Ban Jane Fonda Not Rush Limbaugh

Via CNN, a trio of feminists, led by Jane Fonda, is calling for Rush Limbaugh to be banned by the FCC.

Editor's note: Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem are the Co-Founders of the Women's Media Center.

Ironically, the misogyny Rush Limbaugh spewed for three days over Sandra Fluke was not much worse than his regular broadcast of sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech:

One of Rush's comments featured in their editorial and explicitly identified as having been taken from "his regular broadcast of sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech" is this one:

--[Said to an African American female caller]: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

That's false and misleading. If you click through to Snopes and scroll down, or see the screen cap, you'll find the comment was not made on his popular radio program. Limbaugh himself actually confessed to making the statement in a 1990 Newsday article. The comment was made in the early 1970's under a pseudonym, "Jeff Christie."

Recalling a stint as an "insult-radio" DJ in Pittsburgh, he admits feeling guilty about, for example, telling a black listener he could not understand to "take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

In contrast to Limbaugh, here is what Jane Fonda was broadcasting into North Vietnam during her visit in 1972, while American troops were fighting and dying in Vietnam. At the source page, you will find images of Fonda joking and laughing with North Vietnamese troops. Given these comparisons, if either of the two is to be banned, it should be Fonda, not Limbaugh. That Fonda and her comrades totally mischaracterized the quote for CNN's readers only compounds the offense. Given the editor's note at top, that a CNN editor presumably reviewed the posting suggests they were complicit in falsely smearing Limbaugh, as well.

Another student had requested the transcript of Jane Fonda's radio address which she had broadcast in North Vietnam.  This transcription, dated August 22, 1972 was made from her Hotel Especen broadcast in Hanoi at 7:11 p.m.

The following  was submitted in the U.S. Congress House Committee on Internal Security, Travel to Hostile Areas. [HR16742, 19-25 September 1972, page 761]

This is Jane Fonda. During my two week visit in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, I've had the opportunity to visit a great many places and speak to a large number of people from all walks of life- workers, peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians, journalists, film actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members of the women's union, writers.

I visited the (Dam Xuac) agricultural coop, where the silk worms are also raised and thread is made. I visited a textile factory, a kindergarten in Hanoi. The beautiful Temple of Literature was where I saw traditional dances and heard songs of resistance. I also saw unforgettable ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack enemy soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their job well.

In the shadow of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses perform the second act of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons, and this was very moving to me- the fact that artists here are translating and performing American plays while US imperialists are bombing their country.

I cherish the memory of the blushing militia girls on the roof of their factory, encouraging one of their sisters as she sang a song praising the blue sky of Vietnam- these women, who are so gentle and poetic, whose voices are so beautiful, but who, when American planes are bombing their city, become such good fighters.

I cherish the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation, offered me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while US bombs fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets- schools, hospitals, pagodas, the factories, houses, and the dike system.

As I left the United States two weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble- strewn streets of Nam Dinh, his words echoed with sinister (words indistinct) of a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in my arms clinging to me tightly- and I pressed my cheek against hers- I thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the tragedy is America's.

One thing that I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt since I've been in this country is that Nixon will never be able to break the spirit of these people; he'll never be able to turn Vietnam, north and south, into a neo- colony of the United States by bombing, by invading, by attacking in any way. One has only to go into the countryside and listen to the peasants describe the lives they led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped only strengthens their determination to resist. I've spoken to many peasants who talked about the days when their parents had to sell themselves to landlords as virtually slaves, when there were very few schools and much illiteracy, inadequate medical care, when they were not masters of their own lives.

But now, despite the bombs, despite the crimes being created- being committed against them by Richard Nixon, these people own their own land, build their own schools- the children learning, literacy- illiteracy is being wiped out, there is no more prostitution as there was during the time when this was a French colony. In other words, the people have taken power into their own hands, and they are controlling their own lives.

And after 4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign invaders- and the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling against French colonialism- I don't think that the people of Vietnam are about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.


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