Hitler Analogy Fells Hank Williams, Jr.; ESPN Fires Him From Monday Night Football
Appearing live from my hometown of Nashville, Hank Williams, Jr. hopped on Fox & Friends to analyze the 2012 presidential field. Seriously, that happened. If you're like me and thinking, "Why is Hank Williams, Jr. talking about presidential politics on television," you are evidently a fool. This is what political coverage is like these days. Rocking the classic Alabama camo hat, Williams was asked what he thought of President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner playing golf. Williams bristled, "Come on, come on. That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu."
Being generous Williams, Jr. was attempting to find two people who were complete opposites for purposes of his analogy. Benjamin Netanyahu is the Israeli prime minister. In the event he had been born in 1945, he and Hitler would probably not have made a good golf pairing. Given that, you know, Hitler was probably not very generous with his gimme putts -- oh, and also in the midst of attempting to exterminate Netanyahu's ethnic group.
Use anyone other than Hitler and Williams, Jr.'s probably safe. Instead, bam, the H-bomb. Obama is Hitler.
Speaking for most of America, one of the co-hosts said, "I don't understand that analogy, actually." Hank was undeterred. "They're the enemy," Williams, Jr. said. "Obama and Biden, the Three Stooges."
Proving that he can't be typecast as a Southern redneck, Williams, Jr .then endorsed Republican presidential contender Herman Cain. (Will Cain have to repudiate the endorsement now? I'm waiting on this press conference).
"You don't want to ask me a question," Williams, Jr. said when given an opportunity to back track, "because I'm going to give you too straight of an answer."
That...or too crazy of one.
What's the sports connection?
ESPN was not happy with Williams' Jr's, golfing analogy: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.” Before the week was out, ESPN announced that this Williams, Jr.'s iconic opening was history.
And, just like that, a Hitler comparison fells another.
Here's a handy scorecord for when it is okay to compare a living individual with a genocidal mass-murder.
How about only when that person is also a genocidal mass murderer?
In the meantime, Hank Williams, Jr. is talking about running for Senate from Tennessee.
That is not a joke. (Here's a hint: The Alabama hat is not a good start.)
Update: ESPN has now permanently removed Hank Williams, Jr. from Monday Night Football. In a statement just released, ESPN says as follows:
"We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."
For his part, Hank Williams, Jr. claims that he parted ways with ESPN: