Conservative Media Pounce on Jane Fonda Comments

2:46 PM PST 11/19/2012 by Paul Bond
Emily Berl
Jane Fonda received the L.A. Press Club's Visionary Award on Sunday.

UPDATED: The activist and star's answers Sunday at the L.A. Press Club's awards show draw fire from bloggers

This year marks the 40th anniversary of peace activist Jane Fonda being photographed while straddling an enemy anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam. To her detractors, she would be known forever more as “Hanoi Jane,” and on Monday they again were brandishing the long knives.

The catalyst was Sunday night’s L.A. Press Club gathering, where Fonda received a career award.

The attention focused mostly on two things Fonda said: That she asked director Lee Daniels to tone down the meanness in her portrayal of Nancy Reagan in the upcoming film The Butler and that she’ll “go to the grave” regretting “sitting on that gun in North Vietnam.”

RELATED: Jane Fonda Wins L.A. Press Club's Visionary Award

As to her role in The Butler, John Nolte, writing at Breitbart.com, said Fonda was “brilliantly deceptive” by telling the audience she didn’t want to portray Reagan doing anything mean that she didn’t do in real life.

“This is Fonda’s way of setting up the integrity of the meanness we will see,” Nolte wrote. “Nancy Reagan spent eight years as America’s first lady, and over eight years even a Mother Teresa is going to have some bad days. If all you show are the bad days, though, you might be able to claim ‘historical accuracy,’ but you’re still telling a lie.”

Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller accused Fonda of only being an anti-war activist during times when a Republican is president, and writes: “But there’s good news, vets: Jane’s sorry she got caught!” He then links to The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of Sunday’s event.

After quoting Fonda saying that her greatest regret in life is “sitting on that gun in North Vietnam. I’ll go to my grave with that one,” Treacher writes: “Yes, Jane, you will. And a lot of your countrymen already have.”

And a posting at FreeRepublic.com links to a 1973 song called "Hanoi Jane" written by Bill Rogers and sung by Leon Rausch that includes the lyrics: “Jane called the POWs stupid and liars/but she has communist ignorance in her brains.”

E-mail: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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