|ESPN took Williams Jr.'s words too literally.|
During an October 3 interview on Fox News, Williams compared House Speaker John Boehner (R) and President Barack Obama (D) meeting on a golf course to Hitler going 18 holes with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
ESPN took immediate action, pulling "All My Rowdy Friends" from the MNF broadcast that night, then announced on October 6 that it would no longer be using the song. Williams has since apologized for the analogy but said he, in fact, chose to end his relationship with ESPN and MNF, not the other way around.
ESPN overreacted here. Sure, Williams' analogy was clumsy and dumb, but he also didn't say Obama literally = Hitler. If he had, ESPN would have been right to axe the song. Williams Jr. was simply trying to say that Boehner and Obama are diametric opposites, and as is, ESPN looks a bunch of hypersensitive sqaushers of free speech.
There's no question that people throw Hitler's name around way, way too much when discussing politics in modern America, but this instance is one of very few when mentioning him wasn't a big deal. ESPN can't repair its relationship with Williams, but let's hope they don't behave so reactively the next time someone they pay says something dumb.