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. betterdays

    As a conservative with slightly more highbrow cultural aspirations (I'm one of those white males who is smart enough to not wear shorts in public the first day the temperature gets above freezing), I'd like to point out that anyone attending or watching a NASCAR event probably already has an arsenal anyway.

    April 12, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Dena

    Let's not forget to give credit for 'gun toting psycho ideas' to the people who make big money in the Game, TV, and Movie Industry. They are experts at desensitizing our children and society, not the NRA.

    April 12, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Jorge

    I can't believe what I'm reading from a US Senator and fellow American citizens! Advocating censorship simply because you do not agree with their opinions; is freedom of expression no longer considered an American right and value?

    What happened to tolerance? Are we to become that which we claim not to be, a communist state? I am afraid for future generations, they will grow up in a country where they do not have the right to think differently from what the state deems to be the correct way to think and do things...

    April 12, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. Bamboozled

    There sure are a lot of hypocrites posting.

    April 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  5. Curious_G

    New levels of idiocy from Murphy. The implication is somehow NRA is to blame for Newtown, which it is not, or perhaps to punish someone for disagreeing with his anti-2a rhetoric.

    April 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Matt

    Since the NRA sponsered this race for no other reason that to mock the folks of Newtown I don't really care about their rights. They don't deserve them.

    April 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. v_mag

    joeusavotes said: "I wish the parents would yell at you for not doing more to keep the crazy people in their neighborhoods from doing this instead of telling the rest of us what gun we should be able to own."
    --------
    To keep those "crazy people...from doing this" requires that background checks be done. But the NRA is vehemently against doing background checks. Their solution is to flood neighborhoods with semiautomatic murder weapons. So, now who's crazy?

    April 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. john

    Can any of you name one NRA member who committed murder? It appears that it is always a non NRA member who commits murder.

    April 12, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Jerry

    How moronic can some of our elected officials be?! I am embarrassed to say I am originally from the Nutmeg State. Ignorance and stupidity know no bounds.

    There are definitely more pressing issues affecting our country than Senator Murphy's BS. For starters, how about Mr. Obama's one and only treasonous budget that steals/extorts from the same middle class that HE swore to protect! Lies on top of lies!

    Instead of "An Era of Responsibility", HIS newest, much delayed stupid budget effort should be titled "An Era of Irresponsibility." Spend, spend, spend...

    April 12, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. John

    Really, it's just a NASCAR race! Also, Dec. 14th was nearly four months ago. Some people just want to look foolish...

    April 12, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Bob

    Sen. Murphy should resign if he believes others have no right to their opinions.

    April 12, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. v_mag

    john: "Can any of you name one NRA member who committed murder? It appears that it is always a non NRA member who commits murder."
    -----
    Off the top of my head, I can think of one NRA member who attempted murder. The son of the NRA president David Keene got 10 years in jail for it.

    April 12, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. Matt

    "Let's not forget to give credit for 'gun toting psycho ideas' to the people who make big money in the Game, TV, and Movie Industry. They are experts at desensitizing our children and society, not the NRA." -– See here's the funny thing. Research has shown NONE of those thing cause folks to kill others. As a matter of fact kids can't get M rated video games without an adult so.... try again?

    April 12, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. soup97

    Liberals are intolerant. They're no better than conservatives. Your left versus right arguments are entertaining. The two party system has failed us yet you still cling to it while dragging the country down day after day.

    April 12, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Its amazing to watch the gun huggers and their comment spreading like a rash over this thread. The senator expressed his opinion and concern, nothing more. Murdock has repeatedly stated his support of gun control, so its not out of the question that FOX would decide not to air it: does anyone really think Murdock is scare of the NRA? Apparently, a liberal expressing their opinion is the first step towards gun confiscation, in the twisted gaze of a gun-hugger. You need a new Amendment to overide a previous one, and there has been no call for that.

    April 12, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  16. Matt

    john: "Can any of you name one NRA member who committed murder? It appears that it is always a non NRA member who commits murder."
    -–

    If they'd allow background checks you'd be able to tell. Since they don't though... who knows.

    April 12, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Whatup

    So Murphy loves censorship....He's a dolt.

    April 12, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. adamws54

    "Sen. Murphy should resign if he believes others have no right to their opinions."-And Murphy has no right to express his? Hypocritical, aren't you?

    April 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. Thomas A. Hawk

    OK, what happens if a non U.S. citizen such as Marcos Ambrose wins the race or is the fastest qualifier? (He's Australian).

    The 2nd Amendment is only for U.S. citizens.

    April 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. johnny

    Disarm the Secret Service for a day. What would he think about that?

    April 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. v_mag

    This blog is a feast of ignorance today. Every murder weapon toting fool in the country has showed up to express his utterly ridiculous opinion and support the murder weapon industry that has made America one of the most dangerous places on earth.

    I love it! Keep saying that nonsense and holding yourselves up to ridicule!

    April 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. Booger

    The good senator has clearly never heard of the Streisand effect. The more you complain about things like this, the more publicity it gets, and the more people will want to watch it.

    This is how the NRA wins.

    April 12, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. All smoke and mirrors

    They all sold their souls to corporate scum! Period!

    April 12, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Lucy

    I applaud NASCAR for standing up for our freedoms.

    April 12, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Jorge

    I can't believe what I'm reading from a US Senator and fellow American citizens! Advocating censorship simply because you do not agree with their opinions; is freedom of expression no longer considered an American right and value?

    What happened to tolerance? Are we to become that which we claim not to be, a communist state? I am afraid for future generations, they will grow up in a country where they do not have the right to think differently from what the state deems to be the correct way to think and do things...
    **************
    Murdoch is a newspaper man, and his job is to edit, or censor, the news in order to create a narrative that sells. If he cancels a NASCAR event, he looks like a hero. If he airs it, he's the Dark Prince again, the man who allowed Millie Dowler's voicemails to be hacked after she was murdered. Either way, he makes money.What do you think Murdoch will do to cement his legacy? He understands the limitations of Free Speech better than most, the question is, does he care anymore?

    April 12, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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