Connecticut senator to Rupert Murdoch: You should refuse to air the NASCAR race that the NRA's sponsoring

Think Murdoch will take his “advice,” knowing what the reaction would be among Fox News’s many, many gun-rights-supporting viewers?

Don’t mind Murphy. He’s a freshman from a very blue state where feelings are still understandably raw after Newtown, so apparently he’s decided that no anti-gun grandstanding opportunity is too cheap for him to use to try to raise his profile back home. Coming soon, presumably: Murphy calls on NASCAR to drop the N, R, and A’s from its name.

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 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…

“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.”

To give you a sense of how deep Murdoch’s own knowledge of guns runs, here’s what he posted the day after Newtown:

A common mistake among gun-control fans, but oh well. I can’t tell what Murphy’s problem is precisely from the excerpt. If the NRA’s a “radical organization,” who cares if the race is being run in the “immediate wake” of Newtown or not? Presumably he wants any NRA-sponsored event held at any time blacked out, right? And if he’s trying to muzzle the NRA, why not call on Murdoch and other publishers to refuse to run the group’s ads? If you want to lean on the press to ignore “unhelpful” groups and information — which the press is all too ready to do — then own it. Don’t limit yourself to some random NASCAR race, which smells like Murphy’s zeroing in on red-state culture for extra grandstanding points in CT. And what’s with the faux horror about, gasp, the live shooting of guns at the end of the race? I thought the standard liberal line was that, while the NRA may be guilty of murdering children, not all gun owners share culpability. Now, somehow, the mere act of recreational shooting is some sort of salt in America’s wounds? When does Murphy call for America’s gun ranges to be shuttered for awhile to show solidarity with the families?

But maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Murdoch complied. I read conservative complaints all the time that we need more righty media outlets, via right-wing VCs either buying existing media or building their own. If you’re serious about that, then liberal blackouts of conservative interests are inadvertently your friend. The more alienated righty viewers are, the more transparently captured by Democratic interests the networks are, the more of a market there’ll be for an alternative. It’s getting awfully transparent lately, and it’ll be more transparent if Murdoch folds. But he won’t.

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David Strom 12:31 PM on November 28, 2022