I spoke this afternoon with Ramsey Poston, managing director of corporate communications at NASCAR. He’s on his way down to Texas for the NASCAR race this weekend, and he responded to NBC Dateline’s undercover Muslim stings, which I first reported on yesterday morning.
“This is outrageous for a news organization with the reputation of NBC to stoop to the level of attempting to create news instead of reporting it. Any legitimate journalist should be ashamed.”
Poston told me NASCAR contacted NBC, which confirmed they are doing the story (also reported here yesterday).
“It’s hard to even call it journalism,” Poston told me. I asked him why he thought NBC was targeting NASCAR fans for the racism sting. Poston vigorously defended the NASCAR fan base as “diverse, from every background in America.”
Poston expressed dismay at NBC’s “attempt to provoke a reaction from our fans” and said his organization was “confident they would not fall for it.”
The mainstream media can’t ignore NBC’s news-staging anymore. The Associated Press follows the story here.
NASCAR said it was “outrageous” that “Dateline NBC” targeted one of its race tracks last weekend for a possible segment on anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.
NASCAR said NBC confirmed it was sending Muslim-looking men to a race, along with a camera crew to film fans’ reactions. The NBC crew was “apparently on site in Martinsville, Va., walked around and no one bothered them,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday.
Lookee here: MSNBC is carrying the AP report.
Reader Woody B. was in Martinsville last weekend and e-mails:
I was at the race in Martinsville, VA on April 2. I noticed a Muslim man with two apparent Muslim women roaming the grounds before the race. He was wearing the traditional head wear and they wear dressed in traditional female Muslim garb. They never seemed to be going anywhere in particular. To the credit of Nascar fans, I never did see someone do so much as a double take at their presence. Please keep us informed.
Reader Jerry W. shares observations about why Dateline may think it will improve its chances of entrapment in Texas this weekend vs. the Martinsville track:
When you compare the two tracks, from Dateline’s viewpoint, moving the filming to Texas makes sense. Martinsville is a older, much smaller track with a seating capacity of around 63,000 and no infield area for the fans. At most tracks where NASCAR races are held, the infield is used by RVs who park there for the weekend. The people who pay to stay there watch the race from the roof of their vehicle, but mostly party. Since most infield crowds are on the rowdy side, this would be a logical area for Dateline to film people’s reaction to Arabic-looking fans. Since Martinsville doesn’t offer this, all the filming would have to be in the stands where it’s pretty much like any other major sporting event.
The Texas track is much larger, with grandstand seating for over 140,000 and sufficient room in the infield for by the track’s estimate 53,000 more people. The track promises to be, if not completely sold out by race day, at least extremely close to it. Much easier to find someone willing to react “suitably” for Dateline with that size crowd, plus the added “bonus” of finding such behavior in the President’s home state.
Chris S. was also at the Martinsville race last weekend. He didn’t see the ringers, but he did share this:
[M]y wife and I attended last weekend’s NASCAR race in Martinsville, and had a wonderful time. But if NBC wants to guarantee they get a negative reaction to their “plant”, all they need to do is put him in a Jeff Gordon t-shirt. The Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans will be sure to give him a rough time! His fans are definitely the most vocal of them all.
Just received this e-mail from Daniell M.:
I am a BLACK MAN …who has been going to NASCAR for many many years. I was at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Martinsville, VA. I had a great time like I have for many years. Tell NBC to blow it out their small empty brains.
Reader Steve B. proposes the best way to tick off NASCAR fans:
“Wear an NBC t-shirt.”