The Washington Post not only felt the need to praise the seriousness and maturity of Jane Fonda. It saw in her attendance at Saturday's Bush-bashing fiesta a "stamp of maturity and seriousness" on the hard left "anti-war" movement as a whole.
Post writer Linton Weeks remembered when Fonda first "spoke out for peace" against the Vietnam War, and how she has changed, like America, from activist to exercise maven to "post-feminist arm candy" for Ted Turner.
Yesterday, with her daughter, Vanessa Vadim, and two grandchildren nearby, she was again front and center as actress, feminist and opponent of war.
Her life has come full circle.
She thanked the tens of thousands of protesters for standing up to a "mean-spirited, vengeful administration" and she said she was glad to discover that the soul of America "is alive and well." One huge difference between protests then and now, she told the crowd, is military families and active service people in the present-day movement.
Children in tie-dyed shirts, grandmothers in flowered hats, kids with frizzy hair and muddy jeans danced and hoisted signs and chanted against the war and for impeachment. Despite her showbiz elegance -- blond hair, sunglasses, camel's hair coat and dark over-the-knee boots -- Fonda seemed to fit right in.
For this movement, it represented a stamp of maturity and seriousness.
For some reason, this last line is not in the online version. The headline in the paper was "At Peace Rally, Fonda Reprises A Famous Role." Inside, the headline was "Blast From the Past Blasts the Present War." The caption (between a new photo, with Fonda standing in front of a man with "Wanted for Mass Murder" T-shirt with Bush and Cheney pictures on it, and an old photo of Hanoi Jane in Vietnam in a helmet) said only:
"She's a high-profile, outspoken American," actor Sean Penn said of Jane Fonda, above, who also drew attention for going to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, below, which was viewed by many as sympathetic to North Vietnam.
"Viewed by many"? This is like saying Richard Nixon was "viewed by many" as the President of the United States. The caption was even less clear than the article, which at least acknowledged Fonda participated in pro-communist photo opportunities, at a gun used to shoot Americans:
She spoke at protest rallies and, in 1972, posed for a photograph with a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun. The act was viewed by many as unpatriotic, even treasonous, and some called her "Hanoi Jane."
She has since apologized.
Again, when you pose at a gun that shoots at Americans, can't the Post do better than it is "viewed by many as unpatriotic"?
From there, Rep. Maxine Waters announced Fonda's welcome in the "peace community," and most of the rest of he article is taken up by Fonda's "peace" pals and their tributes. Weeks acknowledged "three dozen protesters organized by the conservative Web site Free Republic held up signs calling the protesters traitors and terrorist sympathizers."
Weeks knows how to write puff pieces on feminist grandmothers. He did the same for Kate Michelman a while back.