Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A 30-minute follow-up piece for Roger & Me, this was first shown when that film was broadcast as part of the PBS series P.O.V. Moore briefly re-examines the economic collapse of Flint and ... See full summary »
Janet K. Rauch
Summer show that poked fun at TV's news magazine shows like "60 Minutes." Some of the interviews consisted of happy dogs on Prozac, following an Avon Lady through the Amazon, etc. Written by
J.E. McKillop <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Several segments were not aired due to controversial subject matter: - A segment about Fred Phelps and his anti-gay group "God Hates Fags" who protest the funerals of homosexuals. Moore confronts the group in a pink RV filled with gay men. The segment was released on the videotape compilation TV Nation: Volume Two (1997). Moore later confronted Phelps with the RV again in his show The Awful Truth (1999). - An interview with Christian abortion abolitionist C. Roy McMillan who declared that deadly force against abortionists, the Supreme Court and President Bill Clinton would be justified. NBC claimed they only pulled the segment because the airdate was during the holiday season (December 28) and promised to air the segment at a later date. But NBC later cancelled the show and the segment never aired. The US Secret Service investigated the tape of the interview. - A segment about small-size condoms was pulled because NBC feared it would "lose affiliates in the South" due to the repeated use of the word "condom". When the show moved to Fox, the network agreed to air it but later changed their minds. The segment was released on the videotape compilation TV Nation: Volume One (1997). See more »
Even though he is now much more renowned for his movie docs("Roger and Me","Bowling for Columbine" and the incendiary "Fahrenheit 9/11"),to me,Michael Moore was probably at his best at the helm of this sharp,dryly(perhaps bitterly)funny and relentless hour show which lasted all of two years on NBC(1st season)and FOX(2nd season).
I say he was at the best on this show because it allowed him and a veritable crew of confederates(Janeane GArofolo,Jeff Stilson,Louis Theroux,Rusty Cundieff among others)to pierce through the veil of respectability that large corporations and conservative media barons and talking pieces(at the time,that would've been primarily the likes of Rush Limabugh,with probably Bob Grant,PAt Buchanan,Ken Hamblen and Oliver North somewhere behind him in terms of popularity)would happily put on and much of the popular,everyday so-called liberal media would gladly accept without hardly more than a low yelp of criticism(I mean,if Larry King is your best voice for opposition of conservative talk radio or TV,that's not saying much). The segments had more humor in them,a real sense of daring and a much more matter-of-fact sense of contrarism that seems to be missing in his now much more confrontational,direct polemics that he's known for now. Some more notable segments were profiling a gun club for Congressional wives,an attempt to try to sell off the infamous barge of garbage that circled the western hemisphere for much of the early nineties,an in-depth interview(And tour of his farm and shooting range)of Conservative rocker Ted Nugent and a mascot chicken that went to various corporations and awarded them for their cowardice in dealing with various malfeasance(naturally,there are several confrontations with first floor security that are priceless).
I suppose that a show like "TV NAtion" was probably WAY too subversive to be a network stalwart,hence its short lifespan. I only wish Mr. Moore had pressed this show onto cable,and didn't instead try to re-con-fig this into an even shorter-lived series called "The Awful Truth"(which I haven't seen,will need to out of curiosity,even though I've read at least one review say it wasn't as good as "Nation").Nevertheless,I truly appreciated this series,and when I ran across this again on a video tape I had made of it from years before(of course),it didn't take me long to realize how much I liked this show and its spirit. While I think as a political firebrand and troublemaker Moore had probably "jumped the shark",I still think he should keep on keeping' on,and another show like "TV Nation" would be just the thing to do it with.in my humble opinion.
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