Exclusive: Fonda's CNN/God/government anti-drug deal

Salon's six-month-long investigation into the religious conversion of Jane Fonda reveals it to be part of a CNN/government advertising swap.

Published January 14, 2000 12:38PM (EST)

Speculation in Hollywood and media circles mounted today that Jane Fonda's
miraculous and unexpected conversion to Christianity was part of a
multi-trillion-dollar ad buy engineered by her estranged husband, CNN
founder and Time Warner honcho Ted Turner.

Turner recently sold $200
trillion in heavily discounted "Christian-message" advertising space to a
coalition of religious groups. With ad rates soaring thanks to an influx of
Satanic cult dot-com money, the deal has ended up being a major money-loser
for Turner, and industry insiders says he has been searching for a way to
get out.

"Ted was very interested when he learned about the White House paying off
the networks to put in anti-drug messages, and this idea balloon kind of
went up," said a very high source at CNN. "He figured, if some clown smoking
a joint and goin' psychotic on 'Chicago Hope' is worth $5 million, how much
is ol' 'Bubble-Tits' converting to Christianity worth? Gotta be $50, $60 mil."

An even higher source at CNN confirmed that at the same time Fonda announced
her conversion, the number of Christian-themed ads on the station dropped
dramatically and the number "666" began appearing again and again on the

Turner learned about Hollywood's subliminal "Just Say No" deal with the White
House from AOL, vaguely identified sources said. In fact, his reluctance to
sign off on a similar AOL business proposition may have led to this week's
blockbuster merger of Time Warner and AOL.

"The top AOL brass came to Time Warner last week and offered them $100
million to insert ANOTHER set of secret messages into the anti-drug ads they
were running," a source close to this reporter said. "Every time that cool
teenage heroin-addict chick in the tank top smashed that egg with a frying
pan, they wanted the words 'AOL' to appear in the yolk."

Turner reportedly balked at the deal, saying, "That isn't even close to being
as exciting as the second time I had sex, 37 years, three months and 26 days
ago." AOL officials argued vociferously that two sets of concealed messages
were no worse than one, but Turner remained adamant. Finally, AOL officials
reportedly said, "Who needs this grief -- let's just buy him and his
miserable little company."

Later, Turner apparently came around and became enthusiastic about the
concealed-message concept, sources say. The Fonda deal was cut soon after

Turner was traveling across the Bering Strait and was not immediately
available on his amphibious-car phone. But an anonymous source says he was
heard to yell, "This is the most excited I've been since the third time I
had sex." Fonda was unavailable for comment.

By Gary Kamiya

Gary Kamiya is a Salon contributing writer.

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