Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Empty-headed Outrage

Apparently, Hank Williams, Jr. is out of a job at ESPN (at least temporarily). The legendary performer has been doing the opening song to Monday Night Football for some twenty years, now (with ESPN since 2006). Personally, I prefer the previous music. I can't stand the Hank Williams, Jr. stuff, even though I'm otherwise a fan of his music.

But I digress.

So, as is now common knowledge, Williams lost his gig at ESPN for a comment on the Fox and Friends morning show, wherein he kinda-sorta compared President Obama to Hitler. Here's the clip. I think the more telling comment for Williams is "Obama! And Biden! The three stooges!" But that one doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention.

The Obama is to Boehner as Hitler is to Netanyahu comment? Come on. That doesn't make sense at all. Even Brian Kilmeade couldn't fashion it into something that he could jump to agree with. I guess--per Williams' apology--that his intent was to show how far apart the two sides were. A cat and a dog would have been a much better choice, I think. 'Course, then someone would be outraged because he had called Obama a dog or because he had suggested Obama was a pussy, depending on how it was laid out. As to ESPN, the network is certainly within its rights to fire or suspend Williams, or otherwise disassociate him and his music with Monday Night Football. And as the CNN piece notes, the ADL approves of the decision:
"The Holocaust was a singular event in human history, and it is an insult to the memory of the millions who died as a result of Hitler's plan of mass extermination to compare the Nazi dictator to any American president," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor.  
"Hank Williams Jr. should know better. He owes an apology to Holocaust survivors, their families, and the brave American soldiers who gave of themselves to fight the Nazi menace during World War II. The last thing we need is to enter another election cycle on a sour note tainted with inappropriate, tired and over-the-top analogies to the Nazis," he said. 
"ESPN responded appropriately and did the right thing in pulling the Hank Williams Jr. football song from the airwaves," Foxman said.
Wow. A ham-handed attempt at an analogy is an insult to millions. Really? And Williams needs to apologize to Holocaust survivors, their families, and American soldiers?

ESPN--I would think--makes decisions with regard to their bottom line. Perhaps, executives there thought they made the most appropriate response. And maybe they did. I'm not much of a marketing guru, myself. But going  ballistic over the remarks--as Foxman did--seems pretty extreme, pretty pointless, and pretty empty-headed.

Cheers, all.


  1. Maybe they just fired him for being an idiot and rambling on nonsensically about a topic he obviously knows nothing about. And why would Fox and Friends even bring him on to talk about politics in the first place?

    But to the remark, I heard it as a direct comparison:. Obama playing golf with Boehner is like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. It was his way of saying he didn't like either politician.

  2. Oh, I agree: Hank didn't say much worth hearing and that's nothing new, at all. As to why Fox and Friends put him on, who knows? They're hardly a collection of geniuses. :)