McCain called Paltrow a “joke” and urged her to sit down with injured soldiers to see the real effects of war.
John, of course, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He was severely injured and tortured after his Navy jet was shot down in 1967.
But Cindy wasn’t around for that. She was only 13 years old at the time.
The burdens of his captivity were born by McCain’s first wife, Carol, whom he’d married in 1965.
Carol, a fashion model in her youth, was severely injured in a 1969 car crash. She had two crushed legs, a broken pelvis, broken arm and a ruptured spleen,” according to reports at the time.
She spent six months in the hospital and underwent 23 operations over the following two years to rebuild her legs. All that time, she never mentioned her injuries in letters to John.
The couple reunited on John’s release in 1973, but the marriage quickly deteriorated. McCain was involved in numerous affairs while married, including an affair with Cindy, a wealthy heiress.
He “shocked” his wife by demanding a divorce in 1980. He married Cindy one month after the divorce was final. Carol never married again.
Cindy and John had four children together, including two sons, both of whom serve in the military. James “Jimmy” McCain served in Iraq as a Marine and son John Sidney “Jack” McCain IV is a navy lieutenant.
Whether that gives Cindy McCain the right to call the actress “ignorant” and “selfish” is a matter of debate.
Paltrow made the comparison at a technology conference exploring internet culture.
Here is what she said: “You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanising thing.
“It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it.”
In politics there is something known as “waving the bloody shirt.” The term refers to a ploy used by politicians when they refer to the blood of heroes, or their own, to criticize opponents.
Paltrow’s remarks were clearly taken out of context. Why Cindy McCain suddenly chose to wave a bloody shirt can only be ascribed to scoring some easy political points.