Jane Fonda: Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck should watch ‘The Newsroom’


It should come as no surprise that Jane Fonda’s role on “The Newsroom” comes with a bit of ease.

The veteran actress portrays Leona Lansing, the unpitying CEO of the parent company that owns the cable news network at the center of the series. And she hasn’t kept it a secret that her past has helped inform how she plays the role -- she was married to media tycoon Ted Turner for 10 years after all.

Turner hasn’t provided any feedback on her portrayal, she said, “but he’s happy I’m doing it. He loves the show.”


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Of course, Fonda has received positive feedback through other means. The 75-year-old actress, who spent a number of years out of the limelight before returning to films in 2005’s “Monster-in-Law,” has nabbed an Emmy nomination in the guest acting category for the recurring role.

When asked who she thinks would benefit from watching the Aaron Sorkin drama, which is currently in its second season, Fonda offered the following names: Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage. Glenn Beck, the tea partiers, Sarah Palin.

“Those are the people I wish would listen to it, and really hear the logic of what is being said,” she said during a live Web chat with The Times. “It’s the tension between a news bureau that is trying to get good ratings as opposed to telling the truth, or telling an important story. And it’s an important tension.”

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Tension has certainly intensified in Season 2, which opened with the news team being prepped by a lawyer, played by Marcia Gay Harden, for a deposition in a wrongful termination suit on a case surrounding a broadcast of a since-retracted expose of a military cover-up (it was based on CNN and Time’s retracted reporting on Operation Wailwind).

And if you’ve been wondering where Leona has been as all this is going down, you won’t have to wonder for much longer. Fonda, who briefly made an appearance in the season opener, will return in the seventh episode --where things come to a head -- and the final episode.

Listen to the chat above as she teases what to expect, and hear who she thinks Leona might have had some flings with over the years.


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