By this point, most of you have probably heard about the comments made by country music superstar Hank Williams Jr. on the Fox and Friends early morning news show a few days ago. Why a program on Fox News called upon Bochepus as a guest is questionable in and of itself, but to make it worse, the conversation turned to politics. Hank’s strong comments about the President Barack Obama and his administration sent shock waves through
the media, with the most resounding part being a “comparison” between President Obama and everyone’s favorite villain, Adolf Hitler. The comparison is in quotations because this is another example of the media bending the words of someone to sensationalize it. If Hank Williams Jr. had truly compared our current president to Adolf Hitler pound for pound, it would be startling. After all, while many Americans seem to be displeased with Obama and his policies (much as they were with his predecessors as well), it would be totally unfair to draw a comparison to the purely evil atrocities of Adolf Hitler during his rise to power that eventually thrust the world into war. Everyone knows the story of Hitler, and there is absolutely no similarities between him and Obama, or any other president past or present. The problem here is that the media antagonizes the issue by listing it as a headline, thrusting disinformation that gets regurgitated later as fact. “Hank Williams Jr. Compares Obama to Hitler” read the headlines. Well, kind of.
The crux of the matter came down to a question regarding Obama playing on the same golf team with House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican who clearly opposes the President in about every way imaginable. Hank Williams Jr. said that for Obama to be playing golf with Boehner was akin to the idea of Adolf Hitler playing a round of golf with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. The analogy is a bit extreme, as Williams himself admitted later, but the point was not that Obama is Hitler-like, but that for him and a Republican that is responsible for trying to bash and derail all of his policies hanging out in a golf game is somewhat ridiculous…as ridiculous as the idea of Adolf Hitler, perhaps the most well-known Anti-Semite of all time (except for maybe Mel Gibson), shooting the breeze with Netanyahu, the leader of the Jewish state.
We at Common Sense Conspiracy are all about the facts here, and this is not a casting of our lot on either side. When it’s all said and done, I think it’s rather obvious that Williams probably should have kept his mouth shut or chose a tamer comparison. However, for the media to sensationalize the facts by portraying the commentary as a direct assault on the character of President Obama is just as bad as the comment itself. What ever happened to journalistic integrity in this country? What ever happened to reporting the facts accurately and letting each person decide for his or herself what to make of it? The media claims to be this competent news source, but the reality is they are closer to the National Enquirer or TMZ.
The comments led ESPN to immediately discontinue Hank Williams Jr.’s famous opening of Monday Night Football (a 23 year tradition) to distance itself from the controversy. This statement on Fox and Friends actually cost the man a job, and record sales aren’t what they used to be. Is it fair to fire someone for expressing an opinion, a First Amendment right, just because it took place in a nationally-televised medium?
All of this leads to another point. Some of you may remember a similar event happening in the world of country music several years back. Natalie Maines, the lead singer of what was at the time an extremely popular act, The Dixie Chicks, was playing an oversees show around the height of the displeasure worldwide with George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Maines got caught up in the moment onstage with a very anti-American London crowd and said:
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
The statement was met with uproarious applause, but back home, the country music empire and fans alike were shocked and dismayed at her dissing of the sitting president in such a setting. The Dixie Chicks were banished
from country radio far and wide and their career as an act was never the same, even until now. Most of the sentiment of people upset about the comments revolved around a simple concept: you don’t diss the president. Even if you disagree with him, even if you think he’s wrong. You respect the president, and that’s it. God, America, and apple pie. Salute the president and be proud to be an American.
Ironically, the country music community not only seems to be okay with Hank Williams Jr’s remarks, which are arguably worse than that of Maines, but they seem to be rallying around him. To be fair, a lot of Americans take a different stance in times of war (although we are still at war, last time we checked), but does the sentiment run deeper? If Obama were not the first black president, would the country music community have a different outlook on this situation? Or is Hank Williams Jr. simply such royalty that nothing he could say could cause the excommunication that the Dixie Chicks received.
In closing, Common Sense Conspiracy does not advocate either side of this issue. We do believe that Hanks Williams Jr. has the right to say whatever he likes wherever he likes, just as every other American. We also believe that the media should report things as they happen, not the way that will get the most ratings or create the most controversy. We also believe that there is some inconsistency in the way the country music community (this means business and fans) has responded as compared to the Dixie Chicks’ incident. So, we’ve shown you what’s up. Now, let us know what you think.