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The wacky Washington Post

Posted By Joseph Farah On 03/09/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Did you know I had a crush on Jane Fonda?

I didn’t either. I found out by reading a Washington Post magazine
column published Feb. 27.

I guess the writer, Marc Fisher, thought he would sneak it into print
while I was out of the country. Sorry, Marc, you can’t get anything past
me. I may be a little late commenting on this. But let’s set the record
straight.

The column was headlined, “When Barbarella Met Jesus,” and is one of those great illustrations of how even the highest-paid and
most glorified “journalists” in the establishment press can’t even get
their facts straight.

I’ll pick up the story where it gets interesting.

“Not only has Fonda split up with Ted Turner, but she has supposedly,
reportedly, perhaps, or maybe definitely found Jesus,” Fisher writes.
“The couple’s separation was ‘prompted in part by Fonda’s stunning
embrace of born-again evangelical Christianity,’ said the story on
WorldNetDaily.com. This is one of those Internet specials, a report that
originated on a wacky Web site and found its way onto page one of the
Washington Times before flying all over the infotainment universe.”

Wacky Web site? (If you’d like to let Mr. Fisher know how you feel
about WorldNetDaily vis a vis the Washington Post, he does read his
e-mail.) Wacky, indeed. At least we get our
facts right, Marc, old buddy. “One of those Internet specials,” he
writes. What does he mean by that? Wasn’t it one of those “Internet
specials” that got the president of the United States impeached a year
ago? Do you believe this guy? Do you believe the chutzpah of the
Washington Post?

But let’s discuss the facts, for a minute, and forget the hyperbole.
Fisher has the chronology all wrong. Sure, this story broke on
WorldNetDaily.com. But it wasn’t immediately followed up by the
Washington Times. The Associated Press first picked it up and spread it
to hundreds of newspapers around the country. Only then did the
Washington Times follow it up with a front-page story. But maybe those
inside-the-beltway guys missed all that. It doesn’t happen, I guess,
until it happens in Washington.

Here’s where we go next. Fisher asks why Jane Fonda still raises such
passions. And he accurately quotes me with the answer: “‘It has
something to do with her always seeming driven by her emotions,’
suggests Joseph Farah, the online reporter who broke the conversion
story. ‘She always seems to be in the center of things: Hollywood star,
Vietnam protester, wife of Tom Hayden, positioning herself to be at his
side if he got to the White House. And you can’t underestimate the
impact of seeing her sitting on that anti-aircraft gun. She’s looking
through the sights and she’s laughing. Vets can’t get past that.’”

An accurate quote immediately followed by a fanciful paraphrase of
his follow-up question: “Well, fine, I said to Joe, but I think there’s
something else going on here,” Fisher writes. “The guys — and it is
overwhelmingly men who populate the hate-Jane Web sites (‘I’m not Fonda
Jane’) and talk shows — work so hard to keep up their antipathy toward
Fonda because once upon a time, they fell for her.

“I don’t want to say that Farah bought my theory immediately, but
suffice it to say that before I’d finished that sentence, he
interrupted: ‘For me, it was Barbarella.’”

Well, pardon me, again, Marc. But you never asked that question of me
at all. You never said anything like that. You flat made it up for your
column. I wouldn’t even know what you were talking about had you asked
me anything like that question. What anti-Jane websites? I’ve never
heard of such a thing. And I never said I hated Jane. And I certainly
never had to work at maintaining any antipathy toward her.

Now get this: “Farah was a teen-ager when he went for Fonda,” Fisher
writes. “Spurned love, even from a celebrity a guy has never actually
seen in person, tends to flip people out. Add the emotional wallop of
Vietnam, and Fonda’s power starts to come into focus.”

Huh? Who said I never met Jane? I’m certain I told Fisher just the
opposite. This is great psychobabble, perhaps, but it’s totally untrue.
I never fell for Jane. I did meet her and, as a misguided teen-ager,
actually served as one of her bodyguards while she and Hayden conducted
their misnamed “Indochina Peace Campaign.” And I certainly never
“flipped out.” Where is this guy coming from? What kind of journalism is
this?

Well, folks, this is what passes for journalism in the Washington
Post.

I don’t know why I ever bother reading it. And I am certainly
questioning why I would ever bother again to answer questions from its
reporters.


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