On Dec. 8, Netflix posted the last Chelsea episode taped before a Studio City audience. The final final episode after two seasons goes up Friday, with celebrity friends sitting around a dinner table at host Chelsea Handler’s Bel-Air home. But the first guest on the previous, in-studio installment was former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), who was mostly there to talk about the moment of time produced by Harvey Weinstein, intrepid reporters and the #metoo movement.
Handler, who announced in October she was leaving Chelsea to focus solely on liberal-feminist activism, asked near the end of the chat about PAC for a Change, Boxer’s newish political-action committee. The former senator mentioned the PAC for a Change project Resist & Replace aims to defeat Republicans at the ballot box in 2018, that it is starting in California and that its first video targets Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-a Putin Colon Polyp). (See “From Russia With Love,” below.)
During the anti-Rohrabacher chatter, Handler was uncharacteristically silent, which made me wonder if that had something to do with the gaffe she made two weeks after announcing she was ending Chelsea, when she tweeted: “So, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from California is was [sic] the original person who received info from Russia because she works w/ them.”
Misidentifying the sex of someone who has been an elected official in California since 1989 is not the best way to launch a political-activism career, as witnessed by the critics who immediately pounced on Handler. “Rep. Rohrabacher is a man. But way to assume their gender,” stated one commenter to a Breitbart story on Handler’s miss-take. “Using the wrong pronoun is a crime in California, isn’t it?” replied Tyler Bell (@tylerbell49) to Handler’s tweet. She even received Hollywood blowback from actor James Woods (verified account @RealJamesWoods): “She would be a perfect political analyst for @CNN. Why break their streak on being wrong on just about everything?”
Not that Handler needs little ol’ OC Weekly to cut her some slack, but it would be fake news of us not to bring up my colleague R. Scott Moxley’s story about the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, Corcoran State Prison and Sirhan Sirhan’s surprise visitor “Diana Rohrabacher.” With that swirling around in the news-ophere, it’s small wonder that the Economic Times of India and the Dinar Vets forum, a self-described “trusted and reliable resource” on the Iraqi currency, went on to misidentify Rohrabacher as a “congresswoman” and “she,” respectively.
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OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.