The Many Sides of Dana Rohrabacher

Another Oscar Night has come and gone, and once again, Dana Rohrabacher has to settle for a being just another congressman from Orange County, instead of a famous screenwriter. It's not like he hasn't tried to break into showbiz. Sam Rosen of The American Prospect Online once catalogued Rohrabacher's sadly neglected efforts as a screenwriter (scroll down to "Dana Rohrabacher, Auteur"). There's a Cold War thriller, The Killing Zone, which featured "healthy doses of commie fighting and randy sex with an Eastern European starlet", and "a romance set during the French Resistance called The French Doctoresse, which raised a few eyebrows for its oddly positive depiction of Adolf Hitler. (The führer generously releases the doctoresse's imprisoned husband in the climactic scene, then lightens the mood by making her the guest of honor at "a French-style dinner.")" But to date, the closest Rohrabacher's come to having any success is when producer Joseph Medawar paid $23,000 for an option on Baja, Rohrabacher's adventure tale of men doing very manly things with each other in Mexico. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Baja will be coming to a theater near you anytime soon: Medawar has been indicted on 23 counts of fraud related to a project that got off the ground after Rohrabacher helped Medawar make connections in Washington D.C. (which happened, coincidentally enough, right after Medawar bought the option on Baja). So it's unlikely the Surfin' Congressman™ will be appearing at Vanity Fair's annual Oscar party anytime soon.

On the other hand, there's a chance he might get a mention in April's Vanity Fair (on sale next week). The magazine will feature a nine page story on lobbyist/felon Jack Abramoff, and promises that Abramoff talks about his political cronies from President Bush on down. Whether the story gets down far enough to reach to Rohrabacher remains to be seen, but he certainly deserve prominent mention. Rohrabacher and Abramoff are "closely — you might say uncomfortably — tied", as OC's favorite timepiece explained back in October. Unfortunately, it looks like Abramoff is using the magazine to get even with those he feels have been disloyal to him, and that's hardly Rohrabacher. He was the last of the regulars at Signatures (Abramoff's pricey D.C. restaurant, where Rohrabacher ate free) willing to say nice things about Abramoff in public– something he was able to do, thanks to the major local media's weak coverage of the connections between the "criminally tainted GOP superlobbyist" and the "wack-packin' Congressman". Still, there's a better chance of Rohrabacher turning up in the story, than there is of him turning up a Vanity Fair party holding an Oscar for The French Doctoresse.

Update (9:35 pm): Vanity Fair's Abramoff story, "Washington's Invisible Man", is now online as a pdf document. There's not so much as a passing reference to our man Dana. The article contains a parade's worth of big-time Republican players, but not a Rohrabacher in sight, even though the article reveals yet one more thing the two have in common: Abramoff's been using some of his newly acquired free time to write screenplays. It would take a heart of stone not to feel a great swell of compassion for Dana Rohrabacher by the end of the article. Poor Dana: too small a talent to get one of his scripts produced; too insignificant on the national scene to rate a mention in a lengthy article on the leading political scandal of day, despite his long, close relationship with the criminal at the center of it.


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