The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hanoi John
The top image appears to be a news photo of John Kerry sharing the stage with Jane Fonda at an anti-Vietnam peace rally. But this scene never occurred in real life. The photo first appeared in 2004 on the website vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com, at a time during the 2004 presidential campaign when conservatives were trying to raise questions about Kerry's patriotism. An image that associated Kerry with Fonda, the bête noire of pro-war conservatives, served this purpose. Vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry captioned the image ‘Hanoi John’ — a reference to the nickname ‘Hanoi Jane’ that Vietnam veterans had given Jane Fonda. From there it quickly spread throughout the internet.

The image was quickly debunked. Photographer Ken Light recognized the image as one he had taken in 1971 at a Peace Rally in Long Island. But his original picture had shown Kerry sitting alone. Not only had Fonda not been anywhere in the shot, she hadn’t even attended the rally. A hoaxer had combined an image of Jane Fonda, taken from a 1972 photo by Owen Franken, with Light's image of Kerry. Both images (bottom row) were available from Corbis.com.

Links and References
Photo fakery ‘at its worst’ riles Ken Light. (Feb 18, 2004). UCBerkeley News.
John Kerry at the Register for Peace Rally, Corbis.com.
Jane Fonda Protesting, Corbis.com.


All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.