MSNBC host Monica Crowley repeated a baseless claim that actress and anti-Vietnam War activist Jane Fonda “betrayed American POWs” by passing secret notes given to her by American prisoners of war to their Vietnamese captors, resulting in the POWs' torture and murder. As Media Matters for America has documented, Col. Larry Carrigan, the surviving POW specifically named by those relaying the rumor, has said that he never met Jane Fonda and never handed her a secret message.
From the “Rants and Raves” segment of the April 21 edition of MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast (also posted to the show's weblog at MSNBC.com):
CROWLEY: In 1972 Jane Fonda was at the height of her fame, a movie star and icon in her own right out of the shadow of her famous father. That's when she used her fame to oppose the war in Vietnam. Jane Fonda took to the streets to let her views against the war be known.
But she didn't stop there. She took her show on the road, to the enemy. During her stay as a guest of the North Vietnamese government, she climbed atop an enemy gun, used to shoot down American airplanes. She broadcast messages on Radio Hanoi telling American pilots to disobey their orders and stop the bombing runs, and she betrayed American POWs who covertly identified themselves to her only to see her tell the enemy they tried to communicate with her.
She now says that her trip to North Vietnam was a large lapse in judgment, but she doesn't regret the radio broadcasts or taking her opposition to the war to American soldiers in harm's way. And that's precisely the problem.