Saturday, April 4, 2009


The first part of the NASCAR season is televised by Fox. Many of the supplemental NASCAR programs appear on SPEED, which is owned by Fox. Fox is, of course, the pet channel of Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans. I assume that also makes Fox the preferred channel for most of NASCAR nation, which is also known to to lean toward the right politically. One of the issues conservatives take very much to heart is the Second Amendment, which they believe should be interpreted as all Americans' right to bear arms if they so choose. It so happens that although my political home is more toward the mushy middle, I love my guns and my constitutional right to have them.

Imagine my shock then when I heard on my Sirius radio that Johnny Benson's team, Red Horse Racing, part of NASCAR's Camping World Truck series, had been offered a sponsorship from a firearms manufacturer but that the deal fell through because Speed TV has a policy against advertising that promotes guns.

On the same show, another team owner (I didn't catch his name) called in to confirm this astonishing information. He too had once had a promising relationship with Glock until informed by SPEED, Fox and ABC that they would censor his vehicle if it appeared on the race track with Glock's logo on the side.

This comes at a critical time when team owners need all the help they can get with sponsorship? The caller said that Glock was pleased with their initial research about advertising via NASCAR. The exposure for each dollar invested was extremely high. They would certainly be happy to maintain that partnership, except for the prejudice against them on the part of television.

How can this possibly be, coming from a channel that doesn't hesitate to get on its high horse about any suggestion of liberal bias? This was the channel that fell at the feet of the moose-hunting Governor Palin. The one that adores iconic figures like Charlton Heston, actor and former head of the National Rifle Association.

And where is the N.R.A. anyway? Geez, they practically foam at the mouth over the merest mention of the mildest forms of gun control. Background checks? No way! Closing the gun show loop hole? Never! Banning assault weapons? Over our dead bodies! But, Fox and its sister network, censor legal advertising of legal weapons on race cars and you don't hear a peep out of them?

Where are all the rowdy, good old boy, gun-totin' rednecks who love huntin' and fishin' and beatin' and bangin'? Shouldn't they be protesting this outrageous decision on the part of Fox and SPEED (forget ABC - they are probably too far gone for salvation)? Shouldn't they be threatening to boycott Fox and Speed and flooding their corporate offices with indignant e-mails and contacting Rush Limbaugh to insist that Rupert and Fox and Speed grow a backbone? What the heck is wrong with these people anyway? Just when there is finally an issue on which I'd be ready to man the battlements with them, they wimp out on me?

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