“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years,” the company said in a statement. “The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.” – Hank Williams Jr. Ditched By ESPN Over Obama Hitler Comments
As you probably guessed, Mr. Williams tells a different tale:
AFTER ESPN SUSPENDS HANK JR. FOR ONE-WEEK, HANK JR. DECIDES TO PULL HIS SONG FROM BEING USED ON ESPN FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON!
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
The response from Williams reveals a lot and I don’t think any of it is good.
That the demise of the relationship between ESPN and Hank Williams, Jr. played out on Fox News channel over Barack Obama, race, and Hitler talking points underscores the reasons why Roger Ailes has begun a “course correction,” changing the trajectory of Fox, first by sacking Glenn Beck. I’m wondering if Fox & Friend’s “circuitous” broadside at Sarah Palin, which was preceding by Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter telling Mrs. Palin to fish or cut bait, is another sign of the changing skies of Fox.
Perhaps cable TV has gone as far as it can go and sanity will creep back in? Considering even Rachel Maddow’s ratings are down, I’m not too sure. Ms. Maddow gets a terrific write up in Hollywood Reporter, with these types of article, no matter how well earned, often appearing when sagging ratings require a marketing boost.
I’m glad ESPN canned Williams. There is nothing worse than sports mixed with politics.