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

    So the government is telling a tv station what it should or should not broadcast....and I should be OK with this.

    Doesn't this fall under Freedom of the Press, or Speech or something?

    April 12, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. v_mag

    Here's a prime example of why there should be extensive background checks:
    GunEnthusiast: "If gun owners were as 'blood thirsty' as you libtards claim, there wouldn't be any libtards left. It could be an option."
    So, this nitwit is threatening gun violence against Americans who have different political opinions. That threat is not covered by the First Amendment, and it is used to try and silence the exercise of the First Amendment. Yet more irony from the murder weapon crowd.

    April 12, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. matt

    i havent read one comment yet agreeing with senator murphy, so lets keep it going. dude, your an idiot. this is america we all have the right to agree and disagree, thats the basis for freedom. you are against the nra, dont watch the race. you are against guns dont own one. but please please please stop pushing your political agenda on everyone pretending to work on the problem. a gun on a table is not going to shoot kids, not even a load one. it takes a person to pull the trigger. all this time wasted on gun control. chris rock said it best we dont need gun control. we need bullet control. grow up murphy, your opinion on this subject assumes everyone in america agrees with you. i dont! i dont even like nascar, but guess which race im watching this weekend. moron!

    April 12, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Person of Interest

    You know what I love about the conservative base (and the liberal base)? They just love to pigeon hole people into one category or another. Above "GunEnthusiast" calls people libtards and says it could be an option to make sure there aren't any libtards left.

    I'm a moderate-liberal. I'm also an avid sport shooter and a veteran. I'm not a member of the NRA because it only likes working with gun owners like "GunEnthusiast" that have their heads up the GOPs... I took an oath to defend this country from threats both foreign and domestic so go for it stud, try to take some of us libtards out. I think you'll find a good majority of gun owners are moderates.

    Could we have a discussion one day in this country that involved something other than fearmongering and name calling?

    April 12, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. jim

    The NRA is a joke. This is coming from a person that hunts and shoots as a hobby.

    April 12, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. smithdp

    Gun owners are big on crying about how "their" rights are being violated, as if ANYONE is suggesting taking all guns away. I wonder if there should be a right to go to a movie, or to school or a rally without the fear that some idiot might be able to discharge dozens of rounds in just a few seconds.

    April 12, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. sjosephlee

    So let me get this straight... the best way to advance the debate over gun control is to silence and censor one side of the debate? Ohhhh... now I get it.

    April 12, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. hvfpaints

    Sorry Vmag but the senator was exercising his influence as a senator. As such, he is supposed to represent the people and clearly he wasn't. And now he is busted. And don't get me started on Murdock – his history is a real interesting read.

    April 12, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Az

    I could not be more ashamed of my native State for having elected such absolute chicken livered unthinking politicians as Murphy and Murphy.

    Let every Connecticut job that is related to the gun industry, gun hobby, gun collector be killed off and maybe then the political wuss factor will try applying creative thinking to find real solutions rather than offering ear candy to the masses.

    April 12, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. amazed@the duplicitousness


    I don't see the problem – as long as all of these slack-jawed inbreds are being entertained by loud noises and shiny cars they won't need to work off their Everclear induced buzzes by shooting at things. What's next, take away their aerosol cheese?
    I see "apostate" is refering to his family tree again.............. LOL

    I have a B.A. and M.B.A, a full time job, I dont drink and I cant eat cheese......oh and I live in NY....... so there goes your bigotted stereotype.

    April 12, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. v_mag

    Gun nuts - You have a right to express your ignorant opinions. You've been doing it all day, right here. Nobody is stopping you, just like nobody is stopping Faux TV from broadcasting NASCAR races. But you don't have a right to threaten anyone, although many have done so on this blog.

    Sen. Murphy has a right to express his opinion, and I can express mine. Mine is that all you clowns belong in a looney bin or jail. But it's been a hoot reading your uneducated ramblings!

    And just for the record, I'm a Vietnam era vet from Texas, and I own a shotgun. I'm just not obsessed by gun lust and paranoia.

    April 12, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. ForsakenPoptart

    I like that everyone here is howling about how the government has no right to censor the race, and that the big scary government is trampling their rights. Did any of you take a moment to read the actual article? Murphy wrote a letter asking Murdoch not to air the race. Not once in that letter did he mention legal action, legislation, or any sort of punitive measures. A person voicing their opinion is still considered free speech, even if that person is in elected office. Nobody is going to censor this race, the letter was just an opinion piece.

    Of course, the folks that are freaking out about a lawmakers opinion are the same people that think 'universal background checks' mean 'total confiscation of everything that goes bang'.

    April 12, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Roger

    The gun toting population has been acting so childishly that they have made a laughing stock of themselves.
    They have been misguided by the NRA lobby so much that they don't even realize that no one is talking about guns here – which will not be affected – what will be affected is military style automatic weapons.
    Now if you've a problem with that, tomorrow you'll claim that the Howitzer in a tank is a gun too and you need that too – where does it stop?

    April 12, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. hvfpaints

    Obamasuppoerter – that tired old lame excuse isn't cutting it any more. Like an old LP with a skip....

    April 12, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. lolo

    @ Paul stopp telling lies. Dubya is dumb as they come. At least Obama cares about people of all races. Unlike you and your GOP/TP KKKKlan. Get real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Quit telling your padres that they are coming for their guns also, because that is a big lie, but when you are dealing with one-toothers they believe any and everything and it does not take much to sway them.

    April 12, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. mike

    Join the NRA today.... and throw in a few extra bucks.
    Oh yea.... it's your right to own a gun and a "priviledge" to have a drivers license here in USA. Be careful not to lose that right. Protect the 2nd amendment.Your right to bear arms. Start enforcing the existing laws..........

    April 12, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. weimardog

    I love the idea that the NRA is sponsoring this race. They know how to reach a lot of their members. Anyone, who does not like the NRA's message and does not want to hear anything they have to say can switch over and watch KILL BILL 1, 2 and 3. Maybe they can find a positive message there.

    April 12, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. only10

    v_mag, said " Clearly, the senator expressed an opinion, which is his First Amendment right, so how is that in any way anti-First Amendment?"
    Your right that is his first amendment right to say, Just like it's the NRA's right so say what it wants. Censoring an event from the media because you don't like the message is a huge step. You cant have it both ways just because you don't like what one side is saying.
    Just because a person exersizes his (or hers) LEGAL right to the 1st and 2nd amendments does not make them criminals, or demonstrate "mental impairment".
    Our forfathers wrote the bill of rights to protect the people of america from the goverment. It's a shame that it doesn't protect us from over reactionary zelots.

    April 12, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    that French tickler LA PIERRE OUGHT TO put his head where his brains are up his derriere-then say goodbye cruel world and kiss his ass godbye

    April 12, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Libdumb

    I think a Liberal should be strapped on each of the bumpers of the NASCAR cars to provide a cushion to protect these true American drivers.

    April 12, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Boytjie


    The "well regulated" part refers to militias. Those are already well regulated. There is a period after that sentence which is a separate thought from the second part of the amendment which states that the right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed. Amendments can have different things mentioned in them. Like the 6th amendment which guarantees your right to an attorney and speedy trial in a criminal trial.
    Have you actually read the Second Amendment? There is only ONE period, at the end of the single sentence that makes up the amendment.
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    April 12, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Rickey Spallone

    Maybe the next Super Bowl should be the 'ACLU Super Bowl'! That wouldn't upset anyone would it? I wish politics and their lobbies would STAY OUT OF MY SPORTS!!!

    April 12, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Marcus Takatoa

    What I think is inappropriate is Obama using the parents of the victims in order to try and pass laws that wouldn't have done a thing for their kids.

    April 12, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Jeff

    You all forgot, it's ALL ABOUT Newton, Connecticut now... I feel bad for what happened there, but this guy is pushing is agenda and everyone is tired of it. Go back in your hole and do some real work, like trying to figure out how to decrease the homeless population in your state.

    April 12, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Ray Barnes

    I'm not even a Nascar fan but I'm going to watch this race. Thanks for letting me about it Senator Murphy!

    April 12, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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