Thursday, October 06, 2011

Godwin’s Law With a Vengeance

Godwin’s Law, or as it was originally stated, Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies, states that as any threaded internet discussion proceeds, the longer the discussion, the more likely someone is to compare a point of view to beliefs held by Adolf Hitler, the world’s most recently most-reviled human. A corollary to the rule states that once someone makes that analogy, the arguer has immediately lost the debate.

Well Hank Williams, Jr. son of the revered country western icon, Hank Williams, recently demonstrated Godwin’s Law in action when he compared President Obama’s recent round of golf with Speaker Boehner to a round of golf between Adolf Hitler and Benjamin Netanyahu.

And then he defended the analogy.

Losing the debate.

Losing his job.

Godwin’s Law with a vengeance.

ESPN announced that it was pulling Junior’s Monday Night Football performance of All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight, a Monday Night Football tradition since 1989. ESPN obviously did not want to look like it endorsed Junior’s point of view, and I can see their point. I am sure it would have been back next week as Americans are notorious for their lack of any long-term memory at all.

But Williams, Jr. responded in kind, cutting off his nose to spite his face, and took home his toys. It’s his song and he won’t be singing it on ESPN ever again. He cited that his 1st Amendment rights had been violated.

Now I am a fair-minded person, something that I try to keep secret, and can see the sides of both ESPN and Williams, Jr. ESPN made a business decision, though, not a constitutional decision. Williams, Jr. would most certainly have been back. But like the pouting child that he is, he pulled his act, something he was not doing for free.

That’s fine. If Junior can afford not to do this weekly gig at ESPN, fine. He just needs to know what force of nature was operating here. It wasn’t the constitution and it wasn’t the business world.

It was Godwin’s Law, acting with a vengeance.

No comments: