As we reported, Hank Williams Jr. released a new single “Keep The Change” on 10/11, and now some 150,000 fans, friends and media have downloaded the free song in only 24 hours. It has also been placed on Hannity.com, Alan.com (Alan Colmes), KidRock.com, countless radio stations and more.
Hank, making his rounds with the media, discussed the popularity of the song on ABC’s The View, where he was questioned about last week’s now-famous controversial remarks from Fox & Friends. Those comments resulted in ESPN pulling his musical intro to their Monday’s football telecasts. Since then, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar of The View, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh all came to his defense. He has also appeared on Hannity (Fox News Channel) and HLN’s the Joy Behar Show.
“Hank has always been provocative … and said provocative things”, said Whoopi. “What kind of standards are we holding folks to when we say ‘Oh no, you can’t say…’ We can’t say ‘listen man, that’s not a good thing to do’ so instead we pull… Is that the right thing?” “Those among us who are without sin, cast the first stone,” Goldberg said.
“He was making a comparison…” said The View co-host Joy Behar.
“I think every American has the right to voice their opinion,” said co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
“I don’t think you should be kicked off TV just for expressing yourself,” said Bill Maher on his HBO weekly show Real Time, in reference to Hank’s comments last week. “I am defending this guy.”
“What? They pulled the song?? We count on him to gauge our nation’s football readiness. If anything just give ‘em a slap on the wrist,” said Jon Stewart. “By the way ESPN… you’re shocked? By Bocephus’ comments? You know, he’s been at ESPN for twenty years – have you met him? … It’s Bocephus, man. He’s got a song about how things would be better if the south had won. The guy fell 442 feet off a mountain, cracked open his skull so bad he had to hold in his own brain and survive… Don’t act all ‘oh, my goodness’ when he says something down-home and gritty. That’s what he’s there for.”
Referring to ESPN owner Disney, “Mickey is a mean mouse, and he has stepped in to ‘that pile’…” Hank said, in reference to a quote from President Harry Truman, when asked about the fallout during the segment on The View.
RBR-TVBR observation: ESPN jumped the gun a bit here, assuming fallout from Williams’ appearance would hit them. Rather, it turned out to be an overreaction. But this, too, will pass for ESPN. The bigger picture, we think, is Williams’ popularity and resonance with the American public from all of this. It’s not that common to get political talkers from both sides of the fence to be on the same page. We wonder where this all may take him.