Ted Turner was transformed from a staunch conservative into a bleeding-heart liberal by none other than one-time wife Jane Fonda, according to the media mogul’s outspoken son.
But when the senior Turner moved to the left and then expressed an interest in running for president, Fonda deep-sixed the idea by saying she’d dump him, Teddy Turner told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“I was raised in a different time at the Turner household … a very conservative household with capitalism and all of that kind of stuff,’’ Turner said.
But in 1991, when the senior Turner wed the Oscar-winning actress and exercise guru — once labeled “Hanoi Jane’’ for her controversial support of the North Vietnamese — things changed dramatically.
“He started becoming more and more environmentalist and then Jane helped move things over as well,’’ said Turner. “Then when you start hanging around and everybody you’re hanging around with is liberal, then you tend to move more liberal.’’
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Still, Fonda had to stomach certain customs that were tough on her liberal hide, according to Turner, who is now running as a conservative for Congress in South Carolina.
That included standing next to Turner at Atlanta Braves baseball games and half-heartedly mimicking the “tomahawk chop,’’ which some have criticized as racist towards Native Americans.
But Fonda deftly tricked people into thinking she was launching into the chop, when she actually wasn’t, Turner revealed.
“If you see, Jane actually moved to the sideways chop,’’ Turner said. “She tried to avoid the kind of the controversy by not doing the full chop. No, I’m serious.’’
Turner said the Braves ripped off the move from the Florida State University Seminoles.
“And, of course, the Florida [State] Seminoles are backed by the Florida Seminole Nation. So if it was politically incorrect, it was slightly,’’ he said.
Fonda, Turner’s third wife, also wasn’t thrilled when her husband became interested in a run for the White House, according to Turner.
“Ted had actually thought about running for president at one time and then Jane told him she’d leave him if he did – and, ultimately, left anyway,’’ he said.
Turner, who has taken opportunity to bash his dad’s liberal leanings as he campaigns, told Malzberg: “I’m not a liberal. … People say, how did you separate from your dad? I didn’t separate from my dad. My dad separated from me.’’
A high-school economics teacher, Turner, 49, said he decided to throw his hat in the ring as a result of what he was teaching his students.
“Teaching economics, especially in the last couple of years, has been a great time to teach it because kids are interested in it because they hear about it all of the time and what a mess things are,’’ he said.
“The more that I had to teach, the more that I didn’t like and the more I didn’t like not only coming from Washington, but coming from the lips of politicians. They tell you what you want to hear and that’s about it.’’
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