PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 9, 2004
PHOTOS BY KEN LIGHT AND OWEN FRANKEN
This image, of presidential candidate John Kerry and leftwing icon Jane Fonda at an Anti-Vietnam War rally, was widely circulated during Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004. The picture emerged first on a conservative news outlet: NewsMax.com with a headline and caption, as well as a credit to the Associated Press, as if it had been published in a newspaper.
The caption read, “Actress And Anti-War Activist Jane Fonda speaks to a crowd of Vietnam Veterans as Activist and former Vietnam Vet John Kerry (LEFT) listens and prepares to speak next concerning the war in Vietnam (AP Photo).”
The image is a composite of two photographs, taken by separate photographers a year apart. The image of John Kerry was taken by Ken Light at a Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on June 13, 1971. Jane Fonda’s was photographed in August 1972, at a political rally in Miami Beach, Florida.
The photo was touted as evidence of Kerry’s “anti-American” conduct after his service in the Vietnam War. The image served to alienate Vietnam veteran voters.
Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a California Republican, stated on February 10th, a day after the doctored image was released, “When he stands up with Jane Fonda, someone that is so notorious and hated by veterans...it diminishes the service some of us almost gave our lives for, and the over 56,000 people that lost their lives—it slaps their families in the face.”
Photographer and Journalism Ethics professor at UC Berkeley, Ken Light, threatened to sue whoever merged his photo of Kerry with the one of Jane Fonda, and now includes his own story in his curriculum.