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. Conrad Shull

    It's NASCAR, Senator, not escargot. It might you, but the gun thing is not going to freak out the fans.

    April 12, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Nick-o

    I wonder how many people will try to get into the event with a gun. NASCAR fans aren't reportedly the sharpest tolls in the box.

    April 12, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. 98108

    And now we have censorship. Politicians just can't stop. First they create a panic with gun control that causes everyone to run out and buy guns and ammunition. I am more afraid now of the person who went and bought gun in a panic than i was of any crazy who had them before. When will they realize what they have done?

    April 12, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. James Elrod

    Colt Firearms....Please pack your stuff and move South! Alabama would welcome you with open arms! Ya'll Please save your anti-South comments for your liberal friends.Things are horrible down he'ah,Ya'll libruls need to stay put there where it is safe!

    April 12, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    "The NRA had nothing to do with the Newtown massacre." Dream on. They have been at bay since it happened, and memberships are running out and not being renewed. It's not their place to push violence; they used to be about preventing hunting accidents. They are part of the problem right now, and it would be better for gun owners if the NRA just shut up so we could talk about this.

    April 12, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Jim

    This is out of hand. The right and left spewing all of this garbage and the average guy in the middle couldn't care less because we are too busy trying to feed our families. Congress, you're doing it wrong.

    April 12, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Hogan's Goat

    "the general picture of slobbering, murder weapon toting, Bud-drinking, lead-footed monster truck driving idiots "

    Probably sound a lot saner if they calmed down, but that's my point as well. How are we going to have a debate when one of the people at the table keeps smoking meth and threatening to kill the rest? You want to keep your guns, show us you have some self-control, ok? Put them away and stop shouting. Can you actually do that?

    April 12, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. dotheflippin'math

    One child and one policeman's wife dead after being shot by children who got their hands on a loaded gun. Keep defending the NRA, and we can count on more and more of these tragedies. Just wait until it's you signing the forms to donate your child's organs. All these people with guns for "self-defense" is ridiculous, as is the NRA's opposition to any law that might impact their profits. Look at who's getting rich off the tragedies! Look at all the inexperienced idiots who ran out to their local Walmart and bought their first hangun. How many kids have to die before we tighten-up the laws on background checks and gun show sales. Ironically, there were two shootings at recent gun shows. This is going to get A LOT worse before it gets better. This has nothing to do with socialism. That's just the NRA's and GOP's way of scaring ignorant conservatives into backing their otherwise ridiculous positions.

    April 12, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Patriotic Pete

    Seems like its the NRA that's the one using the Sandy Hook children to promote their agenda. Don't forget that this race was funded to glorify the Newton Tragedy so that the NRA can promote their gun agenda to have more Bush master assault weapons in circulation. I just hope the same faith await the NRA and their supporters.

    April 12, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    Hey Bill – That's what happened when this state Voted for Cruz !! You mean it took you THAT long to figure out that there is a lot of rednecks here ?? LOL –

    """"From Bill – It is amazing to me how we have so many right wing dumb rednecks in my state of Texas that would allow the NRA to do such a thing. First dubya, then rick perry, and now this. We are really going to have to fight to take this state back from the GOP/Tea Party fools before they force Texas to secede from the Union and turn us into Syria"""""

    April 12, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Where's the due process for the GITMO detainees? Shouldn't they be release so they could help the NRA reload at their Nascar celebration?

    April 12, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Greg

    If the NRA sponsoring this event chastizes the victims of deranged indivuals that used guns then the auto makers advetising for car sales also chastizes the victims of drunk drivers. Whatever restrictions are placed on gun ownership should also be placed on car ownership. After all Ted Kennedy's car HAS KILLED more people then my guns.

    April 12, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Chris L.

    How dare we allow a group of people that advocate gun safety and responsible gun ownership to sponsor a NASCAR race. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    April 12, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. George in Alabama

    So far all I've heard is a bunch of obummerbots who are scared the kool-aid is gonna run out ! If you are so scared of Texas,then pack your bags and move to Chicago where it's "safer" cause they have all those gun laws to protect you with !! Face it folks,if the justice system weren't so afraid of 'hurting someone's feelings' and enforced the laws already on the books the way they were meant to be,there wouldn't BE any problems! Last but not least,I would rather be a proud Redneck from Alabama,always ready and able to protect and provide for my family and friends;AND MY COUNTRY ! People know where I stand and what I believe in.They may not agree with me,nor me with them,but we're friends and we can look each other in the eye with the assurance that the other person has got their backs. We can sleep at night AND we can look at ourselves in the mirror. Can ya'll rely on Barry to do the same? How about the Senate? Perhaps Congress,then? WOW !!! Ya'll really ain't got anything to depend on,do you?

    April 12, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. rs

    sts_121@hotmail.com

    I'm no fan of the NRA but I don't really care if they are sponsoring the race. And it's not like they're gonna give the driver loaded revolvers to start shooting off right there in victory lane.
    ______________________
    Very sly! For those not in the know- that is exactly the tradition at TMS!

    April 12, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Mikee3020

    I'm amazed that people blame the NRA..Alcohol kilss 20 times...20 TIMES the amount of people in the US every year...Talk about looking for a PHONY scapegoat. Heck when you have sherriff and police departments EVERYWHERE saying they will not enforce gun laws...I imagine we are going the wrong direction

    April 12, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. krhodes

    Typical democrat...try and silence those they disagree with.

    April 12, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Greg

    People don't blame alcohol producers and car makers for those that misuse their products because they like having their own beer and wine as well as not going work on the bus. They blame the makers of guns and people that own them because they don't shoot, don't REALLY know where meat comes from, and most likely have never fired a shot to defend this nation.

    I'm pretty sure we can say this same thing about the current administration.

    It's what you get when you bring the handout recipients to the polls on the bus so they can vote

    April 12, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. CDR

    Senator, did you stop to think many Politicians, Law Enforcement, Military, and First Responders are members of the NRA and/or NASCAR Fans? Yeah, you just called them RADICALS! And in case you forgot, most of them are VOTERS too!

    April 12, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Greg

    I wonder where we would be if votes were totaled based on your contribution to society (in human terms, not financial) instead of just your ability to get on the bus and vote for your handout?

    Yea, that thrown in just to trial the liberals.
    :)

    April 12, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. Greg

    People who have been unemployed too long fall off of the count and unemoloent goes down. Wow would you please use your wisdom to make more laws to save me from myself. Start with gins please because who can argue that killing is bad. And hey why do need to defend yourself or your family when the police will be there inside of an hour (most of the time)

    April 12, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Greg

    Who said this?

    "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient,and the world will follow our lead into the future"

    It was Adolph Hitler, 1935.

    Look it up for yourself if your not on the save me from myself, or the feed me because I can't feed myself, team.

    Then again WWII may just be a fabrication of paranoid gun nuts trying to defend guns.

    Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it?

    The people should fear a government that fears its people?

    April 12, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. rfaquino

    I keep asking myself how the hell did these idiots get voted for Congress? Now they are not just attacking the 2nd Amendment, they are going after the 1st Amendment too. Our so-called democracy is going down the drain, at some point we will be just like 2nd-class latin american dictatorships.

    April 12, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Dale Roberts

    Don't ever forget the true purpose of the second amendment. It was paid for by true American blood to oust the previous monarchy. If you don't like it, please leave.

    April 12, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. MrFawkes

    This is idiocy. Sen. Murphy has no grasp of the idea that viewpoints besides his may have merit. One of his reasons for asking that the event not be broadcast is that "The race...brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate." By his logic, he would have to condemn the Brady Campaign for sponsoring a high-profile event. Such condemnation being highly unlikely, it can safely be said that Murphy is at best inconsistent and at worst an intellectually barren hypocrite. I'm surprised that someone as high-and-mighty and ivory-tower-inhabiting as this so-called leader even pays attention to racing. Polo seems more his speed.

    April 12, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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