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Are You Ready for Some ‘Hitler’ Rhetoric? Maybe Not

Posting has been spotty as I have been on assignments in DC, but this one is of note.

Hank Williams Jr. made a comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler, and like other entertainment figures who have
ventured into some political rhetoric, he’s in hot water.

The fallout is ESPN’s decision to remove his intro song — containing the line “Are you ready for some football?” — from the start of its showing of “Monday Night Football.”

Williams, a staunch conservative and backer of the Tea Party movement, told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Monday that Obama’s round of golf with House Speaker John Boehner last summer was
“like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”

Host Gretchen Carlson told him, “You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president.”

Williams responded, “Well, that is true. But I’m telling you like it is.”

Per the AP, ESPN said in a statement, “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.”

Williams elaborated on his comments in a statement. “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.”

“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.”

While ESPN’s decision to drop Williams’s song will inevitably trigger a backlash, it’s important to note that figures from the Hollywood left found themselves in trouble when comparing present day politicos to Hitler. In 2003, Ed Gernon, executive producer of a CBS miniseries about Hitler, was fired when he compared the Fuhrer’s rise to President George W. Bush’s war on terror.