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. John

    Joe, you watch Glee???

    April 12, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  2. Realityblowz

    Nice job Senator. Dismantle the Second Amendment, while simultaniously going after the First. You have shown your hand well. Never mind the fact that the teachings of the NRA have saved children's lives with gun safety education, and countless peoples lives by allowing them to retain their right of self defense. The only place to read about these accounts is from NRA sites, since these many accounts are surpressed by the media. Looks like you guys are in a hurry to take the 1st and 2nd before the next market collapse eh?

    April 12, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Kerwyn

    Mr. Murphy might as well used Columbine as his excuse for 15 seconds of fame.

    Mr. Murphy you are aware are you not, that well over half a million people died last year from cancer. 36, 000 died in a gun related death (that includes accidents and suicides).

    I think you are looking for votes and could care less about the actual problems facing this country.

    April 12, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I understand the sentiment.
    There is something in place that addresses it. It is called "change the channel".

    April 12, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. G Hill

    Next logical step is background checks before people are allowed to speak publicly.

    April 12, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. NgauHuPhart

    Sounds like a Jimmy Carter plea to me...

    April 12, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Matt

    I totally agree. Less because it has something to do with the NRA and more to do with the fact it's NASCAR. No one should have to watch that crap.

    April 12, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. William House

    How Arrogant, why not ban people from driving like NASCAR on our roads and actually save lives!

    Specious gun control DOES NOTHING to stop gun violence, end the drug war!

    April 12, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  9. KJH16

    I guess you "responsible gun owners" won't be satisfied until 50 or maybe even 75 kids die in another shooting rampage. Maybe then you'll start to actually soften to some kind of change. Eh, who am I kidding ? None of you give a damn. The real question is how did so many guns get into the hands of criminals ? I think we should check UNcle Sam's hands for gun residue...

    April 12, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  10. William House

    It is shameful to use the deaths of those children to attack gun rights in America.

    April 12, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. Cooper

    That would be great if Murdock would go along with it...but I bet the all mighty buck will win out unfortunately.

    April 12, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  12. JT

    Yep, those pesky First and Second Amendments, thorns in the liberal's side!

    April 12, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. olkvgn

    It's time t o put the NRA in it's place and a good start would be to shut down it's sponsorship of events such as this one. To see NASCAR take a stand against the NRA woudl be a great step forward since our leaders can't do anything right.

    April 12, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  14. Joe Peterson

    Bye bye rights bye bye liberty I guess its time to die................... Lets squash the first amendment to kill the second....

    April 12, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  15. ottomedic51

    Like to know what they're smoking in Connecticut!!! As a Air Force Veteran, I served to protect everyone's rights, INCLUDING this M O R O N's right. While he's at it, why not protest all the alcohol that is drank and the cigarettes that are smoked during the days BEFORE the 2 days of races!! This is TEXAS, not Connecticut. Ppl say that NASCAR doesn't do things that a political but how many political candidates did they have a "guest" during last years races? More ppl are killed or injured because of drunk drivers than there are killed by guns. All I can say is "WELCOME TO TEXAS!!" and that goes to all of the guns and knife companies that are moving there business' here because of the "crazy" politicians who are going against the "rights" our fore fathers set forth for us. As they say at Texas Tech.."Guns UP!!"..

    April 12, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Va

    Has anyone else noticed that they have not mentioned that the awarding o revolvers has been a tradition of this race for a long time??

    April 12, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. rschier

    "That would be great if Murdock would go along with it...but I bet the all mighty buck will win out unfortunately."

    What would be "great" about it ? As much as I don't like MurdoCH (you can't even get his name right), this bozo is far off base to suggest suppression of free speech.

    April 12, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  18. Rosie

    Really, Simple solution do not watch the race, but for me I am a NASCAR fan and will watch my driver race. I fully enjoy NASCAR always have and always will. I suggest the Senator do not watch the NASCAR race. After all the race is in Texas.....

    April 12, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  19. v_mag

    There is a free speech issue here. All the teabaggers blogging here want to deny free speech to the senator simply because he doesn't agree with them. The senator didn't do anything to block Fox's right to side with the thug NRA. He merely said that broadcasting the race is inappropriate. That's his opinion and he has a right to express it.

    On the other hand, murder weapon toting teabaggers have a right to show their ignorance and cretinism on this blog, and I fully support that. In fact, I encourage them to, because it hastens the day when normal folks will fully understand just how Neanderthal they really are. Go ahead. Make utter fools of yourselves!

    April 12, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. John

    Senator Murphy is engaged is what is commonly referred to as "censorship". Because he doesn't like what the NRA has to say, he wishes to silence them and not allow them to speak to the American people.
    See? Once our government officials get in their head that they can take away ONE of our rights, they don't hesitate to start going after the others. Enjoy your First Amendment rights, for the short period of time left that you will have them.

    April 12, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  21. smokedupdroid

    Can you say, illegal censorship? You cannot tell the media what to do. I realize this is a request and not necessarily a demand but this Senator is trying to use his authority as a Congressman to get what he wants. Congressmen have no place dictating what WE THE PEOPLE choose to watch on TV or what is aired. It's called freedom of the press. If he wants to dictate TV programming he needs to start his own channel where he can spew his propaganda all day. But I doubt anyone would watch that while NASCAR is on. LOL!

    April 12, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  22. kentuckian

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut needs to mind his own business and retire from Government!

    Insane people don't belong in government.

    Lock up the insane, not firearms!

    April 12, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  23. Mike

    The NRA needs lessons in Public Relations. What a bunch of dolts.

    April 12, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  24. Hoagie58

    Hey, Qwety, don't know much about motorsports, do you? Guess what car Brad Keselowski drives? The #2 Miller Lite Chevy. Kevin Harvick? The #29 Budweiser car. By coincidence, Harvick won his first race of the season at Daytona: the BUDWEISER duel.

    April 12, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  25. Matt

    It doesn't really matter. This country was doomed to failure the moment the founding fathers decided everyone should be able to vote. Worst. Decision. Ever. Oh well. Hindsight is 20.20 I guess.

    April 12, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
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