I’m not a fan of Hank Williams, Jr. Other than the theme to Monday Night Football, I couldn’t tell you one of his songs, not even by accident. I’m quite sure his political leanings are the exact opposite of mine. Other than beer, football, and facial hair, I likely have absolutely nothing in common with him. If he disappeared tomorrow, I likely wouldn’t know it, ever. While I’m positive there is probably nothing about him that I would like, I’m equally positive that there was nothing wrong with the comment he made recently on the television show Fox and Friends that caused him to be tossed aside by ESPN.
The hosts of the show asked him how he felt about a recent event in which President Obama, Joltin’ Joe Biden, and House Speaker and Republican Senator John Boehner were playing golf together. Williams, seeming especially annoyed by that topic, was asked how he felt about it. He said, “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu.”
Although the comparison is not very accurate, it is also not offensive, although the media would have you think otherwise because…well…they want it to be in order to have a story. Williams wanted to portray Obama and Boehner as being polar opposites. He chose two historical figures who would also be polar opposites, and that’s all there was to it. It’s not a good comparison because, given the chance, both Hitler and Netanyahu would literally kill each other. Obama and Boehner not only would not literally murder the other, but they also are not really opposites. They both the same goal, but they would prefer to reach that goal in very different ways.
And since when did the name Hitler become something like Lord Voldemort that he now is “He who must not be named”? It’s not wrong to talk about Hitler, unless you’re supporting his ideas as progressive and positive. Williams did not directly compare Obama to Hitler, although he did call him “the enemy,” but that’s because he was going for polar opposites, and Obama is opposite Williams and Boehner, and also opposite Fox and Friends. That venue also needs to be addressed in this because the hosts acted shocked, suggesting that Williams had said something horribly wrong. For the Fox hosts to criticize Williams for attacking Obama is about the same as a bartender inviting you into his bar and then criticizing you for having a drink.
The only solace in this is in the ending. As ESPN announced that they had suspended Williams for a week and a decision was pending on what further action would be taken, I was expecting Williams to apologize and sit down with Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or Joan Rivers or Jackie Mason. Instead, Williams stood up for himself and basically told ESPN to “take this job and shove it.” He rightly said that his First Amendment rights were being violated and that they were no longer allowed to use his song anymore. I guess now there’s something I like about Hank Williams, Jr.