What do you get when Monsanto and the Farm Bureau (whose sorry politics are discussed here) team up with the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board, the U.S. Grains Council, and the National Cotton Council (discussed here)?

If your answer is vast-scale, heavily subsidized, environmentally ruinous agriculture, you have a point. But I was thinking of a different response: Television that promises to be so bad that it might qualify as camp.

The above-mentioned crew have pooled funds to create a public-television series called America’s Heartland. According to its website, the show is:

[A] new weekly public television series … which will celebrate our nation’s agriculture. Profiling the people, places, and processes of agriculture, the series will tap into — and strengthen — the ties that bind us all together: the love of our land and the respect for the people who live on and from it, a national fascination with food, curiosity about unfamiliar places and ways of life, and the bedrock American values of family, hard work and the spirit of independence.

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In other words, rather than focus on the wretchedly depressed conditions reigning in most rural areas and a dismal food system that has made the U.S. the fattest nation on earth — or on alternatives such as the budding local-food movement — the series will paint a portrait of noble, stoic family farmers cranking out “miraculous” amounts of commodities so that “American consumers [can] spend less to feed themselves than any other country in the world.”

Is it crude of me to point out that this is just the sort of vulgar nonsense that issued forth from Soviet and Nazi propaganda mills?

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I don’t have a functioning TV; someone out there please watch America’s Heartlandhere’s the schedule — and let me know if it’s so bad it’s good, or if it’s just bad.