Hank Williams Jr, Double Standards, and the Hitler Rule

This past week, Hank Williams, Jr. made a comparison on Fox News' Fox and Friends. Since then, Williams has been suspended from ESPN and then was either fired by ESPN or decided to end his own relationship with ESPN over the suspension for having "stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech," depending on who you ask. (1) Wow.

In case you haven't seen/heard the comment, here it is:


First and foremost, yes, it was over the top to compare Obama to Hitler.  Absolutely.  I will deal with that shortly.  That said, the number of liberals who called George W. Bush Hitler can not be enumerated.

So let's make sure we keep THAT in perspective. Especially because Williams didn't say "Obama is Hitler." He said Boehner playing golf with Obama was like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu playing golf with Hitler. For the record, it's an overstatement, to say the least. Obama does not want to physically kill anyone. He just wants to remake the nation into a socialist image.  No, Obama is not Hitler.  He's just a really bad President.

That said, there is a tremendous double standard in the Media.  As we showed above, the number of liberals who called George W. Bush Hitler can not be enumerated.  (Seriously, if you didn't click the link the first time, DO IT). There was no widespread demand that these lefties resign or be fired.  Check out this MoveOn.org Ad from Post 9-11. Both that ad and the image above were far more blatant, and there was no demand for firing or protests against MoveOn.org by the mainstream media.

Yet when a right-wing celebrity does half the of what Moveon.org did, there is demand that they are fired.  It's a ridiculous double standard.  Personally, I do not think anyone should be fired or boycotted because of a momentary stupid statement unless it was a direct threat to somebody.  However, directly comparing a US President to Hitler in a well produced television ad that went through conceptual approval, production, editing, etc is something else entirely. 

Now, to you, Mr. Williams, I have a few things to add: One, not a good comparision. I mean seriously, Bocephus, HILTER? Obama is a terrible President, but he's not Hitler. He's not even close to Hitler. Jimmy Carter? Absolutely! Millard Filmore? Why not. Random Socialist executive in Europe? Go for it. But not Hitler man.

However, your free speech has not been abridged. Please understand me when I say this: Only government can abridge someone's freedom of speech. ESPN, as your employer, has every right to suspend or fire you if you say something that they feel harms their image. Sorry man, it's true.

Now to the "Hitler Rule," or perhaps you know it better as Godwin's Law: Godwin's Law states that "As a...discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."  (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that means 100% certainty of one side comparing the other to Hitler.)  While Godwin's Law began as an online rule, it ultimately evolved into what I call the Hitler Rule that "if you bring up a Hitler analogy in a debate that is not absolutely perfect, you have forfeited the debate."

Hank Williams, Jr. did fail the Hitler Rule when he made this comparison.  As much as I criticize Obama, he's definitely not Hitler. I've said many times that I would take the worst President in history over the most benevolent dictator or king, and Hitler was far from benevolent. 

In short, Hank Williams, Jr. should not have compared Obama to Hitler.  There should not have been a threat of him being fired.  He shouldn't have even been suspended from Monday Night Football.  He made a stupid error.  It shouldn't cost him a job.  Besides...does anyone else want to watch Monday football without this:


I know I sure don't...this song is as much a part of my Monday night during football season as "Happy Birthday" is to the celebration of the anniversary of my birth.  In truth,  people need to stop looking for chances to be offended and learn to get over small mistakes. Oh, and for Heaven's sake people, figure out who the First Amendment protects you against! (Got that, Bocephus?)


(1) ESPN benches Hank Williams Jr. for good