Published Oct 04, 2011To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr.'s well-known Monday Night Football theme, "Are you ready for some slander?" Country music icon Hank Williams Jr. is attempting to diffuse a situation he started yesterday (October 3) after comparing U.S. President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler on Fox News.
"Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood," Williams said in a statement released later that day. "My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point."
The ordeal began when Williams appeared on the Fox & Friends morning show, noting that the president's recent golf game with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was one of the "biggest political mistakes ever."
"It's like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," Williams said.
Understandably, the hosts of the program were a little concerned with the singer's words, with co-anchor Gretchen Carlson asking Williams to clarify his position, saying "You used the name of one of the most hated people in all the world to describe, I think, the president."
Williams responded, "That's true... but I'm telling you like it is."
In response to the inflammatory comments, sports network ESPN, which airs Monday Night Football, pulled Williams beloved theme song from their broadcast. At this point, it's unclear whether it will be used in the future.
For his part, Williams feels he's misunderstood. His comparison was used to denote the disparate interests of the political pairing.
"I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites, and it made no sense," he said. "They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president."
Meanwhile, other musicians are calling the country star out for his comments. Roots drummer Questlove tweeted his disapproval, insisting that people dropping Hitler comparisons don't truly understand the evil of the fascist leader. Not without some controversy of his own, the hip-hop percussionist's slam suggest that people using the Hitler card so blasé could be Holocaust deniers.
"Every 'HITLER' outburst i hear in the news shows me that people in fact do NOT know the evil Hitler committed," he wrote. "I'm borderline certain those who are (NOW) quick to use HITLER so carelessly, were probably part of the '60 years ago never happened' crew."
Questlove has since posted a picture of him and President Obama as his Twitter profile pic.