Friday, April 07, 2006

NBC/NASCAR Story Goes National, NBC's Williams Responds

The controversy over “Dateline NBCs” decision to send a group of Muslims to Martinsville Speedway last weekend to document what they believed would be incidents of racial harrasment and intolerance has been picked-up by the so-called “mainstream media.” We had this story basically to ourselves for the first 48 hours, but now, the national media has gotten wind of the controversy, and NBC News is catching the kind of flak we hoped they might.

Last night on FOX News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” guest host Tony Snow talked with conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, who helped break the story early this week. Both Snow and Malkin made light of NBC's past news-related indiscretions, as well as questioning the network's journalistic integrity. Conservative icon Rush Limbaugh also took a swing at NBC on his nationally syndicated radio program yesterday. We'll have highlights of both discussions on today's show, you can hear Limbaugh's complete commentary by clicking here , and the Snow/Malkin conversation here.

And finally, we received an e-mail today from NBC Nightly News anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams, following up on a phone conversation earlier in the day. Williams, who is also a major NASCAR fan, wrote, "...this whole thing caught me by surprise, too. I learned about it the way everybody else the papers and on the web. While the whole thing sounds a little crazy to me, and while I sure hope they were planning to visit some OTHER venues, like basketball, baseball or football, I can only assume nobody was going to report anything bad about NASCAR fans, because they'd be saying bad things about me and people I know.

"The Dateline folks, by the way, say they are NOT doing a story on NASCAR, and apparently the stop at Martinsville was because it was a large venue, full of people. The President of NBC News, Steve Capus, is a major fan, and like me, still worships the #3 car and misses Dale (Earnhardt) every day. This puts me in a bit of a weird spot, but I wanted to be straight up with you and my fellow fans, especially after I started reading my name attached to this story. I hope I'm still welcome at various tracks this year, as my plan was to hit at least Talladega and the Bristol night race. Thanks for helping me air this out, and thanks for taking my call this morning. Please give my best to all your listeners, and I hope we're `clear high.'" -- Brian

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for printing that letter, Dave. I've always liked Williams in general and even more so since I found out what a fan of NASCAR he is.

    Good to hear his side of it since I was curious what he would think about the whole deal.

    Side note, I'd love for NASCAR to respond to this whole deal on their next NBC pre-race show and make it a point of pointing out NBC's track record of staging the news. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Right?