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. Jeff

    If you don't let the NRA sponsor the race, you can kiss Tracker boats and all the other outdoor sponsors goodbye.

    April 12, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. merlinfire

    If you want my guns....

    Come and get them.

    April 12, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. aflygirl2

    Another lefty Senator from Connecticut sticking his nose in the wrong place. Please go away Mr. Murphy.

    April 12, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    everyone that is not for guns should go die in a hole

    April 12, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Bill

    @Roger

    Perfect example of an uninformed commenter.

    "They have been misguided by the NRA lobby so much that they don't even realize that no one is talking about guns here – which will not be affected – what will be affected is military style automatic weapons."

    Military style automatic weapons are already banned and have been for a long time. You are thinking of the AR-15 semi-auto rifle that is not included in any proposed bill at this time. By the way the AR-15 has been available to the general public since the 60s. You could order one from Sears and have it delivered to your house. Why are we only seeing the mass attacks now? I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with the AR-15.

    April 12, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Bob

    Funny how the NRA says they're just a bunch of folks banded together and not a political lobby. They say they don't really spend all that much money on lobbying yet they are able to foot the sponsorship bill for an entire NASCAR race (at least they know their core demographic- white, ignorant, and poor) like a Fortune 500 company. Tell me, Earl. When was the last time you and Bubba could scrape together enough cash to sponsor the "Earl and Bubba 500"? The NRA is not just a collection of good ole boys. They are a corporate-funded creation to misinform and lead the highly suggestible, unread masses to do their bidding and be good, mindless consumers of harmful products. It's a pattern that has worked over the years in many forms- Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, the tobacco industry, the Tea Party....

    April 12, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Jake

    Go to the race yourself Senator Murphy.... stand in the middle of the track DURING THE RACE and please express your warped views whilst cars drive over you.

    April 12, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. JJ

    Murdoch is all talk, no action. He values money over the lives of children.

    April 12, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. BK_Clarification

    Quote:
    "Bk

    So the government is telling a tv station what it should or should not broadcast....and I should be OK with this.

    Doesn't this fall under Freedom of the Press, or Speech or something?"

    As the article states, Sen. Chris Murphy ASKED for Fox not to broadcast. No laws have been proposed. It was a request. The request can be ignored or honored.

    April 12, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    who watches nascar anyway

    April 12, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Boytjie

    hvfpaints

    Obamasuppoerter (sic) – that tired old lame excuse isn't cutting it any more. Like an old LP with a skip....
    =============================
    What is an LP? LOL

    April 12, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. hvfpaints

    Well V Mag – since you are a veteran, you must not have got the memo where Feinstien labelled all vets as mentally incapascitated, Therefore, get ready to hand the shotgun over.

    April 12, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Hogan's Goat

    Yeah, there's a good way to be sure we know you are a responsible gun owner: threaten to shoot us. Let me see, how can I possibly react to a crazy man threatening to shoot me? That's right, take away his guns. So whose side are you "gun enthusiasts" really on, anyway? Every gun-waving maniac who "doesn't believe in polls" is worth fifty votes for gun control, and you just can't seem to stop yourselves from waving the guns and threatening a civil war. Civil war, really, because you list the election? Way to sound schizophrenic, guys. I'm not anti-gun and even I think there are several people posting here who need to be forcibly disarmed by local law enforcement before they just snap.

    April 12, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. carlos

    dialogos68

    Yeah, now our politicains can tell us what to eat, what to say, what to think and what to watch......you are right, because you cannot do it alone, including spelling........N ascar RA ce

    April 12, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Boogity Boogity Boogity

    Dear Fox,

    Please knock off the free speech, it's interfering with our agenda.

    Love,
    The Progressives

    April 12, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. merlin215

    Leave the race alone for crying out loud . This is nothing but a political comment to irk people . The race is a NON Political event and leave it that way ! PERIOD !

    April 12, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. rs

    Bill

    @RS

    We already have background checks!
    __________________
    But, not at gun shows, private sales, and apparently some internet sales. If background checks are good for some, they're good for all.

    April 12, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. GBfromOhio

    The vast majority of NRA members are hunters and marksmen who are interested in gun safety and the latest technology, I don't think most of them care if a background check is run at a gun show, why make it that easy for a criminal to buy a weapon. The NRA leadership are radical lobbyists for the gun cartel and do not represent the views of MOST of their members. NASCAR / NRA / County Music / the Tea Party kind of go hand-in-hand from a demographics viewpoint, so the NRA sponsoring NASAR is not a shocker for sure.

    April 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. spoo

    texas, the land of the retard

    April 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. ERKO

    I love how to NRA uses NASCAR for advertising. Makes sense, pandering to the simple and uneducated masses I guess.

    April 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. BC

    The Northern Democratic Senator has forgotten that most of the people who watch NASCAR are Southern Blue Collar Democrats. I wouldn't be surprised if most own guns and are members of the NRA.

    April 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. rickyd

    being from ct i am embarassed by this one term senetor Murphy is an idiot I should have voted for Mcmahn

    April 12, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Big E

    I'm a race fan and I don't care for the sponsor ,but I am also from Ky and I don't like Paul and McConnell either.

    April 12, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. maddbearfan

    Senator...you really need to get out once in awhile. When are you idiots gonna quit milking the Sandyhook slayings, done by a deeply MENTALLY DISTURBED man. The NRA has done nothing more than support the rights of gun owners and promote SAFTEY with firearms of which this kids mom did not follow when she knew full well he was deeply troubled. People kill people...not guns.

    April 12, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Matt from CT

    Roger

    The gun toting population has been acting so childishly that they have made a laughing stock of themselves.
    They have been misguided by the NRA lobby so much that they don't even realize that no one is talking about guns here – which will not be affected – what will be affected is military style automatic weapons.
    Now if you've a problem with that, tomorrow you'll claim that the Howitzer in a tank is a gun too and you need that too – where does it stop?

    -----------------------------------------------------
    "Military style automatic weapons" are already tightly regulated and completly banned in some states. What you are referring to are semi-automatic rifles, and no they are no the same thing. Also, a tank doesn't use a Howitzer, a tank uses a 120mm smooth bore cannon. A howitzer is a 155mm artilery piece.

    April 12, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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