73 year-old, two time Academy Award-winner Jane Fonda spends 4200-plus words “explaining” her infamous 1972 trip to Hanoi where she was infamously photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese (translation: the enemy) anti-aircraft gun (translation: a weapon used to kill American pilots).
It’s a long, anguished, intellectually dishonest rationalization from the aging actresses titled: “The Truth About My Trip to Hanoi.”
Not sure it’s worth a read. Up to you. But the real meat is buried under thousands of words:
That May, I received an invitation from the North Vietnamese in Paris to make the trip to Hanoi. Many had gone before me but perhaps it would take a different sort of celebrity to get people’s attention. Heightened public attention was what was needed to confront the impending crisis with the dikes. I would take a camera and bring back photographic evidence (if such was to be found) of the bomb damage of the dikes we’d been hearing about.
I arranged the trip’s logistics through the Vietnamese delegation at the Paris Peace talks, bought myself a round trip ticket and stopped in New York to pick up letters for the POWs.
Frankly, the trip felt like a call to service. It was a humanitarian mission, not a political trip. My goal was to expose and try to halt the bombing of the dikes. (The bombing of the dikes ended a month after my return from Hanoi)
The only problem was that I went alone. Had I been with a more experienced, clear-headed, traveling companion, I would not have allowed myself to get into a situation where I was photographed on an anti-aircraft gun.
Imagine Jane Fonda’s father Henry Fonda (who, by the way, enlisted to fight in WWII) saying, “In 1942, the Nazis invited me to Berlin where I was photographed on a Tiger II tank but I also did a bunch of other stuff while I was there, so please judge me by the full context of my trip to Berlin.”
Hilariously, to keep the focus off her fraternizing with an enemy desperate to kill American and allied troops and in the process of subjugating the sovereign nation of South Vietnam into the slavery of Communism, Fonda crybabies about all the lies told about her trip, especially those told on the Internet. This is a semantic ploy meant to distract from her many serious critics who need not make a single thing up or exaggerated in the least to reveal her actions as despicable and outright traitorous.
It’s funny that in the September of her years, Fonda would all of a sudden be so gung-ho about putting this shame to rest. My guess is that she pictured herself at this age as one of those artists who spends their twilight being toasted and honored throughout the world; their controversies forgotten, forgiven, and overshadowed by legend. Jane Fonda has lived to be old enough to be allowed a sneak peek at her legacy and she apparently doesn’t like what she’s seeing.
Unfortunately for Fonda, when it comes to most things, we Americans really are a forgiving bunch. Especially in the arenas of personal, sexual, and bad boyish behavior. Time and again, when someone reaches a certain stage of their life, we tend to realize how little the mistakes of their past (which are usually more tasteless, stupid, boorish and self-destructive than anything else) matters within the context of someone who will soon leave us forever.
Something we’re not as forgiving about, however, is the betrayal of our country or the appeasing of an enemy. Fair or not, this is something that will forever haunt the legacies of Joe Kennedy Sr. and Charles Lindbergh.
And so it will with Jane Fonda.
What she did was morally appalling and narcissistic and arrogant and undermining to an entire generation of men who risked their lives for their own country and to keep free another.
No spin, no thousands of words, no Academy Award, no legacy or legend will ever change that.