Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
10 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. RealTeaMan

    Why doesn't the NRA just shoot some kids at the end of the race? That is the rseult of their lobbying to not jave any gun laws and no enforcement of any that exist. At least then people could see they are culpable.

    April 11, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  2. ak_steve

    The NRA is a lobbyist group turned name brand. Though it is usually the other way around... name brands become lobbyist. Either way they are all corrupt as the politicians they buy off. And Americans (and our children) suffer because of it.

    America is no longer a country, We are a brand. And I fear we are going out of style.

    April 11, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. anthony

    i think Sen. Chris Murphy needs to worry about more important things than besides what nascar is can have all the gun control, etc. u wont to but its still not going to stop someone from getting shot.... just look at chicago which has the toughest gun laws in the us and they had more murders last year than anywhere in the us... people who break the law dont care about your gun laws....

    April 12, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  4. G tech

    Who do you think NASCAR's demogragraphic is? Beer drinking, tobacco smoking firearm loving Americans. And yes I'm one of them. Left turn, Left turn, Left turn, Left turn, Left Turn...............

    April 12, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  5. Thomas

    Texas , Gov Rick Perry is going to show us how to shoot and drive at the same time !

    Gun's , God and Gasoline !

    April 12, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  6. Getoverit

    " The National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race slated for this weekend is “inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre,” Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut wrote to the race’s broadcaster on Thursday."
    Really? So now the NRA is somehow responsible for Newtown? Wow! The liberals have ramped up the BS rhetoric to new heights. Get a life!

    April 12, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  7. Larry L

    Senator... you're asking Rupert Murdoch to "do the right thing"... You're only giving the race free pubicity so the mindless, drunken, radical fans can watch the cars go in a circle... hoping and praying for a wreck.

    April 12, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  8. Texasaaa

    Air it!

    April 12, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  9. Opinion8iit

    NASCAR and guns..... figures

    April 12, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  10. irememberallthelies

    Wow this is so sad. They pulled sons of guns off discover, go nuts when a 5 year old bites a pop tart and it remotely looks like a crude weapon, and now this mess I was taught about gun safety and was a military brat. I knew where my dads guns were but respected them. The nra does teach gun safety. They do not promote shooting anyone unless they want to kill you. If this guy is upset he should also send a letter to every tv show with a gun in it, and almost all of rhem do these days. Also he should include his favorite actors, the news, toys, transformers, some of his kids cartoon, and lastly cnn for alwaus talking about guns most of the time with bogus facts. So that is my solution, or better yet he can just not watch the race.

    April 12, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  11. Yanni

    Rupert Murdoch is a notorious business man doesn't care much about society or the death of few innocents children but people should

    April 12, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  12. Tea party

    Uh cant the people just not watch. Oh no some washington politiction knows whats better for me than i do. Wake up people u have the power not some beaurcrat.

    April 12, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  13. bigdoglv

    I think its time to stop blaming the NRA for our society turning into a cesspool.

    April 12, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  14. Concerned

    "It also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," he claims as evidence not to broadcast the race. Since when is it immoral or distasteful to watch someone simply shoot a gun? A revolver at that. And these are the guys that are claiming they're "protecting your 2nd Amendment rights" with current attempts at legislation? Ahem, not convinced. In addition, why the heck is a senator trying to sensor sports media? Sen. Murphy sounds like a real freedom lover.

    April 12, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  15. Michaela

    Shut up! You know NOTHING about how NASCAR works! They aren't going to listen to you, loser!!

    April 12, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  16. A Kickin` Donkey

    Touche` Senator. The easiest way to defeat a rightwinger is to flip their nasty, hateful, vituperative language on them. Let`s see some of that "BOLD LEADERSHIP" Murdoch. Put up or shut up!

    April 12, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  17. Al

    So in other words, he wants to attack and demonize the opposition. He doesn't want a debate, he just wants the other side to shut up. That seems to be the modus operandi from certain people in Washington these days; if you can't beat em' just smear and demonize them. The NRA is the only thing preventing these whack jobs in government from passing more poorly thought out, knee jerk reaction laws. I don't even like NASCAR, but I may watch this race now just out of spite.

    April 12, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  18. Homer Simpson

    Sorry, money trumps ideaology every time, these are not good people, just because your rich, does not mean your a good person, first indicator your not.

    April 12, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  19. wwf

    You expect the NRA to care about anything but their own interests? What a joke. If they can make a buck off of a mass shooting, they will do it.

    April 12, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  20. Surprised

    Shall we cancel all programs that have advertisements for Planned Parenthood? They kill innocent babies, too. That doesn't matter though.

    April 12, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  21. Hopey Changey

    Nice work senator. Why don't you just submit a bill to outlaw thIngs you don't agree with. Full On censorship. We know that's what you really want. What books do you recommend we burn??

    April 12, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  22. Doug

    You are kidding, right?

    April 12, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  23. j791

    Here's the problem, gun owners already think the government is going to take their guns and has too much power. Now you have a senator proving their point by using his influence to attack an NRA sponsored racing event.

    April 12, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  24. bobnc

    No guns laws going to stop killers, they talk about background checks. Why aren't we talking about prison terms or executions if you kill some during a commission of a crimes, prison terms (no deal) if you use a gun. Make prison and prison and not some place you want to return to. Once convict, prisoner should lose all rights no tv, must work, or lock in cells for 23 hours a day. If they cause problems shoot them.

    Mental illness, not being address. more guns will do nothing in the end.

    April 12, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  25. bobby

    Why?..because they see a different side to the issue? Many of us know that gun control will not make a difference.
    Where is the logic and facts. In both England and Austrailia violent crime has risen to huge levels since gun control.

    April 12, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
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