Last week country music legend Hank Williams Jr. appeared on Fox and Friends to give some politically incorrect commentary. While on the air, he committed the unpardonable sin of using the word “Hitler” within one contiguous paragraph of the word “Obama.” ESPN execs — whose viewers undoubtedly like Hank better than Obama — first pulled his opening, which had run on Monday Night Football since 1991, then fired him. The entertainment industry elite has decided Hank has not suffered enough for his sins. They made clear they want him shut up for good. This weekend the cast of Saturday Night Live with special guest Ben Stiller, suggested Hank never be invited to speak about politics again in life.
This plea for censorship came during an SNL skit that its writers apparently intended to be funny, although aside from a pretty good impression of Steve Doocy and the singer himself, the laughs were hard to find. The crew invited “Hank” back on to clarify his remarks when Stiller, who played Williams’ media representative, turned the tables. He demanded the Fox hosts apologize to Hank. “You have to admit,” he said, “you made a big mistake letting Mr. Williams come on your show and speak for himself.” He went on, “What did you think he would say? Look at him. He looks like a truck stop Santa Claus.”
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Couched in “humor,” the message is clear: no self-respecting news program should ever provide a forum for Hank Williams Jr. or anyone who looks like him. They are all contemptible white trash. They have no rights, should enjoy no access to the masses, and need to be throttled into silence before they go back to working hard, paying taxes, and dying in our wars.
Stiller went on: “You introduced him as a man who knows a thing or two about politics. Telling him he’s a political analyst is akin to giving a baby a gun.” Between taking potshots at their favorite targets — laughing at veterans and the elderly, mocking Fox News’ truthfulness — SNL‘s writers repeatedly mocked Hank for daring to use the H-word without permission.
Hank Williams Jr. has publicly stated his remarks were misunderstood. He was pointing out the ridiculous nature of the Obama-Boehner golf summit, pairing up two leaders of opposing factions. This author is generally against analogies that compare people to Hitler, or the greater mass murderers Mao, Stalin, and the worldwide Communist empire. But Hank’s greatest error was not a poor choice of comparisons; it was the idea that Obama and the GOP leadership are in stark opposition to one another. On the contrary, they are two wings of the same one-party system of elitists who run the government under two labels. Grassroots Republicans and Democrats could not be more widely removed, nor could their activists: could any two figures disagree more than Hank Williams Jr. and Michael Moore? As the political conversation moves up the pecking order, the differences magically melt away in the burning sun of bipartisanship (which may explain why so many bipartisan ideas are half-baked).
Stiller’s character concluded by telling America what Hank is “really good at is writing songs like, ‘There’s a Tear in My Beer.’” It is rewarding to see Hollywood finally acknowledge entertainment figures may not be the most qualified people to weigh in on political issues. For once, the entertainment industry has found someone it wants to Shut Up and Sing.
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Since the Left clearly implied Hank should never speak in public again, I hereby propose a trade: Tell every star in Hollywood to shut up. We’ll give up Hank Williams Jr. in return for Bill Maher, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo, Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Tim Robbins, and Julia Stiles. This would represent a proportionally fair trade in terms or numbers (losing one conservative star is like losing dozens of left-wing myrmidons) and in terms of talent. Note: this wager is canceled if and when Hank Williams Jr. decides to run for Senate. (I will consider substituting Robert Duvall.)
What do you say, cultural Left? Any chance you’ll apply your logic evenly across-the-board?