Fox News
October 11, 2011

Hank Williams, Jr. Responds to Critics

Guests: Hank Williams, Jr., country music artist

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: His song has been played at the beginning of "Monday Night Football" now for decades, but football fans will no longer hear Hank Williams, Jr.'s classic song due to ESPN and comments he made on "Fox & Friends." It happened all on October the 3rd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "FOX & FRIENDS")

HANK WILLIAMS, JR., ENTERTAINER: Do you remember the golf game they had, ladies and gentlemen? Remember the golf game?

STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Yeah, Boehner.

WILLIAMS: That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever.

DOOCY: Why?

WILLIAMS: That turned a lot of people off. You know, watching -- you know, it just didn't go over.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, CO-HOST: You mean when John Boehner played golf with President Obama?

WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah! Yeah. And Biden and Kasich, yeah. Uh-huh.

CARLSON: What did you not like about it? It seems to be a really pivotal moment for you.

WILLIAMS: Come on. Come on. That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu, OK?

BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Yeah, I don't understand that analogy, actually.

DOOCY: Well, it's...

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm glad that you don't brother, because a lot of people do. You know, they're the enemy. They're the enemy.

KILMEADE: Who is the enemy?

WILLIAMS: Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The three stooges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: Yeah, I did.

Now the same day, ESPN pulled Hank Williams, Jr's song from that night's broadcast of "Monday Night Football" and late last week, ESPN announced that it was parting ways with the country music legend for good. The network issued a statement, it said: "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of 'Monday Night Football' has always been about the games and that will continue."

Joining me now, to react, the man himself, Hank Williams Jr. --

(LAUGHTER)

You love to be in the middle of contro -- you were born for this.

WILLIAMS: Well, maybe so. You know.

HANNITY: I was watching you on "The View," this morning. It's a good group of people? You -- I thought they were very nice to you.

WILLIAMS: Oh, it was fantastic.

HANNITY: It was fantastic.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know I watched their reaction back on Tuesday and on, they said, "Hey, it's an analogy."

HANNITY: You pulled out a dictionary, today?

WILLIAMS: It's an -- yeah, because Sherri goes, "Analogy." I said, "OK, would you read the definition." You know, and Elizabeth, "Hey, why don't we invite a bunch of Yankees fans and Red Sox fans and have a nice love lunch together?"

HANNITY: It's not going to happen.

WILLIAMS: No, it's not going to happen.

(LAUGHTER)

So, that happens, I call my manager, I said -- they did what? My daughter, says, "Daddy! Daddy! You know that they're not showing you tonight? Are you in trouble?" I said, "Oh, well if I am, then we all are."

HANNITY: What do you mean by that?

WILLIAMS: So, the next day I went fishing and I called my manager and I said --

HANNITY: I know you went fishing, I talked to you --

WILLIAMS: "You can tell ESPN 'adios,' tonight."

HANNITY: And then, all right, now wait --

WILLIAMS: So the next day I'm fishing.

HANNITY: I was talking to you.

WILLIAMS: Oh, I know.

HANNITY: All right, so here's the question I have. You said that -- because, I talked to your publicist, he said you were pulling out and then ESPN says they pulled out. So, who pulled out first?

WILLIAMS: I just -- What I just told you, I called him that night, and I said you can --

HANNITY: We're done.

WILLIAMS: Because let me tell you something, buddy, you've known me a long time.

HANNITY: Long time.

WILLIAMS: My daughter -- now, you've hurt my family. I was hot at 5:00 p.m. "Daddy, are we -- " I said, "You can call them and you can tell them I'm out of here, adios."

HANNITY: You -- it was interesting when I read you statement, you talked about the First Amendment, you talked about freedom of speech.

WILLIAMS: Yeah.

HANNITY: Now, and, but you said, "All right, yeah, I shouldn't have used the Hitler analogy." You weren't -- what do you mean -- what -- but then today on "The View," you said, "Yeah, I would use it again."

WILLIAMS: Sean, the whole --

HANNITY: But, I want you to explain it. I want you to --

WILLIAMS: The whole thing was that golf game, in the shape that this country was in and is in and these four politicians are out there, you know, jiving and high-fiving, it was absurd, it was ridiculous, dumb political move.

HANNITY: And then never going to get along. You pointed out something that is factually true.

WILLIAMS: It was a disaster.

HANNITY: Why don't people interpret -- because you even talked about three of them out there --

WILLIAMS: Yeah, I forgot about four. There were four. Sorry about that.

HANNITY: But assumed you were talking about Boehner, Biden and the president --

WILLIAMS: Kasich.

HANNITY: Yeah, the governor of Ohio. So, I assume what you were saying is that they're never going to get along, we all know they're not going to get along, the country's a mess. Explain what you're thinking, here and why we waste --

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. It was absurd to be out there, you know, "oh, boy," it is ridiculous with what was going on not to mention, you know, they had won the fall election.

HANNITY: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: Why are you playing golf? You know. I was up there, and you know this, I was up there in Ohio for John Kasich, in Portland. I was outraged.

HANNITY: You know what I don't understand? I don't understand this, and I -- frankly I'm glad that you said, "I'm not apologizing." You know why? Because everyone gets in the middle of a controversy, boy -- no, no, no, it's true, and what's the first -- "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." You're not sorry.

WILLIAMS: No.

HANNITY: They're just sorry that they said it, and you have the guts --

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: That is the truth?

HANNITY: Isn't that the truth?

WILLIAMS: Oh, my fans, the e-mails. Let me tell you, I have been recording and touring for five decades. There has never been a more special time, the wonderful e-mails and my fans, "You are the only one that stands up, speaks his mind and speaks for us and the way it really is."

HANNITY: But you know what? I love football.

WILLIAMS: Oh yeah, I do, too.

HANNITY: But you know what, I'm going to miss your open.

WILLIAMS: Well, stand by for 2012. It's a free country with lots of options and lots of choices.

HANNITY: So in other words, we may not have heard the last of Hank Williams, Jr.

WILLIAMS: You think?

HANNITY: On football.

WILLIAMS: Ah, we've been contacted today. The song is mine, Sean.

(CROSSTALK)

And the poll -- let's talk about the poll. They had a poll. Fifty -- you know, who would you like to have on -- do the Monday night -- 53 percent, me.

HANNITY: Well, you don't look as good as Faith Hill, but she does "Sunday Night Football" --

WILLIAMS: Well, that's another network. But there are other networks.

HANNITY: Yes, there are. Fox is one of them.

WILLIAMS: Ah, yeah. And I have some real close friends in the football world --

HANNITY: I'll be you do.

WILLIAMS: Oh yeah, buddy.

HANNITY: All right, I got to run. You found -- first of all, you found songs in the garbage of your dad and mom, you put them on CD and you put them in this really cool thing.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, mother's best flour. That's what it's about, like cooking and they were in the garbage, they said, well you know, they're old acetate (ph). This is such a treasure. They found one of dad's from 1938. He's 15 years old. This icon, this complete master of the very first rockabilly of all, is in the charts again.

HANNITY: All right, we got to run. And I have one of your "Monday Night Football" guitars. How many are there?

WILLIAMS: I guess there are 20. And by the way, the two belt buckles that I have with all the Super Bowls, we're selling them and giving that to charity.

HANNITY: Good for you. I might buy it. All right, I want you to sign this. Hank Williams, Jr., God bless you. You're a great American.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, buddy.

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