CBS Has A "Hanoi Jane" Moment


CBS Has A "Hanoi Jane" Moment

CREATED Mar. 26, 2013

I guess it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Two weeks ago, producers of the CBS television show "Amazing Race" featured contestants visiting a 'B-52 Memorial' in Hanoi, Vietnam. The 'Memorial' was actually an American plane that had been shot down during the Vietnam War.  It is unclear whether the Americans who piloted the plane were killed or simply captured.

CBS then filmed contestants watching a performance of young people singing songs before a portrait of Ho Chi Minh.  The lyrics to the song included: "Vietnam Communist Party is glorious ... Socialism is growing more beautiful with time.  Follow the party's step.  Be loyal.  Be pure ..."

Gee, celebrating socialism and staging a competition around a downed American airplane.  What could go wrong with that?

Jane Fonda's infamous visit to a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery earned her a lifetime reputation as "Hanoi Jane" and made her persona non grata to generations of Americans.  Viewed in this light, it is unbelievable to me that "Amazing Race" producers could have been so insensitive to this issue.

The response to the segment was so intense and so negative that CBS has now apologized to "veterans - particularly those who served in Vietnam- as well as to their families and any viewers who were offended by the broadcast." 

My how the "Tiffany network" has fallen. 

You almost wonder whether Dan Rather is still making some behind the scenes decisions?