Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, October 7, 2011


The chronically uninformed on the right are spittle-flecking all over their keyboards because Hank Williams, Jr., was fired from ESPN for comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.  The usual low-informationists are calling it a violation of Williams' free speech, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

So for the bazillionth time we'll explain very, very, s l o w l y to these ignoramuses that the First Amendment prohibits the US Government from interferring with an American citizen's free speech.  But even then, there are exceptions to that freedom--for example, you cannot yell FIRE! in a crowded theater when there is no fire, or joke about explosive devices while on an airplane, or threaten the life of the president or a member of Congress.  Other than that, if I choose to, I could write on my blog, as do certain troglodytic and spelling-challenged rightwing bloggers, that the president of the United States is a Commie, Marxist, Socialist, Fascist, Kenyan anti-Christ who feeds honey-dipped puppies to Chris Christie, while shopping at Target, swinging a golf club, and smoking weed.  But I don't.  I leave that sort of overwrought tripe to those in the rightwing blogsphere, who continue to reinforce our suspicion that they've never actually read the Constitution, since they habitually get the First Amendment wrong.  All the time.

ESPN is a private corporation that made a business decision when it chose to not air Williams' drunken claptrap about Mr. Obama.  ESPN understands that its viewers are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents, as well as Americans of all colors, and it does not wish to insult any demographic--it's bad for business. That's why when drunken idiots like Hank Williams, Jr., or pill-besotted racists like Rush Limbaugh, make slanderous remarks about presidents and football players, they get sacked.  Pissing viewers off is bad for business.  So, ESPN gets rid of inarticulate and hog-mouthed boobs who can't control their flapping mutton-lips and who demonstrate to the world what embarrassing blockheads they truly are.

Don't like ESPN's decision to can the jackass, Williams?  Don't watch it.  Simple. 

No government agent will come knocking on your door to take away your right to be outraged over a well-deserved firing.

Now excuse me while I go watch reruns on ESPN of last night's game when the fabulous Tigers beat the (insert epithet of choice) Yankees. 


okjimm said...

Frankly.... I was getting very tired of the song anyways. It is almost a non-issue.... his employer didn't like him... and canceled his participation.... BFD.... I heard Glen Beck has been hired, though, to sing a different rendition.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The bloggers who scream the loudest over this small matter are the ones who know the least about the 1st Amendment and free speech.

But what do you expect from dunderheads?

Not atroll said...

"Hank hit the nail on the head with his compression. And that’s all it was a COMPRESSION! So where the problem?"

shaw...there's no "compression" between your blog...and the one that published that bit of

Rational Nation USA said...

Hey, I like Hank Williams Jr, and he is entitled to his opinions.

A n d, ESPN, while many do not like it, had the right to fire him.

Hell, if I made derogatory remarks about the president of a large customer of the company I work for on national TV I suspect they would fire me too. Nothing to do with first amendment rights.

Your post Shaw is spot on. I really cannot understand the irrationality of those who are squawking about Hank Williams Jr. first amendment rights be violated.

As I walk away scratching my head...

Infidel753 said...

Oh good heavens, not this nonsense again. It reminds me of the idiots who howl about "censorship" when I reject their comments on my blog in moderation.

Free speech doesn't include the right to compel another to provide a forum. You can put any political bumper sticker you like on your car, but you can't put it on someone else's car, not unless they choose to let you.

Williams's right to express his views has not been infringed. But that right never included a right to compel ESPN to provide him with a forum.

(If right-wingers really think that the First Amendment does give him such a right, then I demand that Fox News provide me with free airtime to agitate for the AJA.)

Shaw Kenawe said...

NaT, it's painful and hilarious at the same time to read that stuff.

RN-USA, IMHO, Hank Williams,Jr., is not and NEVER will be the artist and performer that his father was. If his name were Hank Hogshead, Jr., no one would pay attention to him.

Infidel753, maybe by repeating this basic First Amendment information everytime those on the right have a conniption, they will eventually understand it. But don't hold your breath.

How many times have we heard their favorite victim, Sarah Palin, repeat this same ignorance? Too many to count.

Leslie Parsley said...

Having grown up in Music City, TN, I can honestly say that Red Neck, White Trash, Drunk, Scum, Racist, Scroungy, Vulgar, Rude, Ignorant, Sleazy doesn't even begin to describe Jr. He's the type that shows up at a formal dinner party drunk, loud and dirty - and not only verbally. After he's busted all the Warterford and antique china, he turns against the hostess for never inviting him back. A biker's bar is too high-class for him. Other than that, I'm sure at least one good thing might be found under one of his scabs.

But, RN, you're right-on about everything else you said here and so is everyone else. Will have to save Infidel's insightful words as I'm almost positive they will come in handy on my own blog.

I'd just like to make one small correction. SCOTUS did not rule you couldn't cry "fire" in a crowded theater, as so many believe - including me until recently. It actually ruled you cannot "falsely" cry fire in a crowded theater.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

You hit a home run with this post. There seems to be a double standard and self-serving duplicity as to what constitutes free speech in this country. When right wingers offer an opinion, they characterize it as gospel. When we offer our opinion, the right wing characterizes it this way:

"As usual, the Left has a need to control thought."

So criticism from the left is spun as “thought control,” “censorship,” “suppression,” "political correctness" or any bogus characterization or epithet you can throw at it.

No, no, no, the right wing doesn’t think anyone is entitled to an opinion if said opinion contradicts their own world view.

Where does it say in the Constitution anything about two distinct definitions of free speech? One for the right vs. one for the left?

And if any right-wing troll does not like the opinions expressed here, paste it on your own car bumper and stop bothering us!

Rational Nation USA said...

"RN-USA, IMHO, Hank Williams,Jr., is not and NEVER will be the artist and performer that his father was."

Hey, I just said I like him, never compared him to his father. In fact I agree with you that he is NOT the artist his father was.

Rational Nation USA said...

LP - Maybe I ought to have been more specific with my "like him" reference. I meant to say I like Some of his Music.

Leslie Parsley said...

RN - gotcha.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Shaw, is that a stray animal in your yard, I see?

Radical Redneck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
(O)CT(O)PUS said...

While you were away, Orkin showed up and sprayed for kochroaches.

Anonymous said...

If a queer was fired for being a queer all you shitheads would yell that their rights had been violated. If a black was fired because someone at the top didn't care for blacks you would be up and arms wanting that persons job taken from them. Now because someone you don't like says something you don't agree with and is fired you think that he got what he deserved. Double standards is what you assholes live for. You braindead trash want a socialist way of life in this country. Just exactly who do you think will pay the bills for you to live free. Don't you see that the plans of the terrorist in chief are killing jobs daily. He has already elevated the national debt more since he has been in office than all the presidents in history combined. Get you head out of you ass, lay down the drugs ,sober up and try reality for a change. You mindless idiots only know how to repeat what you hear some other pile of crap in your little group say.You don't have the brain capacity to actually think for yourself. If you enbrace Socialism choose a Socialist country and go there. That shit won't fly here!