Hank Williams Jr vs the First Amendment

So, Hank Williams Jr. felt that ESPN infringed on his First Amendment right to free speech by pulling his song from the opening of Monday Night Football after Hank put President Obama on the Hitler end of a bad analogy. Here’s a hint, Hank: ESPN ain’t Congress.

Hank, I don’t know how things work where you live, but out here in the rest of the country, if you say something publicly as an employee that your employer doesn’t like (for instance: comparing the president to Hitler) you can get fired. Your first amendment (as it relates to your employment) ends when you walk through that door and pick up that paycheck.

I’ll wager you made enough money from licensing MNF to use your song for 20 years. Maybe use some of it to take a civics class. Or get one of your lawyers to explain it to you.


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October 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

What the law/constitution actually says doesn't have anything to do with how to get the best PR result.

-Your Older Brother, Samreply
October 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm

My friend Walt said pretty much the same thing, Winston. 🙂

-Your Older Brother, Samreply
October 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Also to clarify, *I* never said he did compare Obama to Hitler. 🙂

My issue with Hank is claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated, when they clearly weren't. Even if he had a contract with ESPN and they decided to terminate that agreement, I'm sure he got paid, and paid well.

As to the first sentence of your third paragraph – I agree 100%.

October 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Your Older Brother said – "(for instance: comparing the president to Hitler)"

-Your Older Brother, Samreply
October 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Well, I said that's something someone *could* get fired for, not necessarily that Hank got fired for that. 🙂 That's a little weasely, but I was trying to be careful because I know Hank didn't explicitly compare Obama to Hitler, but the implication was there. It was clumsy and not well thought out, but it was there.

And at the end of the day, if you work in an "At-will" state, employees & employers can sever their working relationships for any one of a number of reasons. Shooting one's mouth off in public as a company representative would certainly be cause, in my opinion.

October 14, 2011 at 12:21 am

Also to clarify he never compared Obama to Hitler. Ever. Not even a little. For you to get to Hank Williams Jr to compare Obama to Hitler you have to jump through hoops, several of them flaming.

When one compares a President to Hitler it looks like this :: http://semiskimmed.net/bushhitler.html

Now, it was a clumsy, stupid analogy made by a mediocre musician who would not even exist if not for his father's Good Name. He's a drug addled moron who's political thoughts should be discarded as quickly as we discard Jeanne Garofalo's (a moron with glasses who thinks she's intelligent) because, frankly, very few celebrities are not narcissistic nutbags who can think much further than the last article someone told them about.

As for the First Amendment, his right was not infringed. However, as en employee you ARE able to express your political views UNLESS there is PRIOR written conduct codes/handbooks that expressly forbid this activity – and even then it's sticky. Very few employers can surpress your political views.

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