Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NBC Stabbing The Back Of NASCAR

Michelle Malkin covered the story, and it drew a rare long article from (Evil) Glenn Reynolds, and I'm sure Wyatt, as a fellow NASCAR fan will be up in arms about this. Here's the skinny.

NBC is wanting to do an article for Dateline about Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab discrimination that happens in the states. Their preferred stage? NASCAR. The sport that has steadily increased in viewers from very much a regional event, to people driving thousands of miles for a race, and packing stands and infields with hundreds of thousands of fans, with millions watching live on television (37 million watched the 2006 Daytona 500). NBC recently signed a $4.5 BILLION contract to broadcast the NASCAR season with the opening race, The Daytona 500, and from July through the end of the season in November, and now they are wanting to try to show NASCAR fans as racists as soon as this weekend.

"They want to do the same thing 2 or 3 other times (in various parts of the USA) with one or two Muslim men in each setting. They are looking for men who actually "look Muslim". They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming. ...That said, I'm urgently looking for someone who can be filmed this April 1st weekend at a Nascar event (and other smaller events) in Virginia. NBC is willing to fly in someone and cover their weekend expenses. The filming would take place all day on Saturday and Sunday."

This story could potentially destroy some of NASCAR's budding fan base who would leave the sport afraid to be associated with a "racist" sport. Not to mention the money that would be lost from sponsors who would duck out again, afraid to appear in support of racism. Then the money would trickle down to the drivers. It's already hard enough to get sponsorships to cover the $20-30 million cost per team of running the season in the Nextel Cup. Multiply that by the 43 drivers at each event, and the drivers could potentially lose around $1 billion. Combine that with the fact that NBC's contract ends without renewal after this season, and that's one hell of a going away present.

NASCAR has spent the past decade or so trying to gain more followers of different ethnic backgrounds. Just a couple weeks ago a Black American driver competed in the Nextel Cup for the first time since I think the 70's. On top of that, Kodak's Drive For Diversity has the budding Joe Henderson III coming up through the ranks. I watched him race at what is now the Music City Motorplex. And he was a good driver, it just seemed like he always got caught up in other people's messes, ruining a great finish.

The original event was supposed to be April 1st in Martinsville, but it was pushed back to this weekend, at Texas Motor Speedway. I will say this about the man who wrote the e-mail, Terek El-Messidi. In a past article this was said:
"Mr. Messidi says that he considered Brotherhood ideology and strategy to be irrelevant in the U.S., and banned it being taught within the MSA."

Mr. Messidi, I don't like the fact that you're going to try to paint NASCAR as a racist organization, and would rather you do it on the streets of a city. However I do appreciate the banning of extremist Muslim teaching at UTK.