Hanoi Jane, QVC and the triumph of capitalism
On Saturday, Jane Fonda was scheduled to pimp her new book on the QVC Network when company executives suddenly cancelled her appearance.
The explanation for why Fonda’s segment was cancelled depends on who’s answering the question. A spokesperson at QVC stated that a scheduling conflict had caused Fonda’s snake-oil sale to be axed. Fonda is skeptical of QVC’s response. She claims that top network executives caved to unnamed “extremists” who were pressuring the network to cut Fonda’s segment because of her liberal political activism.
I have to admit I’ve never watched the QVC network. In preparation for writing this column, I actually had trouble finding its position in my local cable line-up. As best I know, my family has never bought anything from QVC. However, the network’s decision to cancel Fonda (for whatever reason) has me tuning in and searching the screen for something to buy in sincere appreciation.
In response to QVC’s action, Fonda complained that people were spreading lies about her. “I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us,” Fonda said.
Fonda’s new book (unnamed here because I don’t want anyone to buy it) is reportedly about aging and the life cycle. The book better have some memory exercises, because Fonda’s recollection of her actions during the Vietnam War indicates that her mind is slipping.
Most Americans do not have a problem with the fact that Jane Fonda was an outspoken critic of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Many shared her view. But, the manner in which she expressed her opposition was beyond the pale and did hurt the men and women of our military.
In 1972, at the age of 35, Fonda traveled to Hanoi as a guest of the government of North Vietnam. Photographs of her smiling behind the trigger of an enemy anti-aircraft gun, which was seemingly aimed at American planes, opened an ugly wound that remains unhealed all these years later.
After American prisoners of war claimed that their captors were torturing them, Fonda labeled them as “hypocrites and liars.” She called the POWs professional killers and war criminals. The joyful enthusiasm by which she made these claims was what so many people found unforgivable.
Some may argue that Fonda apologized for her transgressions and should be forgiven. I encourage those folks to go back and re-read the so-called apologies. They were conditional and shallow. Fonda may be sorry that she’s hated by so many for what she did, but her words indicate that she is not at all sorry for what she said or how she said it.
On her website, Fonda blamed her QVC rejection on “some well-funded and organized political extremist groups.” Or, maybe, the fault is with Fonda herself for failing to understand that the pain she caused in 1972 will never properly heal.
The freedom of speech is our country’s most basic right. It gives people like Fonda the privilege to make inane statements that will never be forgiven by a segment of our society. The right to free speech even grants Fonda permission to blame reaction to her callous behavior on some invisible right-wing conspiracy.
Of course, what Hanoi Jane has failed to recognize is that our country’s right to free speech also gives QVC viewers the opportunity to call the network and complain.
Can the free market work for a commie?
In a 1970 speech, Fonda told college students, “If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become communist.” At another college stop she added, “I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism.”
It is amusing that the woman who once declared that she wanted America to move to a socialist system is now whining that the country’s capitalist market is not working for her personally. She probably needs to rethink her outrage.
If America had followed Fonda’s vision and become a communist nation, our government leaders would have canceled her appearance. Cancellation is the least onerous way that communist leaders would have dealt with someone who they considered a traitor.
Men and women have landed in prison in Cuba and China for actions far less offensive than Fonda’s 1972 trip to Hanoi.
And this weekend, instead of communist leaders becoming involved, consumers knocked Fonda off the air. The people who watch and utilize QVC voted with their pocketbooks.
I must close this rant, because I’ve found QVC on my cable system and I have just seven minutes left to buy a Technique Hard Anodized Dishwasher Safe 18×12 Barbecue Grill Pan for only five easy payments of $9.99 — shipping and handling included.
Maybe I’ll buy one and have it delivered to Fonda. It’s probably good for preparing the crow that she finds herself feasting upon this week.
Rick Robinson is the author of political thrillers which can be purchased on Amazon and at book stores everywhere. His latest novel, Manifest Destiny has won seven writing awards, including Best Fiction at the Paris Book Festival.