In 1994, Michael Moore (subsequently best known for Fahrenheit 911, Bowling for Columbine, and being a general pain in the butt to the Republican Party) produced, with others, a television show called TV Nation. The idea behind the show was to raise awareness of injustice and corruption in America, and to do so in a humorous style. Less than 20 episodes were made (although Moore went on to do another similar show called The Awful Truth), but durng its short run, it was highly acclaimed.
This books covers just some of the pieces which the show did – including Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken, the CEO challenge (can the highly paid CEO’s of various companies, actually do the lesser paid jobs which their employees do?), and finding work for former KGB operatives (to name just a few).
The book, like the TV show, is all done in Moore’s familiar irreverent style, and does set out to achieve it’s aim, in that it provides laughs, but also deals with serious subjects. It also shows the compromises that had to be made in order to get certain segments on air, and the sometimes dangerous situations that Moore and his crew found themselves in. (There were actually some segments that never made it to air, or were severely edited before they were shown.)
I do tend to agree with Michael Moore on many issues, but don’t always agree with the way he reports them, as his reporting can be heavily biased and edited to make things look the way he wants them to watch. Nevertheless, he highlights the hypocrisy of the media and the people that run it, as well as certain politicians, and he manages to make serious issues watchable and interesting to read about.
Overall, this is an easy and enjoyable read, and I would recommend it. It’s also worth mentioning that you do not need to have seen any episodes of TV Nation – or indeed any other of Moore’s work – to fully enjoy this book.
(Michael Moore’s website can be found here.)