Doolittle’s sons

There are many killingly funny and sad moments in Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11. Some reviewers have labeled it a documentary, but it documents less than it satirizes and propagandizes. The viewer is left with a lot of scary impressions of the Bush shenanigans, with stolen elections and Saudi families, and very little documentary journalism—just interesting implications and visual jokes (Tony Blair as Hoss Cartwright?). Add in a healthy dose of gory war scenes, goofy paranoia and Moore’s now clichéd attempts to confront power with his camera, and you do have an entertaining stew. It’s just a little dodgy with all the facts.

Moore and his crew do a bit in front of the Capitol, asking congressmen who voted for the Iraq war if they’d be willing to send their sons and daughters off to war. Sure, this idea has been floated before, as in the Creedence Clearwater Vietnam-era song lyric “I ain’t no senator’s son.” Many of the image-conscious politicians Moore ambushes know to act sincerely interested when a camera is pointed at them, so they get sucked into Moore’s setup shtick and then realize they’ve been had and slowly move off camera.

But one congressman doesn’t bother with the feigned interest. He looks at Moore with disgust and blows on by. Our local man in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Doolittle, revealed a lot in those two or three seconds onscreen. He instantly recognizes Moore and looks like he would rather eat some mad cow than talk with the lefty humorist.

He’s the powerful and distant Mr. Doolittle, and he doesn’t suffer fools. You could say, if you were Moore, that he gets them elected.

Our cover story, “Boss Doolittle” by Jeff Kearns, shows what a complete job Doolittle has done to get his type of people elected and how that affects the spread of sprawl taking over the foothills.