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Discussion in 'Sports Programming and Events' started by Earl Bonovich, Oct 3, 2011.
It's a shame because I really am ready for some football.
:lol: Great comeback.
Stephen Colbert had a bit about that on last night's show... talking about how he was left completely unprepared for the football that began on ESPN without the proper readiness preparation
ESPN's action brought more light to the comment than if they would have just left well enough alone. It also shows that ESPN cares more about their corporate image than their audience, who were likely ready for some football - regardless of if Hank Williams Jr asked them or not - and were not ready for such an overreaction to a stupid comment.
One of the few times I agree 100% with what you say, James. There's hope for you still. :lol:
Seriously, though, you've hit the nail on the head. When I started this thread, I never meant to imply that ESPN had no right to do what they did. Of course they did. I simply believe it was an overreaction to a comment that was stupid itself.
I think every president since Johnson has in some way been compared to or called Hitler. It's really growing old (and inaccurate, too). It's also still stupid and irresponsible.
Not that I have a dog in this hunt or anything....
...but I, for one, am glad ESPN did what it did - and I usually DON'T like what they do.
Maybe now - maybe just a little - someone might THINK a little bit before shooting their mouth off on nationwide TV doing nothing but drowning us further into hyperpartisanship.
Yeah, the comment was ridiculous - and Hank's defense of it even MORE ridiculous..
And no, I don't think this will single-handedly return us to an era of civil debate.. But maybe it's a step - an exceedingly SMALL one - in the right direction.
Of course they care about their corporate image.... it's their image, and their brand, that is vital to their success.
How does pulling the opening tune to the broadcast do anything to the audience? nothing... it's been the same thing for how long now? The only change are the names of the teams... .and I would gather that most of us, are getting our final food and beverages while that tune is playing....
I think they were very much prepared for the reaction... this isn't their rodeo with controversial or high profile statements.
As for the stuff that came out today, ESPN in their statement took what I think is the high road in their announcement that they have parted way, but the other side of fence... wasn't the high road.
And in the statement that I just read... Hank again, for someone that has political aspirations... doesn't seem to understand the First Amendment.
You can say what ever you want to say, and the government can't forbid you from doing so.... however, a private entity/company most certainly can.
Hank did not intend to call either side of the golf pairing Hitler. He just picked two well known historical figures that were far apart in political viewpoints ... one wants to protect a Jewish state, the other wanted to exterminate all of the jews.
But in this world mentioning the name of Hitler in the same breath as anyone is considered banned political speech ... almost as bad as anyone not of color saying that 'n' word. I'm sure this isn't the first time Hank has said something political and completely disconnected from his ABC/ESPN work in the past 22 years.
BTW: The concepts expressed in constitutional rights often get extended into the workplace. With the right lawyer he could probably press a civil rights case against ESPN over this premature termination of contract. (The latest statements where Hank says he ended the relationship would not help such a case.)
There were THOUSANDS of comparisons that he could have used... but he chose to use a pretty extreme one.
He could have said Tom and Jerry playing a round of golf together, and gotten the message across... and stating that they are the enemy?
As for a Civil case, that would be a monster hill to attempt to climb, as I am pretty sure that for the last several days... the ESPN legal department (which I am sure isn't small)... was verifying that they could terminate him.
It happens all the time. They make a stupid comment, they lose their gig, everyone forgets about it, and 1 year later some other network picks them up and offers them another gig.
I mean, how many football fans still care about the horrible things Michael Vick did to animals? Most Philly fans probably could care less, as long as he scores points for the team.
At the root of the battle Tom and Jerry are friends - Sylvester and Tweety Bird too. Yes, these are violent children's cartoons (no where near the violence of today's adult cartoons) where one character wants to do harm to another but T&J is literally a game of cat and mouse. Tom and Jerry would play golf together, until Tom got hungry and hilarity ensued.
Tom and Jerry playing golf would be like the Manning brothers having lunch together, even though they are employed by opposing teams. Hank needed a stronger example of people diametrically opposed to each other. "Tom and Jerry" isn't it.
Hank went for the strongest difference he could think of ... if one wants to offer "less than Hitler" options one should at least pick a pairing that isn't a cartoon joke. There is nothing funny about Hitler.
I am all over the place on this... where to start?
Hank said something dumb... and defended it poorly... and then pitched a semi-fit.
ESPN went for some easy press... thought about it and decided to make it permanent... smacks of perhaps they wanted to end the relationship anyway and this was a convenient way out.
Hank is entitled to his opinion... and entitled to free speech. I don't think I agree with his opinion, but the opinion itself isn't necessarily dumb... HOWEVER, his analogy was horrible... and most of what he said was dumb. He sounded like he sounds when he has pitched back a few if you ask me.
Think about his analogy for a moment... I assume he was meaning to convey that the two parties playing golf were "enemies" on opposite sides and shouldn't be hanging out like that. Ok, but in his extreme analogy, I think you could make a case that Obama comes across a lot better than Boehner.
Think about it... IF Obama = Hitler, and Boehner = Israeli Prime Minister... it is an attempt to have a good vs evil scenario in the analogy... BUT if you accept Obama = Hitler = evil... then Obama with Boehner makes sense BUT Boehner with Obama doesn't... so... in actuality, that analogy could be read to insult Boehner for golfing with the devil... and yet I'm 100% certain that Hank means to be insulting Obama somehow.
Thus, my conclusion that his actual words didn't reflect his actual opinion... and yet, I still say he has the right to say them.
Flip that to ESPN... they have the right to want to terminate the contract. There may be a financial penalty for early exit... who knows.
Curiously... Hank extends his misuse of words to saying that ESPN is trampling on his first amendment rights... How so? He exercised his right. Now they are exercising theirs.
You have the right to free speech... I have the right to free speech... and I have the right to stop being your friend if I don't like what you say.
I see this attitude with a lot of people... people who think they can say anything because of their rights... but that there are no consequences for doing so.
I have the right to curse you out on the street... but lose the right to be surprised when you no longer want to do business with me afterwards.
I still don't have a lot of respect for ESPN here either... because I know they only went for the full disconnect after reading the tea leaves... but just as Hank has the right to make a stupid analogy, ESPN has the right to make a knee-jerk reaction to it.
O, my heavens; I hope not, regardless of subsequent statements by Jr. Employers in the E! business should be able to fire anyone they want, except for cases of discrimination due to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, place of origin or political or religious beliefs. *(The latter two restricted in that whatever you believe is fine as long as you don't push it out on the airwaves.)
Tell that to Woody Allen! :lol:
I 'm not so sure it was the Hitler part that got him fired. I say it was when he said "They’re the enemy: Obama! And Biden!" That is what Al Qaeda says, not Americans.
This is one of the rare occasions where we agree Stewart.
It appears Hank wants to have the last word. CNN reported this morning he's fired back with a new song aimed at ESPN and the current administration.
I'm not a football fan but I do care about what Vick did to animals. In his case Vick was tried and punished for his actions. Under our system of justice he did his time and now deserves a second chance. I have no problem with that unless he does further stupid things.
Same goes for Williams, he is an entertainer (not a good one in my opinion) and should have kept it at that. When he represents ESPN as an entertainer he should keep things at that. When he starts making political or religious statements he has stepped out of the strictly entertainment field. If his remarks are offensive and can in any way reflect on his employer, they have the right to can him. To keep him or not require an apology implies that he is their spokesman and they agree with his statements. Punish him, get over it and then reevaluate down the road.
Song / Words... same thing in this case.
And I watched ESPN MNF football last night, and didn't miss a beat with the song not being there....
ESPN is probably kicking themselves for not scratching the song a decade ago, as it didn't change anything about who was going to watch or not watch the broadcast last night.