Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch

(CNN) - The National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race slated for this weekend is "inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, wrote to the race's broadcaster on Thursday.

"The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate, it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," Murphy wrote to Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which owns the Fox network where the race will be broadcast.

In March, the Texas Motor Speedway announced the NRA had sponsored the NASCAR Sprint Cup event on April 13, which marked the first time the gun owners group has sponsored a race in NASCAR's top series.

Last year, the organization sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The April race had been promoted as the Texas 500 after the track's deal with Samsung ended last year.

The winners of races at the track are often given two revolvers and a cowboy hat while taking photographs in victory lane. The fastest qualifier is awarded a shotgun.

In his letter to Murdoch, Murphy cited the News Corp. boss' past support for tighter gun control laws in the United States, including a message Murdoch posted on Twitter shortly after the December Newtown shooting.

"Nice words from POTUS on shooting tragedy, but how about some bold leadership action?" Murdoch wrote.

"I would like to make a similar challenge to you," Murphy told the media mogul in his letter Thursday. "You should play a constructive role in our national dialogue by refraining from broadcasting the NRA 500. By airing this race you will be strengthening the brand of a radical organization that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress on this issue."

Fox Sports remains under contract with NASCAR to broadcast certain Sprint Cup races.

CNN's Steve Almasy contributed to this report.


Filed under: NRA
soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Nobody should contribute a dime to the nra gun manufacture lobby or are you dumb enough to contributed to the oil lobby too . Wait till they have a msss murder at a NASCAR event !!!!

    April 11, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. MaryM

    So Fox is under contract to air the race. So much for the letter from Senator Murphy

    April 11, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Sending money to the nra lobbyist is like sending money to the oil lobby if your that stupid !!!!

    April 11, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems will stop at nothing to get their way, and control every single aspect of everyone's life.

    The Dem socialists are the single greatest danger to America, as a subversive organization.

    April 11, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. penguin

    Murdoch doesn't have the balls to buck the NRA. But if he did, we would see disgust for the NRA snowball.

    April 11, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. noptercopter

    shame on the left wing

    April 11, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Lastbutnotleast

    And here goes the red neck contingency, 3......2......1, and they're off.

    April 11, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    We in USA do not give darn hoot about NRA all know they are thugs. We need to pass Gun-ban laws. Period.

    April 11, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. ron

    the nra had nothing to do with newtown,...obama and miden are responisoble....they did not secure the schools after the colorado shootings...anyone today can still just walk into a school and do the same, and obama and miden still have not done anyting to secure the schools....this sentator is nuts.....and is bascially nothing more than anti-gun...he also is part of the problem we have, not going after a real solution

    April 11, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Legal Permit to Carry

    Seriously? No one has done more to pump up the Newtown shooting than CNN. Same goes for the war mongering with Nk..

    April 11, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. plain&simple

    Ever hear the expression "Put your money where your mouth is"???Now's your chance!

    April 11, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. PJ

    If Rupert Murdoch decides to not show this disgraceful "spit in your face" NRA race, I will watch a full hour of
    "Hannity". As disgusting and painful as that would be, I would do it gladly. Sadly, I'm afraid I have nothing to
    worry about.

    April 11, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. aj

    Mr. Murdock's crocodile tears don't impres. The marching orders for every show on his TV station is to support the NRA's vision of reality – where any gun law is an attempt of the government to take our guns and kill the 2nd amendment. He just doesn't want the perception of the NRA (and thus, the politics espoused on Fox) to be tarnished by the timing of the NASCAR race. You want us to believe your concern about guns in the US? Change the position memos at Fox.

    April 11, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. Sam

    Wow so sad maybe obama should take the guns from his bodyguard too stupid liberals

    April 11, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. fernace

    Good Idea, but Good Luck w/that, Sen. Chris Murphy! Wont happen! For 1, it's held in Texas, where we love us some 2nd amendment! For another, this is RM & the NRA, whenever have they listened to a reasonable request!? A: Not in historic memory! I do hope though, that my state has better sense than to shoot off guns in a crowded arena! Even blanks can kill, not to mention the celebrators who wanna join in!!

    April 11, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. aCriticalEye

    Wow, Mr Chris Murphy, a junior democratic senator from CT, has some balls. Good for him, talking to the devil himself.
    It won't do a damn bit of good, but it was a hell of a try.

    April 11, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. scranton

    Shut the hell up Murphy. Censorship is not the American way.

    April 11, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. montanalibertarian

    Senator Murphy is a woefully ignorant man as his inappropriate request demonstrates.

    Senator Murphy labels the NRA "a radical organization" which I, as an NRA member and supporter, resent.

    The NRA has been the nation's staunchest supporter of gun safety for well over a century and a quarter. The NRA, however, does not support measures that will not increase public safety and will only serve to impede lawful ownership and use of firearms. The proposals before Congress now, and those passed in Connecticut and New York in the wake of Newtown can be fairly characterized in precisely those ways. They will not serve to safeguard our children and would not have prevented Newtown had they been in effect prior to the event.

    Senator Murphy, in common with most of his "progressive" cabal, chooses to demonize the NRA in hopes of silencing those of us who furnish logical arguments in opposition to his ineffective and misplaced proposals.

    April 11, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. montanalibertarian

    Senator Murphy's inappropriate request demonstrates his ignorance.

    He terms the NRA "a radical organization" when, in fact, for over a century and a quarter, it has been the nation's foremost provider of gun safety instruction and education. The NRA, however, does not support misguided legislative proposals that will not further public safety but only impede the lawful ownership and responsible use of firearms. The proposals currently before Congress, and the legislation hastily and thoughtlessly passed in Connecticut and New York, can be characterized in precisely those ways. These proposals will not bolster public safety and would not have prevented Newtown had they been in place prior to the event.

    As a longtime member of the NRA I resent Senator Murphy's attempted demonization. The NRA offers principled and logical opposition to knee-jerk legislation. That used to be a function of the U.S. Senate, but it has fallen on hard times due to the caliber of the current membership.

    April 11, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. Aaron

    This is so dumb. Are the American people really so fragile that guns being fired on TV and an NRA-sponsored NASCAR race will completely destroy any progress on the gun issue? It's a stock car race, not a re-enactment of the Vietnam War. There's movies on TV at the same time that have terrible, gruesome gun violence and we're going to not air a car race? Regardless of where you stand on the gun issue in American, let's all be strong in our ability to not let mention of the NRA completely throw American media into a frenzy.

    April 11, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. Mike

    "Immediate wake?!" Is he serious?

    April 11, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Daniel

    Wow I wonder how long the gov of CT will be there when the state loses nearly 250,000 jobs? In a state that has as large of a jobs issue as ct does one would think that the gov would do every thing they could do to keep the jobs there?? "Oh well it is only jobs right there are others right?"

    April 11, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. You_No

    Sure, as long as Chris is willing to give up his right to broadcast any and every campaign commercial.

    They won't stop nibbling in 'good cause' until every right disappears. The sooner you learn this, the better We can live.

    April 11, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. Gil Crawford

    Funny that its ok to give the limelight to shooting spree and stabbing spree perpitrators but if the NRA sponsors an even it should be a media blackout and considered a travisty. What planet are these idiots from? This is why our country is so messed up. Quit playing politics put your big girl panties on abd do something in the house and senate if you feel so strongly that a socialist bankrupt America is better

    April 11, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  25. just sayin

    why are the leftist democrats always, and i do mean always, trying to shut down free speech, especially of those that do not agree with them. do they know this is american and not the old soviet union? i guess that is their future for our country. one opinion need be expressed, the one written by and sanctioned by the leftist ministry of truth.

    April 11, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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