Overheard on CNN.com: Williams and ESPN got it wrong
Hank Williams Jr.'s recently said on a Fox news show that the pairing of President Obama with House Speaker John Boehner for a golf game against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich was "one of the biggest political mistakes ever."
October 4th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Williams and ESPN got it wrong

Comment of the day:

"The analogy might have been a bit over the top, but hey, the man has an opinion; in my opinion ESPN overreacted." - Geckowise

ESPN drops Hank Williams Jr. from Monday Night Football

For the first time in years, "Monday Night Football" viewers did not hear Hank Williams Jr.'s intro "Are You Ready for Some Football?" after ESPN pulled the song from the broadcast following remarks Williams made about President Obama.

In an appearance on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning, Williams referred to a June golf game with Obama and House Speaker John Boehner playing against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich by saying the pairing was “like (Adolf) Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. Not hardly."

And while some CNN.com readers thought Williams comments went too far, many supported his right to freedom of speech and even said ESPN got it wrong.

shades1202 said, “Hank Williams didn’t call anybody Hitler, or compare anyone to Hitler. It's called an analogy, an analogy of a situation, situation being Boehner and Obama playing golf together.. ’it would be like Hitler and Netanyahu playing golf together.’ Why do liberals have to make up a story to feed an argument. When you make up a story, you BECOME the story.”

therational1 said, “It’s a bit of an overreaction by ESPN; it's fairly commonplace these days for people to immediately go to the ‘that's like Hitler...’ comparison for dramatic effect. The real stupidity is in his follow-up. It seems 1) that he doesn't want the speaker of the House and the president to try and resolve some of their differences and 2) he wants ‘policies to change,’ but he apparently has no idea exactly what that means.”

TEA4ever4ALL said, “I don't recall CBS pulling those Commie Dixie Chicks when they spoke out against Bush. No more MNF for me, and I love football. In fact, no more ESPN in this house.”

RDriftwood said, “The Dixie Chicks were right—and patriotic enough to speak up.”

kakash responded, “CBS wasn’t airing MNF then nor were the Dixie Chicks singing the opening. They were, however, pulled form quite a few CBS owned radio stations.”

MrBrown35 said, “Maybe if Hitler had played golf with a few Jews then he would have seen that they weren't so different from him, and one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the world would have been averted. What Mr. Williams (along with most Tea Partiers) doesn't understand is that nothing is gained by not communicating and interacting with each other. The only way that progress can be made is by coming together and finding common ground.”

Hank apologizes

America314 said, “You don't have to like Obama but seriously, once he starts killing 6 million Jews, declaring war on Europe and turning his back on Jesse Owens, THEN he can be compared to Hitler.”

memphispiano said, “If the networks held their own newscasters to this same standard, they would all be fired. Even if he didn't agree with him, I don't think he was using the analogy to say that President Obama was like Hitler....just that Boehner and Obama are opposites.”

BeatsMe said, “I assume all those country music fans who scorned the Dixie Chicks for saying they were ashamed to have Bush as president will be all over Hank Jr. now?”

Boboberg said, “Hank Williams Jr. gives hillbilly yahoos a bad name. Look, the guy is pretty dim and has no grasp of politics and is reacting to President Obama's race not his policies. I would NEVER ask Hank Williams Jr. for political advice. Hopefully ESPN will make his suspension permanent.”

Frank138 said, “Seems like LIBERAL, left-wing Hollywood entertainers can make any remark about President Bush they want to, and NO consequences, but the same does not apply to Hank Jr.

Need more examples of the unfairness of this? Watch any of the ‘Late’ Shows on the three main networks.”

Gotaclue said, “So I guess Bill Maher, the Dixie Chicks, Phil Donahue, and a whole lot of others who voiced their outrage at idiot boy Bush ruining the country did not pay the price for speaking out?”

darwin2010 said, “Remember when they pulled an announcer from a baseball game for criticizing Bush's invasion of Iraq?”

Gaddffly said, “Bad comment, stupid reaction, one more reason not to watch Monday football.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. jim

    I thought our freedom of speech was an unconditional right...looks like it isn't. Better change the way we are taught in school...make sure our kids understand that our freedom of speech is no longer a right, but needs to be politically correct, can't offend anyone...may as well not have it all...and lets get rid of our other freedoms as well...after all, it needs to be judged with punitive damages...and what isn't punished is the freedom of speech we can all use...come on! We're killing our own democracy!Hank can say whatever the hell he wants as an American...we don't have to agree...or make something sensational about it...leave that to the News programs!

    October 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Jim, do you understand what free speech means? He is allowed to write and sing his song. He can even sell it and post it on youtube. Just because ESPN and FOX News can decide the content and people delivering content on their networks by terminating their agreement with him does not deny him the right to do what he is doing. He wasn't thrown in jail.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Zofia Bartman

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    December 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Barbara Chambers

    Same on CNN for the disrespect they show the President of the United States. You may not agree with or support President OBama but you are supposedly giving us the news not your political bias.

    I find it truly offensive that you refer to the President of the United States as ..... Mr. Obama
    Jessica Yellin just joined the ranks today... congrats Jessica you are as bad as the others.

    May 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
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