Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday Night Fo...erm, scandal.

I don't know how many of my readers follow NFL football, but even if you don't you may have heard something about the man who sings (well, sung) the Monday Night Football theme, Hank Williams, Jr.


It seems that days before this past Monday's game, Mr. Williams made a statement where he compared President Obama to Hitler.


The story can be found here.


ESPN, the network who hosts Monday Night Football, pulled Hank's opening number last Monday because of his statement. It appears that Mr. Williams later decided that he doesn't wish to allow the network to use his song for the show, stating:
“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.” -- Hank Williams Jr 
This irritated me for several reasons but the main reason is that Mr. Williams seems to misunderstand what the First Amendment says and/or means:  
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Now, then... Is Congress - or the government - involved in this situation in any way, shape or form?  


no


Did anyone - government official or not -  tell Mr. Williams that he was not allowed to speak his mind?


nope


and finally, does the First Amendment say or imply that we are not responsible for what we say?  


no, again.


Hank Williams has every right to say whatever he wants as guaranteed by his First Amendment rights, however, he is responsible for his actions including the words which come out of his mouth.  ESPN has a right to take offense of his statement and to refuse to play his song (and pay him for playing it) if they feel that they disagree with what he has said. His rights were not infringed upon.


The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with this.


photo of the International Space Station courtesy of NASA  
(Note:  The International Space Station is approx. the length and width of a football field!)

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