This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 12, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS HOST: Actress and liberal activist Jane Fonda telling veterans and other critics threatening to boycott her new movie to quote: "get a life". The far-left Fonda is playing Nancy Reagan in the upcoming film "The Butler" which is due out in October.
But many Americans object to the casting of a woman they so call Hanoi Jane. That's because in 1972, Fonda traveled to Hanoi where she called the American military, "war criminals". And she was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft gun.
THE FACTOR caught up with Fonda a few years ago at an anti-war rally in D.C.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: Ms. Fonda we just wanted to follow up on the question about the people who died after people died in Vietnam, what about, what do you think might happen to the Iraqis? Are you concerned what will happen to the Iraqis if we leave?
FONDA: I'm concerned about what's happening to the Iraqis right now.
INTERVIEWER: What do you think about-- what do you think about the 3 million Vietnamese and Cambodians who died after the U.S. troops left Vietnam.
FONDA: It's too bad that we caused it to happen by going in there in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Joining me now to react from Boston. Captain Pete Hegseth a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. And from L.A. Richard Walter, UCLA film professor.
First, I'll go to you Captain. Ms. Fonda claims she's going to be really fair to Mrs. Reagan. She promises no cheap shots. Should that ease your concerns?
CAPTAIN PETE HEGSETH, IRAQ & VIETNAM VETERAN: No, of course not. So suddenly she doesn't want to commit any cheap shots at Nancy Reagan, who she's portraying. And she better not because America has a great deal of respect for that first lady as we should.
But she is not willing, but she's willing to take, continue to take cheap shots at veterans and Vietnam veterans by telling them to "get a life". There is no statute of limitations on treason and that's precisely what Jane Fonda did when she went to Hanoi and sat on that anti-aircraft gun and recorded tense propaganda statements that were calling our brave Vietnam veterans war criminals. There (INAUDIBLE) is justifiable. Completely justifiable that they're outraged about this.
And you know what? For her to say "get a life", that means she truly hasn't internalized the apologies she supposedly made. You know we all make bad decisions and we feel bad about them. It doesn't mean that you wake up every day having to, having to talk about it. But when you're asked about it again, she should have acknowledged you know, yes I made some hurtful comments, and that I wouldn't have made again.
Instead, she says get a life! And to her I say you are the one that clearly isn't needs to get a life and an understanding about what you did when you went over there almost over 30 years ago.
GUTFELD: Well, Professor, I mean she did , she did apologize, but don't you think maybe she probably could have chosen some better words than "get a life"? 'Cause it kind of raises old concerns about her hating America.
RICHARD WALTER, UCLA FILM PROFESSOR: Yes, she said a lot of db things. And over her life that's one of them.
Certainly, she was wrong to go to Vietnam and be photographed on the anti- aircraft gun battery . And she does apologize for that, she does renounce that and ask for forgiveness. It is the American way and it is part of the religious tradition and this nation to forgive people who ask to be forgiven.
No, she shouldn't say "get a life", but she's not going to, how can she take cheap shots at Nancy Reagan? She's going to reading a script. God Bless our veterans for their service to the nation. How are they served by having a political pest for actors who are portraying characters who are written in screenplays by writers.
GUTFELD: But, Professor, that's actually a good point, she does read from the script. But remember, you got the Weinstein's that are putting out the movie, you got John Cusack playing Richard Nixon. All that's missing is Michael Moore playing Gerald Ford. And so it clearly comes from an ideology.
I'm sorry, is that you, Captain?
WALTER: Yes, absolutely. I know you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a liberal actress or actor in Hollywood so we know those are the types of folks that will be playing these roles. Yes, there's our country's always . I understand. We all understand. Forgiveness and the need for it.
And if you're going to be honest and earnest about asking for forgiveness about something you did wrong, then we will listen to that but when you then later go get a life, years afterwards as if that angst about what she did still percolates even though she was asked for forgiveness. That shows to me, that maybe somewhere down deep she doesn't feel like she needed to ask for forgiveness like it really wasn't something that, that, you know, was as bad as she claimed she feels bad about it.
GUTFELD: All right, I just want to make sure to the American public, we don't advise swinging dead cats at people. We're a big fan of the animal kingdom.
Professor, I got to ask you. I agree, I agree. I don't think your political roles should have any influence on what roles you take. You got to admit though, that this had to be stunt casting, that the whole reason why she was cast as Nancy Reagan is to create this debate to garner free publicity so shows like this talk about it.
Don't you think?
WALTER: Well, she's a very good actor. If it's true that this was provocative casting and suppose that it is, aren't the veterans playing into the hands of Jane Fonda and the producers of the movie by focusing this kind of attention on it?
I think we all kind of agree she is a good actor, she does her job as an actor very, very well and there's something to be said for people who admire Mrs. Reagan, that a confident and capable player was asked to portray her in this movie.
GUTFELD: Well you raise another good point. I want to ask you Captain because by the way she is a good actress. I loved her in "Barbarella". Captain, is boycotting the answer?
Because even if you-- let's say you find the casting weird and off-putting. Are you playing into their hands by making a big deal out of it and in fact Jane Fonda said she enjoys the hoopla as maybe that will get more people to see the film.
So in a way are you taking her too seriously by paying attention when in fact maybe you should just say "you know what? She is past her prime this is a waste of time."
HEGSETH: Well I certainly honor and respect veterans and why they are upset about this and I probably won't go see this movie myself, but at the same time yes the professor is probably right that this increased the publicity around a film that not a whole lot of people are going to see anyway because we know when Hollywood tries to play politics no one shows up to watch it. So this is the kind of publicity a film like this wants.
The outrage for me is get over it comment. and or, or, "get a life". To me that underscores that she doesn't fully understand what it means, what the treasonous actions she took and the outrage Vietnam vets have around what that meant to them and their service. There are 58,000 men in the ground in Vietnam who gave blood and don't have a life. And Jane Fonda was part of the reason their war was so difficult.
GUTFELD: Yes it's amazing how off-the-cuff remarks often reveal the honesty behind a public persona. I mean she has apologized but you can tell that underneath she really doesn't take it that seriously as everyone else does.
All right we got to go. Gentleman, thanks so much.
HEGSETH: Thank you.
WALTER: Thank you.