Fact Check

John Kerry

Does a photograph show Senator John Kerry and Jane Fonda sharing a speaker's platform at an anti-war rally?

Published Feb 12, 2004


Urban Legends Reference Pages: (John Kerry)

John Kerry

Claim:   Photograph shows Senator John Kerry and Jane Fonda sharing a speaker's platform at an anti-war rally.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Fonda Speaks To Vietnam Veterans At Anti-War Rally

John Kerry

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)

(Original images © Corbis)

Origins:   Unlike an earlier photograph

John Kerry

Jane Fonda

which captured John Kerry and Jane Fonda sitting in the audience of a 1970 anti-war rally at which both were speakers, this image of the two of them together at a speaker's platform is fabricated.

The picture was created by merging two different photographs (both available through the
archives) taken at two completely different times and places. The picture of John Kerry was captured by 20-year-old photographer Ken Light and documented Kerry preparing to give a speech at the Register for Peace Rally held in Mineola, New York, on 13 June 1971. The picture of Jane Fonda was snapped by Owen Franken
over a year later while the actress was speaking at a political rally in Miami Beach, Florida, site of the Republican National Convention, in August 1972.

Contemporaneous news accounts do not list Jane Fonda as one of the speakers at the 1971 Register for Peace Rally.

Ken Light, the photographer who snapped the original picture of John Kerry used in the above composite, Corbis, the rightsholder to both the original images, and the Associated Press, whose name was invoked in the caption to the spoofed image, have all announced their intentions to identify the perpetrator who created the composite with an eye towards pursuing copyright or trademark infringement claims. Photographer Ken Light also penned an editorial giving his reactions to the issue of photo fakery which was published in the Washington Post.

Last updated:   1 March 2004


  Sources Sources:

    Janofsky, Michael.   "McCain Fights Old Foe Who Now Fights Kerry."

    The New York Times.   14 February 2004   (p. A11).

    Light, Ken.   "Fonda, Kerry and Photo Fakery."

    The Washington Post.   28 February 2004   (p. A21).

    Marinucci, Carla.   "Doctored Kerry Photo Brings Anger, Threat of Suit."

    San Francisco Chronicle.   20 February 2004.

    Rothfield, Michael.   "Less Than Picture-Perfect."

    Newsday.   15 February 2004.

    Silver, Roy R.   "L.I. Peace Rally Attracts 5,000."

    The New York Times.   14 June 1971   (p. 10).


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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