq postings, real-life interfered. ]

                The Michael Moore FAQ Version 3.0
           	         (Updated Dec 16, 1998)
                    Compiled by Edward Champion 
         Updated by Richard Palmer (richard@amega.demon.co.uk) and
		    Edward Champion (edchamp@slip.net)

                              * * *

"Political humor is a good way of providing a message -- as opposed
to giving a sermon."  - Michael Moore

                              * * *

All comments can be addressed to Richard Palmer (richard@amega.demon.co.uk)
			      or Edward Champion (edchamp@slip.net)

                              * * *

DISCLAIMER: This FAQ is strictly for informational purposes only. 
No copyright infringement is intended.  

Permission is given to distribute this FAQ, provided it is
distributed in its complete format and the text within the FAQ
remains unaltered.

Many thanks go to the following individuals.

     David Pautler (pautler@ils.nwu.edu)
     Lincoln Stewart (imp@io.org)
     Kathleen Glynn (krglynn@aol.com)
     Alan Hamilton (alanh@primenet.com)
     Brent Smith
     johnr@vnet.ibm.com
     Jorn Barger
     Peter Shafran <pwslaw@worldnet.att.net>

     And anybody else missed out !

                              * * *

* - Indicates updated or new information.

Contained within the FAQ:

0.  The FAQ

 0.1.  What the hell is a FAQ?
 0.2.  Where can I get the latest copy of the FAQ?
 0.3.  Who do I send updates, revisions, corrections and error
     revisions in the FAQ to?
 0.4.  How did this FAQ come about?

1.  Michael Moore

 1.1.  Who is Michael Moore?  
 1.2.  What films/television has Michael Moore been involved with?
 1.3.	 How can I contact Michael Moore?
 1.4.  Are there any web sites devoted to Moore?
 1.5.  Is Michael Moore married?
 1.6.  What was Michael Moore's early life like?

2.  The Journalism Years

 2.1.  _The Flint Voice_
 2.2.  The _Mother Jones_ Fiasco

3.  ROGER & ME

 3.0.  What is ROGER & ME?
 3.1.  How can I order ROGER & ME?
*3.2.  How did ROGER & ME come about?
 3.3.  What was the big controversy over ROGER & ME?
 3.4.  Who are some of the "stars" of ROGER & ME?
 3.5.  Michael Moore's ROGER & ME publicity diary
 3.6.  After ROGER & ME

4.  PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT

 4.0.  What is PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT?
 4.1.  How can I order PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT?
 4.2.  PETS OR MEAT miscellany

5.  TV NATION

 5.0.  What is TV NATION?
 5.0.1.  Can I order tapes of TV NATION?
*5.0.2.  Has TV NATION been renewed?
 5.0.3.  If TV NATION isn't being aired anymore, how can I see the
     old episodes?
 5.0.4.  Is there an address for TV NATION?
 5.0.5.  Is there a newsgroup devoted to TV NATION?
 5.0.6.  Is there a TV NATION mailing list?
 5.0.6.1.  How can I get back issues of Veronica Moore's
     newsletters?
 5.0.7.  How can I contact Crackers or Yuri?
 5.0.8.  Are there any TV NATION web pages?
 5.0.9.  Can I order a TV NATION hat?
 5.0.10.  What's the story behind that amazing opening theme music
          and where can I get it?

 5.1.  TV NATION Episode Guide
 5.1.1.  The NBC 1994 Summer Replacement Series
 5.1.2.  The 1994 NBC End-of-the-Year Special
 5.1.3.  The Fox 1995 Summer Replacement Series

 5.2.  TV NATION BIOGRAPHIES
 5.2.1.  Louis Theroux, Correspondent
 5.2.2.  Rusty Cundieff, Correspondent
 5.2.3.  Janeanne Garofolo, Correspondent
 5.2.4.  Karen Duffy, Correspondent
 5.2.5.  Jeff Stillson, Correspondent
 5.2.6.  Merrill Markoe, Correspondent
 5.2.7.  Ben Hemper, Correspondent
 5.2.8.  Roy Sekoff, Correspondent
 5.2.9.  Crackers, the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken
 5.2.10.  Yuri Shvets, TV NATION Agent

*5.3.   ADVENTURES IN A TV NATION
*5.3.1.   What is ADVENTURES IN A TV NATION?	

 5.4.  TV NATION Miscellany
 5.4.1.  Unaired TV NATION Segments and Censorship
 5.4.2.  Michael Moore's Cobb County Diary
 5.4.3.  How did TV NATION come about?
 5.4.4.  Related TV NATION addresses

6. CANADIAN BACON

 6.0.  What is CANADIAN BACON?
 6.1.  Is CANADIAN BACON available on video?
 6.2.  Why was CANADIAN BACON delayed from release so long?  And
     how come I didn't see it playing at my local theater? 
 6.3.  CANADIAN BACON miscellany
 6.3.1.  Were there any changes from the initial cut?

7. DOWNSIZE THIS! RANDOM THREATS FROM A UNARMED AMERICAN

 7.0.  What is DOWNSIZE THIS!?
 7.1.  How can I get it?
 7.2.  Some Chapter Titles
 7.3.  Relevant Links

8.  THE BIG ONE with Michael Moore

 8.0. What is THE BIG ONE?
 8.1. Where can I see THE BIG ONE?
 8.5. What happened with ...
 8.5.1. Borders Bookstore
 8.5.2. Richard Jewell
 8.5.3. Detroit Newspaper Strikes

*9 PILOTS
 
 9.1.  THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW
 9.1.1. What is THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW?
 9.1.2. Will THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW have a regular time slot?

 9.2.  BETTER DAYS
 9.2.1. What is Better Days?
	
10. THE AWFUL TRUTH
 
*10.1. Where can I see it?

*10.2 Lawsuits

*10.2.1 Ira Renner v Michael Moore
*10.2.2 Mayor Giuliani v Michael Moore
*10.2.3 Michael Moore v New York
*10.2.4 Michael Moore v Ira Rennert

11.  Miscellaneous

*11.1 Other Projects 

                           * * *

0. The FAQ

0.1.  What the hell is a FAQ?

     A FAQ (pronounced "fack") is an acronym for Frequently Asked
Questions.  A FAQ contains information about a particular notion or
subject.  (In this case, filmmaker Michael Moore.)  It is often
utilized by people on the Internet to avoid people asking the same
questions over and over again.  In some cases, such as this one,
the FAQ in question contains more than enough information than
necessary.

0.2.  Where can I get the latest copy of the FAQ?

The faq is posted on the 16th of each month to alt.tv.tv-nation,
alt.answers and news.answers.

The latest version of this FAQ is available on the WWW
at the following URL:

     http://www.amega.demon.co.uk/Moore/index.html

The FAQ can also be found at Edward Champion's Self-Indulgent Home 
Page, located at:

     http://www.slip.net/~edchamp

In addition copies of the faq can be retreived from the news.answers
FAQ archive at

     ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/celebrities/michael-moore-faq/

0.3.  Who do I send submissions, updates, revisions, or error
corrections in the FAQ to?

	Send any updates, etc, to Richard Palmer or Edward Champion (
	see email addresses above ).

0.4.  How did this FAQ come about?

     This FAQ was written by Edward Champion, who compiled
most of the information in it from various interviews, reviews 
and articles. I have been updating the faq from 1997 after
Edward left the 'net for a while in 1996. Both Edward and I are now
updating the faq. 

1.  Michael Moore

1.1.  Who is Michael Moore? 

     Michael Moore is a filmmaker and journalist born in Flint,
Michigan.  Formerly the editor of an alternative newspaper called
_The Michigan Voice_, his unique approach to the two crafts has won
him legions of fans and critical accolade, from notables such as
Alexander Cockburn and numerous other critics.  He is perhaps best
known for his groundbreaking satirical documentary, ROGER & ME, and
his critically acclaimed television series, TV NATION.

1.2.  What films/television has Michael Moore been involved with?

     The following list contains everything that Moore has been
creatively involved in.  TV specials, interviews and other sundries
have been excluded due to lack of time and for the sake of brevity.

     ROGER & ME (1989, 87 minutes) Directed by Michael Moore. 
Moore's cutting-edge satirical documentary that explores Michael's
pursuits of General Motors chairman Roger Smith after Moore's home
town, Flint, Michigan, has been devastated by layoffs.

     PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT (1992, 24 minutes) Directed
by Michael Moore.  The sequel to ROGER & ME that follows-up on many
of the individuals from the first film (Ben Hamper, the Rabbit
Lady, etc.).  

     BLOOD IN THE FACE (1991, 78 minutes) Although Michael Moore
didn't direct this documentary on right-wing extremist groups, he
does appear halfway through the film as an interviewer.  The film
is distributed by First Run Features.

     TV NATION (1994, NBC, 8 episodes)  For more details, see
episode guide.

     TV NATION YEAR-END SPECIAL (1994, NBC, 45 minutes)  For more
details, see episode guide.

     TV NATION (1995, FOX, 8 episodes)  For more details see
episode guide.

     TV NATION YEAR-END SPECIAL (1995, FOX, 45 minutes)  Unaired
special, although a clip was shown on Moore's most recent
appearance on LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN.

     CANADIAN BACON (1995, 100 minutes) Written and Directed by
Michael Moore.  Moore's first narrative film starring John Candy,
Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollack, Alan Alda, Rip Torn, Bill Nunn, and
Kevin J. O Connor.  Alda is a liberal US president who decides to
invade Canada to boost his popularity in the polls.  Little does he
realize the effect this will have on the population.  

     THE BIG ONE(1997,90 minutes) Written,Produced and Directed by
Michael Moore.
     Returning to the documentary style of Roger and Me,this film 
follows Moore on his booksigning tour around 47 American cities. 

     THE MICHAEL MOORE SHOW (1997)  A pilot for a weekly talk-show 
with Michael Moore as host.

     BETTER DAYS (1998) A sitcom by Moore under development, about a town 
where everybody is unemployed.
  
     THE AWFUL TRUTH (1998) A new tv series by Moore similar in style to 
TV Nation

1.3	How can I contact Michael Moore?

	Michael Moore can be contacted via e-mail at MMFlint@aol.com.

	For those of you who prefer snail-mail, he can be reached via
Dog Eat Dog Films at:

		PO Box 831
		Radio City Station
		New York, New York 10101-0831

1.4	Are there any web sites devoted to Moore?

	Yes, there are many.  

	Michael Moore's official site is located at:

	http://www.michaelmoore.com.  

	In addition, there is a Dog Eat Dogs Film site at:

	http://www.dogeatdogfilms.com.

	There are many sites devoted to TV Nation. 

	The official TV Nation site can be reached at:
 
	http://www.spe.sony.com/TVN/m_moore.html.

	Pete's TV Nation Page can be reached at:
 
	http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~repete/TVNation.

	A future version of the FAQ will attempt to chronicle all of
the Internet resources currently available for Michael Moore.  Feel
free to e-mail the two authors if you would like to see your site
listed.

1.5.  Is Michael Moore married?

     Yes, Moore is married to Kathleen Glynn, who is the producer
of TV NATION.

1.6.  What was Michael Moore's early life like?

     In 1954, Michael Moore was born in Davison, Michigan, a suburb
of Flint, to an Irish Catholic family of laborers.  At 14, Moore,
impressed by the Berrigans, joined a diocesan seminary.
But a year later, he was asked to leave.  Moore cited girls as the
main proponent.  He was forced to return to Davison High School,
where he became a star of the school debate team, a student-
government organizer and even authored a school play.

     "It was a religious theme and it ended when Christ comes down
off the cross and is nailed back up.  The people who nailed Christ
back up were modeled on people in my town.  They could recognize
themselves."

     In 1970, Moore received the Eagle Scout award.  His Eagle
Scout project was a slide show exposing the worst polluters in
Flint.  After high school, Moore worked several jobs, including one
at Buick, which he quit on his first day.  In 1972, spurned on by
Donald Priehs, his former government teacher, Moore decided to run
for the school board and won; at 18, Moore became the youngest
member to sit on the Flint City Council.  Shortly after, Moore
lobbied to get Priehs fired.  Moore caused so much trouble for the
town that a recall drive was attempted.  Moore dropped out of the
University of Michigan, Flint because he was too busy suing his
town in court.

     Dissatisfied with urban politics, Moore resigned.  But Moore
was determined to get his views out to the public in some way.  He
organized antinuclear protests and rock concerts.  While Moore got
his economic training reading Alexander Cockburn, he set up a
crisis intervention center.  Eventually, Moore got a job as a
public radio correspondent.  But, one day, after a broadcast turned
into a shouting match, Moore decided to abandon radio in favor of
founding an alternative newspaper where he could properly get out
his views.

2.  The Journalism Years

2.1.  _The Flint Voice_

     At 22, Moore started up _The Flint Voice_ (which later
expanded into_The Michigan Voice_).  He served as editor of _The
Michigan Voice_ for ten years, taking on issues that no other local
publications would print about.  He attacked Flint's police force,
criticized the policies of its conservative mayor and, of course,
chided General Motors at every opportunity.  In the process, he
brought on acrimonious attacks by _The Flint Journal_, itself a
buffer for General Motors.  _The Voice_ rose in paid circulation to
5,000 and Moore triumphantly continued, until he got a phone call
from San Francisco.

2.2.  The _Mother Jones_ Fiasco

     Moore was offered the editorship of _Mother Jones_ magazine,
an opportunity to bring his voice to a national level. 
Immediately, he took the bait.  He sold _The Michigan Voice_ and
moved to San Francisco.  His girlfriend, Kathleen Glynn, gave up
her graphic design business to join him.

     When Moore took over the editorial rein of _Mother Jones_
magazine, he felt that the publication had taken "a slide into safe
mediocrity."  He wanted to evolve _Mother Jones_ from what was
essentially a harmless yuppie publication into something
revitalizing the magazine's old working class ties and exposing the
social ills of the nation.  

     He met with the editorial staff the first day he was hired and
Moore took the liberty to bash the magazine, telling everybody that
he wouldn't print anything in the last three issues and asking if
anybody in the room could defend themselves against this claim.  He
brought in several new writers, including Ben Hamper, Hugh Drummond
and Alexander Cockburn.  The September 1986 issue of _Mother Jones_
featured Ben Hamper on the cover and an excerpt from his book,
_Rivithead_.

     But, he found conflict.  Richard Schaufler, an ad rep, was
fired for being associated with a Marxist group, the Democratic
Workers Party, and the _Mother Jones_ managers had fired him after
two days, much to Moore's chagrin.  

     The tension culminated when Moore refused to print an article
written by Paul Berman against the Sandanistas in Nicaragua.  It
claimed that the Sandanistas were Leninist souvenirs of the New
Left and that they had betrayed the promise of the revolution. 
Moore claimed, "Reagan could easily hold it up, saying, 'See, even
_Mother Jones_ agrees with me.'  The article was flatly wrong and
the worst kind of patronizing bullshit.  You would scarcely know
from it that the United States had been at war with Nicaragua for
the last five years."  Needless to say, Adam Hochschild, the owner
and publisher of _Mother Jones_ didn't like Moore's style and
promptly fired him. 

     Polemicist Alexander Cockburn put his reputation on the line
by writing a scathing article on the affair, getting his column
pulled from several major liberal weeklies.

     Moore filed a $2 million lawsuit against Hochschild, suing for
unlawful dismissal and, after a well-publicized blowup, Hochschild
agreed to settle out of court.

3.  ROGER & ME

3.0.  What is ROGER & ME?

     ROGER & ME is the top grossing documentary of all time. 
Released by Warner Brothers in 1992, ROGER & ME showed the
devastating effect General Motors had on the Flint, Michigan
community after closing several plants.  Thousands of workers were
laid off.  The film chronicled the devastation of the Flint,
Michigan community as well as focusing on Moore's attempts to meet
Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors.

     The film was lauded for its unique combination of Moore's
acerbic editorializing and the film's exploration of the
deterioration of the Flint community in such a casual, accessible
and personal manner.

     ROGER AND ME appeared on more than 100 critics' 10 Best Films
of the Year lists - including those of Vincent Canby, Janet Maslin,
Caryn James (New York Times), and Gene Siskel (Chicago Tribune). A
number of critics - from the New York Post, National Public Radio,
and Seattle Times, to name a few - named "Roger and Me" one of the
"Ten Best Films of the Decade."  The film also received the
following awards - Best Documentary: National Board of Review, New
York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, and the National
Society of Film Critics; Best Film Award: Toronto Film Festival,
Vancouver Film Festival, and Chicago Film Festival; and the
Audience Award: Berlin Film Festival.  

3.1.  How can I order ROGER & ME?

     ROGER & ME is readily available through Warner Home Video for
$19.95.  You can also find it at most video retail stores.

3.2.  How did ROGER & ME come about?

     After Moore was fired from _Mother Jones_, Moore sank into a
deep depression, consisting of watching a lot of films.  Although
he continued to write for _The Nation_ and several newspapers,
Moore quickly got homesick and retreated back to Flint.

     When Moore arrived back in Michigan, he began to study General
Motors' effect on the town more fastidiously than he had done
before.  He suddenly realized that he could present
his vision of the world on film.  He announced his plan to make the
movie to his friends.

     "We thought he was fucking crazy," said Ben Hamper.

     Nevertheless, his friends agree to volunteer and Moore had his
movie crew.  After winning a $58,000 out-of-court settlement from
_Mother Jones_ for his unfair dismissal, he put the money directly
into the film.  Moore sold his house, had yard sales and set up
weekly Bingo games to raise the remainder of the $260,000 budget
for ROGER & ME.  At one point, Moore even sold his bed.  When he
ran out of money, he would wander the streets in search of empty
cans and bottles he could recycle.

     "We didn't know f-stop from F TROOP."

     Moore hooked up with filmmakers Kevin Rafferty (ATOMIC CAFE)
and Anne Bohlen (WITH BABIES AND BANNERS) for a week to learn
how to use the equipment.  He got old friend Wendey Stanzler to
edit the film, who Moore had met at the crisis intervention center.

Moore and his cadre had never had any film experience before.  At
one point, when filming an interview with Jesse Jackson, Jackson
showed Moore how to operate the tape recorder.  But, Moore had the
consolation of two professional camera operators he had hired to
shoot the film.

     After successful viewings at several film festivals and John
Pierson's efficient lobbying [ See 'Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes' by
John Pierson ] , Moore started to draw a smell distributors followed.
Eventually, after meeting with several studios, he sold the negative
to Warner Brothers for $3 million.

3.3.  What was the big controversy over ROGER & ME?

     Michael did an interview with Harlan Jacobson of _Film
Comment_, in which Jacobson charged Moore with the sequential
rearrangement of certain chronological events within the movie. 
For example, Reagan's visit and the pizza shop was in 1980, before
he was president and Robert Schuller came to Flint in 1987, after
the Great Gatsby party.  This criticism was later reaffirmed by
film critic Pauline Kael in a review in the _New Yorker_ when she
declared ROGER & ME "a piece of gonzo demagoguery."

     In defense, Moore stated in the interview, "The movie is
essentially what has happened to this town during the 1980's.  I
wasn't filming in 1982...so everything that happened happened.  As
far as I'm concerned, a period of seven or eight years...is pretty
immediate and pretty devastating....I think it's a document about
a town that died in the 1980's, and this is what happened....What
would you rather have me do?  Should I have maybe begun the movie
with a Roger Smith or GM announcement of 1979 or 1980 for the first
round of layoffs that devastated the town, which then led to
starting these projects, after which maybe things pick up a little
bit in the mid '80's, and then _boom_ in '86, there's another
announcement, and then tell that whole story?....Then it's a three
hour movie.  It's a _movie_, you know; you can't do everything.  I
was true to what happened.  Everything that happened in the movie
happened.  It happened in the same order that it happened
throughout the '80's.  If you want to nit-pick on some of those
specific things, fine."

     Moore's take on this is also further evinced in the ROGER & ME
publicity diary.

3.4.  Who are some of the "stars" of ROGER & ME?

     Kay Leni Rae Rafko: Miss Michigan, who says she's "a big
supporter of employment."

     Ben Hamper: Moore's friend and GM auto worker, who put himself
in a hospital due to the ensuing stress of getting fired.

     Ronald Reagan: He buys a pizza for 12 unemployed locals and
tells them to move to Texas.

     Bob Eubanks: He returns to his home town to do a county fair
version of "The Newlywed Game."

     Pat Boone: Spokesman for General Motors, who got a free
Corvette and stationwagon out of the deal.

     Anita Bryant: Sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Flint
denizens.

     Robert Schuller: Paid $20,000 to inspire Flint locals.

     Fred Ross: Deputy Sheriff of Flint who evicts people from
their homes.

     Rhonda Britton: aka The Rabbit Lady, elicits forth the film's
central question, "Pets or Meat?"

     The Amway Woman: Working for Amway to determine people's
colors.

3.5.  Michael Moore's ROGER & ME publicity diary

     The following article was printed in the July 15, 1990 edition
of _The New York Times_.  It is an interesting glimpse into the
life Moore led while publicizing ROGER & ME.

     'ROGER' AND I, OFF TO HOLLYWOOD AND HOME TO FLINT
     By Michael Moore

     Flint, Mich.

     There were omens.  I don't believe in omens, but they were
there, nonetheless.

     I had made a movie called "Roger and Me," and Hollywood wanted
it.  I had never been in Hollywood.  On the flight out, the guy
next to me was reading Tom Clancy's latest thriller when he
suddenly began reciting what I recognized as the Latin version of
the Act of Contrition.  He then keeled over into the aisle.

     When I arrived in L.A., I was taken to a hotel on the Sunset
Strip and given the bungalow where John Belushi had bought the
ranch.  I asked for a new room and went off to a meeting with
studio executives.  Somewhere between "first look" and "net
profit," the TV screen across the room went blank: the curtains
mysteriously moved and someone shouted that a quake had hit San
Francisco.

     Later, it was announced that Universal would suspend the
Earthquake ride on its studio tour.  It was the only thing that
made sense all day.

     All of these events seemed to point to an obvious conclusion 
-- I should have stayed in Flint, Mich., my hometown and subject of
my 1989 film, "Roger and Me."  But four studios wanted to
distribute my movie.  One studio head's first commitment to me was
"I'm surprised G.M. hasn't had you shot!"  Another exec bragged
that his studio was putting out top quality films.  "C'mon," I
said.  "Ninety percent of the stuff you guys make is just junk." 
He responded, "I'm deeply offended by that remark.  It's more like
80 percent."  Eventually, after we made sure it would play with
"Tango and Cash" in at least a hundred cities, we sold "Roger and
Me" to Warner Brothers.

On the Road

     In November 1, I began a 110-city tour to convince Americans
that they should go to see a documentary that was a comedy about
30,000 people losing their jobs.  Much of it is a blur to me now. 
I remember only St. Louis (site of the world headquarters of Tums),
Fort Lauderdale (the Swimming Pool Hall of Fame) and Birmingham,
Ala.  (No. 1 in the country for hip and knee replacements)  Twenty
times a day I answered the same 30 questions.  To keep myself from
sinking into some catatonic state of boredom, I began to make up
new answers to the questions and change them every day.  I believe
that on only three occasions I was asked something different.  "How
old were you when you lost your virginity?"  (People magazine), "Do
you believe in God?" (The Chicago Tribune) and "Will you sign an
autograph for my poodle?"  (The New Yorker)

     It seemed like I spent hours at a time discussing with
journalists whether "Roger and Me" was a "real" documentary.  Many
did not want to explore the political issues raised by the movie. 
But there were some journalists who livened things up a bit.  For
instance, there was the time a film critic broke into a hotel room
occupied by me and two friends who had worked on the film.  When we
opened the door and caught her, we asked to see if she had put
anything in her bag.  She became offended, ripped off her clothes
and screamed, "Frisk me!  Frisk me!"  We didn't, but we gave her
two thumbs up and called hotel security.

     Then there was the day Phil Donahue came in to Flint to
broadcast two shows on the hometown's reaction to the movie.  Ten
minutes before we go on the air, the Flint police inform me there
may be a sniper in the audience and, uh, would I like to wear a
bulletproof vest?  (Was this just their way of saying "break a leg"
before going on, or does this also happen to the cross-dressers and
infidels who regularly appear with Phil?)

     The high point of the film's release was learning that "Roger
and Me" had become an answer on "Wheel of Fortune."  The low point
was reading that, in announcing the opening, the New York Times had
changed my name to "Roger Moore" and the country was thrown into a
dyslexic frenzy with two out of three people now shouting "Hey,
Roger!" to me on the street.

A Day in the Life

     If I were to pick one day that typified my experience in
Hollywood with "Roger and Me," it would have to be Jan. 16 of this
year.  Here's how my journal read that day:

     6:50 A.M. -- I hear a noise at my hotel room door.  Someone
has slipped a note under it.  Oh, no.  It's those guys from William
Morris again.  There are 12 separate agents from Morris trying to
sign me up.  I tell them repeatedly I don't want an agent, but
that's like saying no to the LaRouchites at O'Hare.  It only
encourages them.  Would I like to do lunch, brunch, nails, swim and
gym or how 'bout in a spin in my Miata?  Their names all begin with
"B" -- Bret, Brad, Brent, Bika -- and they are all very nice-nice
to me.  But I want to sleep and keep the 10 percent.

     9 A.M. -- TV interview.  It's one of those entertainment news
shows.  The reporter has brought notes.  She begins.  "Michael,"
she says, and then pauses to look at her notes, "tell
me....about....yourself," I hate this attention to detail.

     10 A.M. -- Magazine interview.  The reporter wants to know if
the proceeds from my next film will go to the P.L.O.  I ask him if
the rumors that he's dating Qadaffi's daughter are true.  He
doesn't laugh.  He's not the first to ask this weird question.  I
think it all started back at the New York Film Festival, when an
audience member asked me what my next film would be, and the first
thing that came to mind was "a comedy western about the Middle East
called 'West Bank Story.'"  Some people got a little crazy about
this...which has made me think maybe it's not such a bad idea.

     Noon -- L.A. Film Critics Lunch, Beverly Hills.  "Roger and
Me" is being presented with the award for best documentary.  This
is the only Warner Brothers film to pick up any of the New York or
Los Angeles critics' awards this year, and the winners public
relations people I'm sitting with don't seem to mind.  Spike Lee's
film "Do the Right Thing" has been chosen as the best film of 1989,
and I agree.

     Spike, though he doesn't know it, has been a real inspiration
to me.  The week after I saw "She's Gotta Have It" in October 1988
I decided to get started on "Roger and Me."  I've read his books,
hired his lawyer and producer's rep, used the lab he used -- and
spent $10,000 less!  Last week, Gene Siskel said on his show that
20 years from now, when they look back at the Reagan era, two films
will stand out as the statement of our times -- "Do the Right
Thing" and "Roger and Me."  To be mentioned with Spike in that
way...well, it was undeserved, I thought, but what a great feeling.

     After the lunch, Spike came up to me and suggested we get
together and talk.  The Warners public relations rep overheard this
and went ballistic.  "You can't do that," she interrupted.  "You
have a full afternoon of interviews, and there is no time for
anything else."  She had edged herself between Spike and me and was
motioning to the door.  Spike looked over the top of his glasses at
me, and then at her and then back to me with a grin that said,
"Just who's in charge here, Mike?"  "Well," he said, "give me a
call sometime when you're in New York" and left.  I thought about
this for the rest of the afternoon.

     5 P.M. -- I am now at the NBC studios in Burbank, where I'm to
be a guest on the "Tonight" show, with Jay Leno as the host.  Jay
comes into my dressing room 10 minutes before the show and tells me
of the pressure G.M. has been putting on NBC regarding my
appearance.  He shows me a "Truth Packet" that G.M. had sent over
for him to read.  It includes a story from Film Comment and a
review by Pauline Kael.  G.M. has been very busy making copies of
these and sending them to journalists around the country.

     Film Comment is a publication of the Film Society of Lincoln
Center.  Lincoln  Center had received a $5 million gift from G.M.
just prior to its publishing of the piece trashing "Roger and Me." 
Coincidence?  Or just five big ones well spent?

     (Later, I would learn that G.M. had sent a directive to their
advertising agencies to pull all G.M. ads from "The Donahue Show"
on which I appeared, and The New York Times reported G.M.
threatening to yank their commercials from any show that has me on
as a guest.)

     Jay Leno expresses his displeasure with receiving such
literature and encourages me to let them have it on the show.

     7:30 P.M. -- The "Tonight" show went well.  I've escaped from
the public relations department and the driver and gone over to see
a friend from Flint.  I'm eating a hamburger when I get a call that
The New York Times is looking for me.  I call the reporter and he
tells me that Ralph Nader's office is speaking out against the
movie and both Nader and the United Auto Workers Union have sent
him some of the same materials opposing the film that G.M. sends
out.
     
     All of a sudden, I feel like I'm in that "Star Trek" episode
and I'm on this planet where everything is the exact opposite of th
way it is on Earth.  Well-off liberals seem to really be disturbed
by the movie, as if it tells some dirty little secret of the yuppie
era.  Where was the U.A.W. leadership when thousands of jobs were
being eliminated?  Where was Ralph Nader?  We need the union and we
need Ralph Nader, so why don't they get on with their work and not
G.M.'s?

     10:30 PM -- I've just finished "The Larry King Show" (he drank
two cans of Lipton's sugared ice tea while we talked) and stopped
by a newsstand to pick up tomorrow's Los Angeles Times.  This
headline ran across the top of the Calendar section:  "Will
Controversy Cost 'Roger' an Oscar?"

     What was the "controversy?"  Hold onto your seats: Their
investigations had revealed these four points: (a) The wealthy
homes in the movie were shot on a different street than stated; (b)
the rats in the film were actually imported from Detroit and thus
were not Flint born; (c) that the chronology was wrong, because the
tourism projects to save the town were built before the factory
closings (absolutely not true); and (d) the pizza parlor cash
register was stolen just before Reagan's lunch with the unemployed
not during it (an important distinction).

     The L.A. Times quoted an unnamed member of the Academy
committee who said that "Roger and Me" didn't stand a chance of
even being nominated because they were easily "five better films"
that the committee has seen.  This was the same quote given last
year by a committee member, Mitchell Block, when he explained why
"The Thin Blue Line" was not nominated.  Mr. Block has a financial
interest in who gets nominated; he owns a documentary distribution
company and, in the last 10 years, nearly one quarter of all films
that have won the Academy Award for best documentary have been
Mitchell Block films.

     The Academy votes tomorrow.  The L.A. Times has held this
story to the last minute, so we have no chance to respond to it
before the vote.  A reporter at the paper phones me the next day to
say that publishing this article seemed like an obvious attempt to
influence the Academy's vote and violated The Time's ethics.  The
vote is taken, and "Roger and Me" is not nominated.  The five films
that get the nod -- three are distributed by Mitchell Block -- are
all out of chronological order, but no articles appear in The L.A.
Times pointing this out.

Home Again

     I'm back in Flint now.  On Father's Day, a plane flies over
the city with a banner that reads, "NEED CASH FOR FATHER'S DAY? 
CALL JULIE'S PAWN."  Things haven't changed much here.  In fact,
they've gotten worse.  The day my video is released, a local video
store asked me to stop by and sign some autographs.  Hundreds
showed up, most to tell me their own stories of being laid off, to
ask me for help, for money, for something.

     It's all pretty depressing until a process server stops by to
issue me a summons.  Deputy Fred, the sheriff in the film who
evicts families from their homes, has sued me because he believes
his "performance" in the film should be compensated.  I explain to
the media, which have tagged along that I do not pay police for
evicting families.  Instead, for the next week, anyone who is
thrown out of their house by this man, give me a call, and I'll pay
your deposit so you can get a new house immediately.

     I am told that I am prohibited from appearing on certain radio
and television stations in Flint.  I was also supposed to speak to
a group of Soviet teachers visiting Flint, but the school system
was afraid of a backlash from G.M.  A local teacher quietly
approaches me at the video store and asks if I can slip him a
bootleg copy of "Roger and Me" so that he can secretly show it to
the Russians in a private hotel room in Flint.  Maybe they can also
sneak me in to talk to them also.  In Flint.  In America.  In 1996.

     The irony was too much.  It should have been in the movie.

3.6.  After ROGER & ME

     The profits from "Roger and Me" enabled Moore to establish the
Center for Alternative Media, a foundation that is dedicated to
supporting independent filmmakers and social action groups.  To
date, the foundation has dispersed more than $400,000 in grants.  

     From a January 1993 _Esquire_ interview:

     "I had a lot -- a _lot_ of offers to reprise ROGER & ME.  Or,
as the Hollywood people would say, 'Do your ROGER & ME shtick
again.'  I turned down a lot of money."

     From an excerpt in the October 12, 1992 _New Yorker_:

     "I came to New York City to write," says the filmmaker Michael
Moore.  "Too many distractions in Flint."  Moore flashes his now
familiar smirk, but he's only half joking.  He's in New York, all
right, in the dismal common room of the posh Upper West Side
apartment building where he lives.  Outside, sirens shriek, cabbies
beep, and boom boxes thump, but no matter.  Here he can work.  In
Flint -- well, Flint, Michigan, is not only his home town but the
desolate setting of his comic 1989 documentary, ROGER & ME, which
raged at General Motors for plant closings and layoffs that,
according to Moore, destroyed Flint's economy.  The movie achieved
the largest box-office gross in documentary history (if you don't
count concert films), and it made Moore famous.  Too famous.  "I
was shopping in Flint, and one of the employees got on the phone:
'Attention, K mart shoppers.  Michael Moore has entered the store.'
Know what I'm saying?  And I'm hiding, you know, behind the
Valvoline."

     Moore got invited to a lot of big premieres.  He sat on panels
for aspiring filmmakers, spouting forth advice and several grants.
At an Independent Film Project conference in New York, Moore pulled
out his checkbook and started giving grants on the spot.

4.  PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT

4.0.  What is PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT?

     It is the 1992 follow-up to Moore's documentary ROGER & ME
that explores the community of Flint two years later.  Interviews
with Ben Hemper, the Rabbit Lady and others are included, along
with a couple of glimpses into Moore's post-ROGER AND ME success
and segments from various talk shows.

     PETS OR MEAT was shot on Hi-8 and is 24 minutes in length.

     It was also featured with two other shorts edited together in
a film titled TWO MIKES DON'T MAKE A WRIGHT, that had a brief
theatrical run.

4.1.  How can I order PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT?

	PETS OR MEAT: THE RETURN TO FLINT can be ordered through Dog
Eat Dog Films.  Contact the Dog Eat Dog Films site for more
information at:

	http://www.dogeatdog.com

4.2.  PETS OR MEAT Miscellany

     From the October 12, 1992 _New Yorker_:

     Having to blend in with auto supplies is a mark of celebrity
by any standard, but Moore's troubles were only beginning.  PETS OR
MEAT, his twenty-three-minute sequel to ROGER & ME, was shown on
PBS last week, and the next day Moore's Voicemail was blitzed; he
had, rather foolishly, revealed his office phone number in the
film.  "Three hundred and fourteen calls!" he says.  "And that's
just the first day.  Eighty per cent were people who lost their
jobs and wanted to talk to me, but there were some -- Well, one guy
needed help because he said there was a conspiracy against him
involving the government and Sigourney Weaver."

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