On September 8, the FOX TV program TV Nation featured host Michael Moore offering an invita- tion to a young Catholic woman to confess her sins at several Catholic churches. The purported goal of this exercise was to com- pile a “consumer’s guide” to penance. “Sinners can be winners” was the line used to tease the story.
The program focused on the young woman entering a confessional and admitting to sins of lust. To be sure that the woman was confessing to real sins, a male model was hired to tempt her. The viewer is told that the woman visited 26 churches and confessed to “dirty thoughts about men, not really X-rated thoughts, more like NC-17.”
Other examples of ridicule followed, but the clincher was how the show ended. In a voice-over, Moore said the following: “The preceding was a re-enactment. All the churches and penances, though, were real. The participants were bona fide Roman Catholics who believe in the pains of Hell and the existence of a merciful God.” On the screen was a statement that said, “No actual commandments were broken during the broadcast.”