The 1st Amendment vs. Hank Williams Jr.

It’s not like anyone would ever mistake Hank Williams Jr. for a constitutional scholar despite his penchant for literally wrapping himself in the American flag. Perhaps best known for being the honky tonk face of Monday Night Football’s musical opening, Hank appeared on Fox and Friends recently where he compared President Obama to Hitler and called him “The enemy.”
Not just a little hyperbolic and over the top but so much so that even Gretchen Carlson, that stalwart supporter of all things Teabaggy and Republican, blanched and disavowed the comments.
ESPN, for its part, yanked Hank from their weekly football program.

“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.”

You can smell it coming, huh? Hank responded:

“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct. 3, you (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech,” Williams wrote. “So therefore Me, My Song and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”

Standard Right Wing whinging whenever they let what they really think drool out of their vacant heads and reveal how damn stupid they are: “You’re trampling on my rights!”

Hank Williams is an idiot. A clueless buffoon. An embarrassing imbecile who ought to keep his mouth shut and be glad there are still enough people with eight-track players to buy what passes for his music.
The First Amendment DOES NOT stand for the proposition that one can say whatever the hell one wants and suffer no consequences. It does not entitle Laura Schlesinger to say nigger 11 times on her radio program and NOT be fired. And if you run around comparing the POTUS to Hitler, don’t be surprised if a for-profit sports broadcaster that markets programming to Americans decides that maybe you aren’t exactly the image they want opening their weekly show.

Hank Jr., like too many Teabagging “I want my country back” assholes running around screaming about the Founding Fathers and the constitution, simply have no fucking idea what the document says and even less of a notion about what it MEANS.
Yes, Hank, you have a perfect right to say whatever the hell you want.
And your employer has a perfect right to fire your hillbilly ass for saying it when your words are foolish, offensive, ignorant and borderline racist.
The First Amendment, you brainless chicken-fried buttplug, only means the government cannot stop you from saying it. After that, Junior, you’re on your own.

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9 Responses

  1. Sonomombitch, “brainless chicken-fried buttplug.” That’s some serious straght talkin right there! Dayum, you got to copyright that motherfucker real quick, that’s gonna be used in a GOP debate!

  2. I saw the initial interview in which he drew the Obama/Hitler comparison. As Jon Stewart remarked, you could actually smell the Jack Daniels right through the TV screen.
    He was clearly drunk, which is normally fine with me. But he was like one of those ignorant redneck drunks who gets louder, stupider and more beligerent with every drink. He’s that guy who eventually gets his butt kicked by the bouncer and ruins the night for everybody.
    He’s also proof that musical talent sometimes skips a generation.

  3. That said, you wanna hear some real music? Sweet Home Chicago with Stevie Ray and Eric Clapton, among others.

    Enjoy.

  4. I said to Hank Williams Jr, “How lonely does it get?”
    Hank Williams Jr answered “Shut your mouth Jew-boy!”
    And punched me in the head.

    But I hear him coughing all night long
    As he smokes above my body, lying here,
    In the tower of song.
    -Lemmie Kohen

    I don’t know enough about Hank Williams Jr to pass much in the way of comment upon him. (As if that ever stopped me.) But I must defend him to a certain extent on this one. While Junior may actually believe that Obama is just like Hitler, he did NOT actually compare Obama to Hitler in this interview. That’s something the media invented to generate yet another meaningless celebrity “controversy” to boost ratings and sell papers.

    What he actually spluttered out was that Obama & Biden golfing with John Boner and John Kasich was as ridiculous as Hitler & Benjamin Netanyahu playing a round together. Sure, it was a little inappropriate for a morning show with the words “& Friends” in the title. But the analogy isn’t far off the mark. That’s about how well Democrats and Republicans are getting along these days. Had this line been delivered by a professional comedian and not a drunken hillbilly, most people might be laughing at the joke, not the joker.

    But Junior did loudly proclaim Obama the enemy. So, unless he was sarcastically giving FOX NOISE back the very narrative they’ve been telling for years, he was only saying what millions of Tea Baggers and other stupid rednecks say every single day. But somebody drops the H-bomb and, for some reason, people get really sensitive. All of a sudden, everybody has to apologize to everybody for everything.

    But my comment really isn’t about what Junior said. I’m going to approach this from a more important angle. This saga is all about media/corporate irresponsibility and the damage it can cause to themselves and society. To put it more simply:

    WHAT THE FUCK WAS ESPN/ABC THINKING??? Seriously. What the fuck were they thinking when they 1) signed him? 2) dropped him?

    1) Signing If there’s ONE thing I know about Hank Williams Jr, it’s that, if you put a microphone in front of him and ask him his opinion, he’s going to give it to you. And he’s not going to candy-coat it. I’ve got to admit, in this age of insincerity and interviews that are nothing but pre-written scripts tested on focus groups, it’s refreshing to see somebody in the spotlight actually say what they honestly think…even when it’s some moronic, redneck, drivel.

    But really, what are “fine, upstanding, corporate citizens” like Disney, who care so much about their image, doing getting into a long term association with an alcoholic hillbilly who likes to shoot his mouth off? And it’s not like they were just using his song. As I understand it, he was basically an honorary member of the cast.

    If you’re letting a guy like Hank Williams Jr represent you publicly, why not just get, naked, smother yourself in bacon grease, and slap a pit-bull while you’re at it? I’m actually stunned it took 22 years for Junior to say something that would get him shit-canned. Is ABC so stupid they couldn’t see this coming? It’s like when Pepsi paid Madonna a whack of cash to shill for them and they cancelled the deal when she “unexpectedly appalled” them by acting like a disrespectful, sacrilegious, slut. What the fuck did you expect? Maybe you should have hired a nun.

    Signing on with him was moronic, but the reason they did it is where the irresponsibility comes in. The truth is that they hired Hank Williams Jr BECAUSE he was a big mouth hillbilly with an alcohol problem. They were targeting the kind of people who would stay up till 2AM on a Monday night drinking and watching steroid powered behemoths lean on each other for 5 hours. (Despite it being a game with 60 minutes of play.) So a drunken, loudmouth, hillbilly with a severe head injury was exactly who they wanted to represent them. The NFL was making a transition from promoting a sport to selling testosterone, so Junior was ideal.

    This move was a prime example of the kind of intentional dumbing-down corporate America has been engaging in for the last couple of decades. The goal was to make the population stupider in order to generate larger profits. If people got stupider, it would be easier to manipulate them into buying shit. (This worked politically as well.) As such, the archetypal moron, the southern macho redneck became the new role model for the American male. During Junior’s run on Monday Night Football, America went from being a George Bush Sr nation to a George Bush Jr nation. It became a nation where every male wanted to be a ghetto thug or an ignorant hillbilly…and proud of it! People blew all their money on stupid shit, acted like sailors on shore leave and voted Republican.

    2) Firing. When you invite a drunken idiot and all his “rowdy friends” over every Monday night, you don’t get to complain when a few lamps get broken. It’s a package deal. If you weren’t willing to accept whatever crazy shit came out of Junior’s mouth, you never should have associated yourself with him in the first place.

    But why ditch Junior for saying something 3/4 of the show’s regular audience probably cheered him for? Maybe they’re trying to re-position themselves to target that huge & growing demographic of intellectual sports fans by dropping Junior and opening with a clip of a Noam Chomsky speech set to classical music. Because ejecting Junior ostracizes the very audience they’ve been cultivating for the last 22 years. Why balk now? If it were me, I’d have opened the next show with the Fox & Fiends clip and interviewed him at half-time about it.

    In all, I really hope this is the end of the Monday Night Football association with Junior. I hope Junior and all his “rowdy friends” disappear from Monday Night Football, the NFL and all sports. It’s this increasingly juvenile, redneck, hyper-macho, stupidity (& the corporate shilling) that ruined sports for me.

    I wish this will go down as the beginning of the of the end of America’s love affair with stupidity, but I know that isn’t going to change. They’ll probably just replace him with some younger, prettier, and more controllable ignorant hillbilly.

  5. It’s also rather funny to see the folks at FOX choke on the very same messaging they’ve been ramming down people’s throats.

    When confronted with their own propaganda being read back to them, they break character and realize that they really aren’t just actors reciting lines written for them; that what they say is taken at face value by viewers and has consequences.

    Don’t worry. Amnesia pills were slipped into all the drinks at FOX and everybody was back to “normal” by day’s end.

  6. Man, as I generally eschew most American media even though I live here (oops, better not say that out loud or the whatever police will put me on yet another blacklist), I count on you guys to keep me at least somewhat up to date with current events in my own country. Here’s more about this same dumbfuckery: http://www.jeffspevak.com/?p=3539

    And that breakdown by @Sedate Me is pure dope!! Right along those same lines, my husband told me that in Japan sometime back in the ’70’s, a top executive of an advertising company (Chi’s dad owned/ran an advertising/PR research firm) said right in a primetime TV interview something to the effect of the following (my Japanese isn’t perfect, and I might have missed something in the translation): “Make the people stupid, and sales/marketing becomes easy.”

    A little off topic, but an a propos new anthem by my favorite L.A. band: if that link doesn’t work, try this one: http://soundcloud.com/david-raven/blame-the-working-man-mojo

    • “Make the people stupid, and sales/marketing becomes easy.”

      That basic dynamic is absolutely fundamental to understanding modern North American society. If you don’t understand the incentive to make the population stupid, the methods used, and the spin-off effects of the stupidity, you will never understand this society or why things are the way they are.

      And the encouragement of stupidity permeates all sectors of society; business, politics, entertainment, technology, etc. The goal is to ensure the majority of the population is incapable and unwilling to use their brains.

  7. That is not right to assault him. They went to talk to him about his new cd and yall asked him what he thought! It’s a freedom of speech I say! Y’all need to tough up this country is known for being tough! One comment that slipped should not effect that. Me and Hank are out of here!

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