Opinion: Let’s talk about Hitler

Jody Michael

Jody Michael

Jody Michael is a junior broadcast journalism major and columnist

for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

It’s time for another lesson about how the First Amendment works. The latest saga involves ESPN’s decision to stop using Hank Williams Jr.’s signature “Are you ready for some football?,” a sports staple that has opened Monday Night Football since 1989.

This decision came mere hours before last week’s game after Williams appeared on “Fox & Friends” and wet himself over the opportunity to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

“You remember the golf game they had, ladies and gentlemen?” he asked, referring to Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. “Come on. It would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu, OK?”

Worried he hadn’t yet proven himself to be a complete idiot, he added that Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are “the enemy” and “the Three Stooges,” even though that’s only two people. Yeah, Williams is a moron.

After ESPN announced it was permanently discontinuing his segment, Williams, the type of person The Onion once called “a passionate defender of what he imagines the Constitution to be,” exposed his ignorance once more.

“By pulling my opening Oct. 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech,” he wrote on his website, “so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE.”

So he also doesn’t understand proper capitalization, but that’s not important. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Got that? The Bill of Rights puts limits on the government, not on ESPN.

Williams has the right to compare Obama to Hitler. ESPN has the right to remove him from Monday Night Football. Freedom of speech works both ways. I don’t know how to make that any clearer, but hopefully you weren’t agreeing with Williams anyway.

That said, this is also a good time to discuss why nobody should ever compare anyone to Hitler, because it happens a lot.

Glenn Beck compared progressives and Obama’s political positions to Hitler. Bill O’Reilly said liberals who support gun control are like Hitler. Maxim Editor Joe Levy compared Michele Bachmann to Hitler. Louis C.K. said if Sarah Palin were President “she’d really Hitler up the place.”

Rush Limbaugh said when Obama ignores General David Petraeus it’s like Hitler ignoring his generals. Senator Sherrod Brown compared anti-union congressmen to Hitler. Tea Party protesters made signs likening Obama to Hitler. Wisconsin union rallies did the same to Gov. Scott Walker.

Do you know what Hitler did? He started a massive world war. He viewed the Jews and entire nations as subhuman and the greatest threat to mankind. He is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people. Tens of millions!

Nobody is, or has ever been, like Hitler. Not one person in the history of the world has been anywhere near as evil and horrible as Hitler was. If you compare someone to Hitler, you diminish his unprecedented crimes against humanity. It really needs to stop.