Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
1 year 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. Pissed

    The government is not trying to limit guns from people who are responsible just the bad people.It makes me angry that gun owners are actually supporting keeping guns in the hands of criminals. Any gun owner that doesn't realize that simple fact and is too stupid to know the difference should go and get their own gun hold it to there head and shoot and kill themselves.

    April 12, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Derek

    IIt's on TV and it's airing Sat. night; if you don't like, don't watch it. What happened in Newtown was a tragedy and will never be forgotten. We can be sensitive to the situation but you also have an on and off button!

    April 12, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. megin

    Oh, yes since they are fighting the 2nd amendment lets go after the 1st amendment too ....censorship next....why not its working with the 2nd.

    April 12, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. l0l

    the nra probably doesnt want criminals or mentally incapable humans with arms in their possession as much as the general public does l0l and why must things be so sensitized and tense? why censor everything that you dont agree with? good job senator. give us back our paychecks because we pay for democracy

    April 12, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. megin

    censorship next on their list

    April 12, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Matt

    The country was doomed the moment we decided upon universal franchise.

    April 12, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Mark

    I am offended that a Connecticut politician would try and tell people what they should and should not watch. He is severely over stepping his boundaries as a politician and frankly he can take his request and shove it. His actions are as un-American as they get.

    April 12, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. v_mag

    I honestly hope someone preserves this story somewhere, and the blog posts responding to it. It could be used in schools to teach what irony is. A senator expresses his opinion, exercising his freedom of speech, and he is assaulted by murder weapon advocates for suppressing freedom of speech. Now that's classic right wing double-think.

    April 12, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. Charlie

    It is one thing to be stupid; But why would a Senator let the entire world know they are this dumb!! Doesn't he realize he is in the MINORITY?

    April 12, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. BCW

    Airing the race will help increase gun sales. That's what NRA wants. It's a business scheme; but it's distastful to many who lost loved one in gun violence. The living Americans work hard to protect their rights; who help the dead ones who lost their lives. What about their rights? What always works in manipulating people in this country is FEAR monguling. We the American people live in a big wealthy country, are also the most insecure ones. Sure, we never experience war in this land, not like Europe and Asia and Africa. Therefore, we DO NOT undserstand what day-to-day blood shed on the street look like.

    April 12, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. jj

    'Can any of you name one NRA member who committed murder?...'
    So, NRA members are somehow above anger? None have ever killed their wife or kids? Never committed suicide with one? This is one super-special group. We can add this to the churches that insist they have no gay members, the politicians who say big money never influences their votes, and such.

    April 12, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Matt

    Charlie

    It is one thing to be stupid; But why would a Senator let the entire world know they are this dumb!! Doesn't he realize he is in the MINORITY?
    ---

    Um... what minority? I think it's been pretty well proven most of the country is for expanded gun control laws. The NRA is totally in the wrong.

    April 12, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Daily Llama

    Congressional Conservatives: We're hopeful of a compromise but it's going to require bi-partisan work. We don't expect to get everything we want – and they shouldn't either.

    Congressional Liberals: There's no chance of a compromise because they refuse to agree to everything the President wants.

    W-ednesday. T-hursday. F-riday?!?!?!?

    April 12, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Dena

    You're right Matt, NO child can get ANYTHING inappropriate without an adult, and TV, Movies and Games have NO influence what so ever......hello!

    April 12, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. JAS

    I don't care for NASCAR racing and will not watch it, but this sounds like government censorship to me. If you don't want to watch it, don't. But don't tell me what I can and can not watch. I don't see them telling the networks to take all of the violent crime shows off air, or violent video game makers to stop making their games.

    April 12, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. kidbyte

    I used t consider myself a liberal. But with all their attempts to dismantle my life by destroying the constitution and removing my rights, I refuse to vote for any liberal anymore and will work hard to prevent any liberal from obtaining office in my locale.

    April 12, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Daily Llama

    Don't air a sporting event because the sponsor is trying to save the 2nd Amendment? Pure Marxist / Communist-style censorship.

    April 12, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. All smoke and mirrors

    This is the "CHANGE" WE were warned about! Tastes like socialism to me! The New World Order....

    April 12, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Charlie

    "The government is not trying to limit guns from people who are responsible just the bad people"

    REALLY!!!! Then why the BANS on certain guns based on cosmetics only.

    April 12, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. Bill

    @vmag

    Can't get anyone to bite????

    April 12, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. kds562

    they banned cigarette advertising and they should do so for the NRA and guns – both kill and are irresponsible

    April 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. The Other Bob

    Asinine request frrom the senator. While some may consider airing the race insensitive or in poor taste, let the viewers decide. Besides, the more money the NRA spends on this the less money it will have to buy off legislators.

    April 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. kidbyte

    Due to the knifing incident, I suppose all the nut-case, bleeding heart liberals are going to want knife control, too. I am still waiting on ANYONE to address the real causes for these incidents; mental health care in America. No? Figured so.....

    April 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. scott h

    oh, shut it senator. how many times have guns been fired since the sandy hook incident?

    April 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Matt

    Dena

    You're right Matt, NO child can get ANYTHING inappropriate without an adult, and TV, Movies and Games have NO influence what so ever......hello!
    --–

    Show me the evidence that any of those things "desensitize" children. That argument is old. Really old. Want to know how old? The first time that argument was made was talking about opera.

    April 12, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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