The showbiz trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports that conservative opposition is slowly building toward a possible boycott of the movie The Butler, still six months away from appearing in theaters. That’s because lifelong leftist activist Jane Fonda is slated to portray Ronald Reagan’s wife Nancy in the flick. “I figured it would tweak the right,” shrugs Fonda. “Who cares?”
The drama is the true story of Eugene Allen, White House butler to every president from 1952 to 1986. Jane Fonda – famously photographed straddling a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam forty years ago – as the wife of patriotic icon Reagan is a choice that hardly seems coincidental; more likely casting “Hanoi Jane” was a direct and purposeful insult to the conservative American audience, whom many Hollywood elites openly despise.
THR reporter Paul Bond’s bias in the article itself is blatant – unsurprisingly, since movie biz trade magazines don’t bother to hide their leftist tilt (although THR is a model of neutrality compared to its online competition The Wrap). In his examples of “similar dustups” over political films, Bond writes that the right “howled” about the CBS miniseries The Reagans, while the left only “complained” about The History channel’s proposed 2011 miniseries The Kennedys. The left did more than complain about the project, produced by open conservative Joel Surnow; it got the network to abandon the miniseries, although it was later picked up by the Reelz Channel and won a raft of awards including Emmys.
Bond also says the left merely “complained” about supposed “inaccuracies” in the 2006 miniseries The Path to 9/11, which I have written about before and to which I myself contributed. If you want to know just how politely the left “complained” about The Path to 9/11, check out the documentary Blocking The Path to 9/11. ABC was initially proud of the project until Clinton-era alumni feared it would blacken his legacy, because it accurately depicted his flaccid response to the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism in the 90s. Then a vicious internet campaign got underway which resulted in death threats to the filmmakers, and a team of Democrat senators including Harry Reid threatened to pull ABC’s license if it aired the miniseries. ABC’s owner is a close friend of the Clintons to this day he refuses to release it on DVD.
As an example of how the right “can’t get past” it, Bond and Fonda singled out Navy veteran Larry Reyes, founder of the “Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan” Facebook page. “The moviemakers are free to choose,” Reyes says “but it seems like it was their way of giving people like me the middle finger.” Exactly right, Mr. Reyes. Fonda’s classy reply to THR regarding Reyes’ Facebook page was, “Get a life. If he creates hoopla, it will cause more people to see the movie.”
Actually, as a Navy veteran, Larry Reyes not only did get a life, but he devoted a portion of it to honorable service to his country. Fonda, by stark contrast, has devoted a significant portion of her life to blame-America-first activism.
In the early ‘70s the privileged Fonda preached communism to college students and called the Vietnam War “U.S. imperialism” and “white man’s racist aggression.” In the summer of ’72, while the war still raged, the actress traveled to North Vietnam and played the part of their puppet with Oscar-winning commitment. In addition to posing grinning for pictures with our enemy, she volunteered to carry out radio propaganda from Hanoi, telling American pilots that they were war criminals and urging the South Vietnamese soldiers to desert. And, arguably most reprehensibly, she met with tortured American POWs in another scripted propaganda performance, lectured them about carrying out genocide against the Vietnamese, and returned to tell the world that these guests of the Hanoi Hilton were being well-treated and they regretted their warmongering.
“When stories about the torture of POWs later surfaced,” John Perazzo notes,
Fonda called them lies. When the POWs began coming home in 1973, Fonda derided them as “liars, hypocrites, and pawns,” dismissing any charge that they had been brutalized: “Tortured men do not march smartly off planes, salute the flag, and kiss their wives. They are liars. I also want to say that these men are not heroes.”
She went on to support the radical Code Pink and calls its co-founder Jodie Evans a “dear friend.” Evans and Code Pink today are serving even more aid and comfort, literally, to our enemies the Taliban, Hamas, and Iran, than even Fonda did to North Vietnam in her day.
On the occasion of receiving a career award at last November’s L.A. Press Club gathering, Fonda said that she’ll “go to the grave” regretting “sitting on that gun in North Vietnam.” That’s not the same as an apology. What she means is that she regrets doing it because the controversy still hounds her to this day, as it should. She was and is a traitor who did incalculable propaganda damage to this country.
Fonda and Nancy Reagan never met, but according to a friend of Fonda, the former First Lady “was pleased that I was playing her. Which shows how smart she is,” says Fonda. “She’s smarter than all those extreme right-wingers who are angry that I’m playing a woman whose politics are different than mine. Come on, it’s a movie!”
“It’s just a movie” is the defense Hollywood uses when it wants to spread its leftist hate while dismissing its critics as oversensitive. It’s curious how that excuse doesn’t fly when the left works itself into a lather over a movie that dares even hint at support for conservativism, like last year’s Zero Dark Thirty, a movie which suggested that Bush-era waterboarding contributed to locating the elusive bin Laden. Despite having been directed by hardcore leftist Kathryn Bigelow, she and ZD30 were publicly shunned by the groupthink Hollywood left.
Fonda claims that she actually had a portion of the script changed because it made Nancy Reagan look too mean – if true, this says less about Fonda’s respect for Nancy than the writer’s mean-spirited bias (The Butler’s writer Danny Strong was also responsible for HBO’s Game Change and its demeaning caricature of Sarah Palin). “I might not have always agreed with Nancy Reagan, but I admire her, and I'd never try to insert my views when playing her,” says Fonda. We’ll see come October when the film hits theaters.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 4/12/13)