Were you ready for some football last night? Did you miss hearing Hank Williams Jr start off ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast with is familiar "All My Rowdy Friends" theme song? Did you even notice the song was missing? Has you may have heard, the Williams' opening bit was pulled by ESPN last night for disparaging comments the singer made about President Obama on an episode of "Fox and Friends."
The comments in question compared President Obama to Adolph Hitler, something ESPN clearly disapproved of, and so, they removed Williams' opening. The Worldwide Leader even released a statement confirming their decision:
"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."
As for the comments in question, someone captured the "Fox and Friends" segment and posted it to YouTube, where the video has already surpassed 700,000 views, even though it's been live for less than 24 hours:
The story quickly made the football blogs, as well as the social media outlets. On Twitter, the subject is still part of the current batch of Twitter trends, and the reaction is about what you'd expect. Before that, however, did ESPN overstep their boundaries by nixing the opening or is it their right as a company to make such programming adjustments when a affiliated personality potentially offends? Considering the company has already gone through its Rush Limbaugh stage, ultimately parting ways with the outspoken host for statements made about Donovan McNabb.
So maybe this level of consistency I referred to isn't so consistent after all.
Nevertheless, Hank Williams Jr. is the latest "victim" of ESPN's politically correct agenda -- when it suits them, apparently -- and much of the speculation is focused on whether or not Williams' song will be heard again. Considering Williams' response, it sounds like the words of a man resigned to his fate, even though the response was prepared by a publicist:
Williams issued a statement through his publicist, saying: "Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president."
So did Williams mean to compare Obama to Hitler or not? Seeing how his statement reads like a "taken out of context" reply, who knows? As indicated, the subject is a pretty popular Twitter trend right now, and while there are a lot of responses to the story, a few of them come from established personalities like Scott Ian and Richard Roeper.
Hank Williams Jr,a man utterly incapable of a non-retarded thought makes news for just being good 'ol Hank. Are you ready for some GENOCIDE!
Interestingly enough, it takes a person of color to inject a little common sense into a conversation that we probably wouldn't be having if President Obama wasn't himself a person of color:
That, however, does not represent the majority of the Twitter feedback, which hammered Williams for his "Fox and Friends" appearance:
I will happily give up Hank Williams Jr to the powers of political correctness-I hated that stupid song anyway
Comparing Obama to Hitler is almost as crazy as comparing Hank Williams Jr to his much, much more talented father.
@AmandaMarcotte Hank Williams Jr sez working-class ppl r "hurting" yet he supports the very policies & candidates that have caused the pain.
As of this article's posting, Speaker Boehner still hasn't responded Williams' statements, nor the tweets aimed his direction. Speaking of politics, apparently, Williams is thinking of a bid for the Tennessee senate. Will his haberdashery choice come back to haunt him?
For those of you who missed Williams' opening song during the Tampa Bay/Indianapolis game last night, here a couple of videos to tide you over, including a behind the scenes look:
What do you think? Have we seen the last of ole Hank on ESPN or was this just a one-time punishment?