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. billmosby

    Exercising your first amendment rights will already get you killed if you say or write certain things, especially on the internet, especially if you do it from some location in the middle east. So it's a little late to depend on having rights.

    April 12, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Paul

    The gentleman (using the term loosely) should turn in his salary and retire to a nice comfy place like Iran or Moscow, or North Korea, or China. He should fit right in!

    April 12, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. Gary

    does it really surprise you that the NRA is sponsoring NASCAR? NASCAR? How about sponsoring a country music event? with televangelists? Klan rally? book burning? drag a minority from a truck day? .. just saying

    April 12, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. Fed up with lies

    Put a muzzle on Sr. Murphy. If he doesn't believe in free speech, he shouldn't have it.

    April 12, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. Matt

    It shouldn't be shown due to the fact it results in false advertising. It's FoxSports so why is NASCAR on it?

    April 12, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. Rick

    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). Kerwyn, are you aware that killing someone with a gun is preventable and getting cancer is not?

    April 12, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. 2012liberal

    12/14 is the date the newtown massacure happened. NRA planned this date after shooting. Just saying maybe show some repect. If i was a driver i wouldnt drive it. That would make a bigger statement 2 NRA. Jurt sad 2 b so blantently insensitive 2 those lost lives. More and more disgusted by this country all the time! And if i could leave i would. I hv told my children 2 get educ and get the F out of this country!

    April 12, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. Doug

    I can't remember who sponsored last week's race

    April 12, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. MissyT

    So, we can't watch a race, but Hollywood is okay with Saw, Massacre on whatever street and all the other violence and gore, but a race shouldn't be shown? Really? Where's the logic in that? Oh, grandstanding by a legislator you say.....oh you're right I didn't notice right away. LOL

    April 12, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. NDLily

    Every year the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association along with the insurance lobbying groups push for less accountability among hospitals and doctors for misdiagnosis and failure to provide care based on the inability of "clients" to come up with the ridiculously overblown rates for even simple procedures while the drug companies push for patent laws that make necessary medications too much for the average person to afford. YET we make none of these groups and their patrons responsible for the thousands if not millions of deaths they are responsible for every year by virtue of their greed. Talk about your double standards.

    April 12, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. plain&simple

    Does anyone take notice that the senator was justa asking the owner of fox to put up or shut up?

    April 12, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Keith Holt

    Maybe they will give the fans automatic rifles and encourage them to shoot the losers...

    April 12, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. morpheus1459

    What has that Senator been smoking? Granted the shooting was a horrible event,but don't group every person who stands behind the 2nd. amendment. Many folks support the 2nd. and they don't own firearms. As a Senator, who took an oath to uphold our freedoms, including the 2nd. amendment, I say shame on you !

    April 12, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. McRCN

    Why do Democrats have an issue with free speech? I am sure NASCAR would allow Sen Murphy or the Democrats to sponsor a race if they put their money where their mouth is.

    April 12, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. joeusavotes

    Senator we all miss the kids. It makes great press being all weepy on tv. I wish the parents would yell at you for not doing more to keep the crazy people in their neighborhoods from doing this instead of telling the rest of us what gun we should be able to own.

    April 12, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. Floyd from Illinois

    I see the Cons are making their usual straw man argument, trying to pretend that ASKING Murdoch not to air the NRA-sponsored event is the same thing as TRYING TO ORDER Murdoch not to air the event – then crticizing the fictional "ORDERING" canard which was never made.

    Sometimes I wonder if Cons even realize how irratinoal they souond.

    April 12, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. v_mag

    Fed up with lies said: "Put a muzzle on Sr. Murphy. If he doesn't believe in free speech, he shouldn't have it."
    _______________
    Typical rightie. You would deny the senator his right to free speech. Keep talking. That hole you're in is not deep enough yet.

    April 12, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  18. Dan

    I resigned membership from the NRA (payment plan Life Member) after Newtown. Finally understood what that organization is all about, and I'm ashamed to have ever been a member.

    Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the NRA was sponsoring a gun show on the other side!

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

    Murphy
    Lets take all TV shows off the air that have guns and killing.. While your at it better take all Church and Religous shows off TV on Sundays. That way Sen. Murphy you can just tell the world what we think and believe. What an IDIOT you are.

    April 12, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Desert Storm Vet

    Hey Senator, instead of wasting my tax dollars on your personal crusade against a NASCAR race, why don't you actually do what you are paid to do, WORK!

    April 12, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Gary

    the opposition of tougher gun laws is not about the constitution (although the NRA wants it's sheep to believe) its 100% money .. that's all there is to it. A freak could go shoot 1500 2 year olds with a legal gun and we would still be where we are now. We already had background checks (with no teeth) so what's the new background checks going to do. If you vote congress out (all 535) we will get closer to solving a lot of issues. Until then we are going to keep watching this play out .. its all about money 100%

    April 12, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. Dennis

    "The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate" Lets cut a deal then, NRA wont do NASCAR as long as the president isn't on TV, he only brings attention to one side of this heated debate.

    April 12, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. Desert Storm Vet

    Hey Senator, Why don't you actually do what you are supposed to do instead of wasting my tax dollars for your personal crusade against NASCAR and the NRA and WORK!!!

    April 12, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Richard

    Yes and politicians should stop accepting money from people or organizations who have different opinions than myself.

    April 12, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. CJ

    A democrat that wants to eliminate freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights is calling the NRA a radical organization? Bet he would not be saying that if they were fighting for 1st amendment rights. Or given that he is a senator – his 5th ammendement rights.

    April 12, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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