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. marky f

    Just do your job flapping your gums and pass your gun laws in Congress, Senator, and leave our televisions alone. I guess if he could do any good with the former, he wouldn't be twiddling his thumbs with the latter.

    April 12, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  2. TH001

    Wonder who that senator thinks he is.

    April 12, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  3. Bill inVA

    The loons are out in full force. If someone proposed doing this to a pro gun controlled sponsored event the left would be crying everything from first amendment to censorship. But a more practical look at this would be that Fox now has a legal contractual obligation to air the race. Presumably even the left understands that....but I am not sure. They just seem to want what they want and laws and legalities be damned...unless it supports their view.

    April 12, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  4. hvfpaints

    Yeah baby – kill the second amendment, now lets work on the first!!! These "senators" need to be tried for treason! Mao would be so proud of you spineless corrupt vermin!

    April 12, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  5. Keel Hauler

    The NRA had NOTHING to do with the Sandy Hook shooting. Your attempts to demonize all guns and gun owners are useless and annoying. Give it a rest....

    April 12, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. Anthony

    While this is a "hot topic", there is still something called the 1st amendment, and the rights that are bestowed upon us with that. Like it or not, the NRA has just as much of a right, like any of us(if we could or wanted to afford to) to sponsor a Nascar race. If you do not like it, do not watch it, plain and simple.

    April 12, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. Edward

    It's a perfect match. Those that shoot children pointlessly and those that drive around in circles. NRA and NASCAR are like a poisoned version of wine and cheese.

    April 12, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  8. anothermuse

    Sigh...If only we could do something in Washington instead of holding press conferences over ridiculous topics. The NRA sponsoring a Nascar race is sort of like Milk sponsoring an Oreo eating contest. While the senator may not like the NRA's point of view (yeah, I think they are generally nuts too), they can sponsor whatever they want. I thought the left was good with the whole freedom of expression thing. Oh that's right, only when people agree with them. Ask Chik-Fil-A.

    April 12, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  9. Dave

    That's right. Let's censor what we don't like. How about this, don't watch the race.

    April 12, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  10. NY14U

    Wow first the 2nd Amendment, now trying for the 1st. Lets stop showing all there antigun crap also then.

    April 12, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. E

    "Immediate wake"? It's been four and a half months... I'm in no hurry to forget about the incident but there comes a time when we must move on. He accuses the NRA of prevent legislation, but reacting in a knee jerk way doesn't do any good either. Everybody needs to take a step back and think of what will make MEANINGFUL contributions to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. Close the guns show loophole, allow psychologists to have a say in the background check process, sure. But only allowing 10 round magazines to be loaded with 7 rounds max? (yes I'm looking at you New York) that just makes you look uneducated about guns. Also young realize that any new legislation likely wont make any meaningful impact on gun-based murder statistics, either...

    April 12, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. popseal

    DEBATE 101: when your losing argument is based on bad history and faulty logic and the crowd is seeing it, slander your opponent to change the argument. Blaming the NRA for gun deaths is like blaming Mothers Against Drunk Driving for alcohol related highway deaths.

    April 12, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. Tin Foil Hat

    NASCAR is dripping full of Republicans. They buy politicians like they are new jewelry just so they can wine & dine them and get tax breaks for "beautifying tracks". All corrupt and can go to hell!

    April 12, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. Charlie

    If the NRA sponsors this race, I am no longer a fan of NASCAR

    April 12, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  15. Brad

    Air the race!!!! Don't watch if your offended!!!

    April 12, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  16. greenmtnboy31

    This is getting ridiculous, but it has spurred me to watch the race this weekend to support the NRA.

    April 12, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. Trowa

    Apparently law abiding gun owners are supposed to be ashamed and go into hiding.

    April 12, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. John john the pipers son

    I don't know any liberals who watch NASCAR, might be a good place to corral the conservatives herd up while at the track and send out reprogramming waves to both the track and each TV watcher. LOL.

    April 12, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We already know Fox News is an irresponsible network. I hope Fox Sports carries a higher a standard.

    April 12, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Dave

    Free speech will be dead in America if this Senator has his way. Just because he does not like someone's message he should not be trying to silence them. Its ridiculous.

    April 12, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. Darth Who

    If we are going to stop airing stuff we disagree with, let's start with Congressional ads, interviews, and news conferences.

    April 12, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. Max in AL

    Ah, yes. Now, it's the First Amendment?

    I feel awful for those who have lost loved ones, but this goat has been milked long enough.

    April 12, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  23. The RIpper

    Chris Murphy can simply keep the TV off of his local Fox station, then tell his citizens how to do the same. If he needs to, I can show him how to use his TV remote how to do so.

    April 12, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  24. casey minnich

    Let's censor our media!! great idea!!

    April 12, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  25. DJ

    Free speech will only be tolerated if the body politics approves of what you have to say. How did we ever find ourselves here?

    April 12, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
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