Sunday, May 30, 2010

NASCAR's Conflicting Media Morality Issues

This week, emails arrived on two very different topics. First, the folks at Showtime were promoting the fact that Richard Petty was going to be the featured guest on Inside NASCAR. They also wanted to make sure and remind us that the scanner audio used on the show was uncensored.

Secondly, the Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the line-up of dignitaries for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. The invocation before the race will be delivered by none other than Dr. James Dobson, pictured above. Dobson is the founder of the non-profit Focus on the Family organization. He was called "the nation's most influential evangelical leader" by Time magazine.

Shortly after Showtime posted a video "teaser" of Petty's exclusive Inside NASCAR interview online, the fan anger started again. It centers around the fact that NASCAR fans must subscribe to Showtime just to see this one TV series. There are some rather compelling reasons to discuss that topic.

Dobson fits into the conservative slice of the NASCAR pie, but pushes the envelope with his hardline views on issues like child discipline, religious tolerance and homosexuality. Dobson attracts religious controversy like a magnet.

Inside NASCAR was the first time a TV series was produced by the NASCAR Media Group for a premium network. "Partnering with a brand such as Showtime for a high-end weekly NASCAR magazine news show in primetime is big news for our fans going into a brand new season," said NMG executive Jay Abraham back in January.

Among the other Showtime series is The Secret Diary of a Call Girl that follows the adventures of a high-priced London escort. A reality show called The Real L Word is new this season. It documents the lives of successful lesbians who live in the Los Angeles area. Series like Dexter, the Tudors and Californication are quite familiar to Showtime viewers for a lot more than just catchy titles.

Asking fans to sign-up for Showtime just to see Inside NASCAR avoids the entire issue of adult-oriented programs, including those based on homosexual themes, being on the very same channel. You can't order Inside NASCAR without Family Business being delivered as well.

Dobson also co-founded the Family Research Council back in the 1980's with a man named George Rekers. Many considered Rekers, Dobson and a Colorado pastor named Ted Haggard to be the leading anti-gay activists in the country for years. Then, things changed. Click here to read an article about Rekers and a recent vacation.

It was back in 2006 when the married Haggard admitted to a multi-year homosexual relationship with a male prostitute. He then resigned as the national leader of the evangelical movement. Rekers also resigned but denies he is gay, despite the fact that his vacation companion was hired through a website featuring gay escorts. Haggard now says he is "cured" of his homosexuality and is growing a new Christian ministry in Colorado with his wife.

Showtime's email reminder to the media after last weekend's race was that moments like Kyle Busch calling Denny Hamlin a motherf***er over the team radio could be heard on the Wednesday Inside NASCAR show.

Chris Myers, Brad Daugherty, Randy Pemberton and Michael Waltrip may be the faces on camera, but uncensored scanner traffic is now an important part of the program. Profanity on cable TV to promote stock car racing. That's a new concept.

Smack dab in the middle of this muddled morality mess sits NASCAR.

Dobson in Charlotte surrounded by military heroes on Memorial Day weekend while leading NASCAR fans in prayer on national TV is a de facto stamp of approval by the sport for his teachings and beliefs.

Kyle Busch's profanity-laced tirade and other adult language from teams and drivers is now routinely heard in a TV series being produced by NASCAR at the Hall of Fame studios in Charlotte, NC.

Inside NASCAR is on a TV network that also currently features Zack and Miri Make a Porno, The 2010 Adult Video News Awards and Busty Cops Go Hawaiian.

The late Rev. Hal Marchman used to end the Daytona 500 invocation with the words "Shalom and Amen." Although Marchman was a Baptist, he often said that he tried to accommodate all faiths. "I don't ever pray a Baptist prayer or a Catholic prayer -- we're all God's children," Marchman said.

It should be interesting to hear Dobson's invocation on Sunday and then watch Inside NASCAR on Wednesday. Unless Dobson chooses to spice things up quite a bit, he does not stand a chance of making Showtime's NASCAR highlights.

We welcome your comments on the topics above. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Rainy/Jimi/J.C. said...

I'm not certain who makes the decisions as to whom will become a "dignitary" at nascar events, but I AM sure that they are self-serving and greatly misguided. Misguided by WHAT I am also unsure, with the exception of $$$$$'s. I rail after the National Anthem at the mindlessness of some "stars" rendition of our Star Spangled Banner. Its beyond me what passes for talent these days but for the past 5 years, the honoree has *usually* been one who is pushing an album (CD) or is on tour, and their rendition of our Nations song leaves me furious. Our National Anthem is SUPPOSED to be sung or performed with pride and diligence, and certainly NOT as the honorees' own style and form. I am all for individuality but....thats for a show/concert/album/etc. and NOT to honor our United States. It seems to me that since the "coronation" of Brian France, this Hollywood style abomination has proliferated. Is it any wonder that when I see our nations colors presented, I watch, then listen to the invocation, and immediately after such, I head to the restroom?

Richard in N.C. said...

The great thing is that we live in a country where someone can alter the Anthem to impart their style and fans can like or dislike it - and no one gets shot. A lot of blood has been spilled to protect those rights.

The Varsity Planet said...

Very nicely said, J.C.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Well, well, well. Morality is in the hot topic. Well, it is beyond me that NASCAR isn't doing anything about this. I thought that this is a family friendly sport, but I guess I was raised wrong. Now, I don't mind that drivers show emotion, but what he did calling him a motherf---er is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

bevo said...

Sure am glad I don't have to deal with all of the email you will after this JD!

The whole thing with Dobson is pretty much a Bruton and Marcus Smith issue. The promoters hire the entertainment. Aside from all of the other issues it raises the Smiths have violated the first rule of business - don't alienate customers. Another case of how Bruton has lost his way without Humpy Wheeler around.

The Showtime issue is still the same for me. If you want it, pay for it. You don't have to watch everything else on the channel. I personally don't care for anything on Fox except for The Family Guy since they canceled Arrested Development but I still watch the races. I believe that Rupert Murdoch is one of the most vile humans on the planet but I still watch Fox Sports. I can't think of any business or institution that is without some sort of moral shortcoming. That's life.

IronEagle said...

No affiliation here fyi. I mourned the loss of Speed's This Week in NASCAR. After watching Showtime's Inside NASCAR I have to say I have been very impressed and consider this TWIN reincarnated! Yet this show has better pacing, tighter more concise dialog, some great HD race reviews/footage, better production quality and yes some exciting profane scanner chat!

I have never listened to scanners at the racetrack but next time I attend an event i'll have my radio! I thought that the polished corporate spokesman side of the drivers would be on the radio! Yet from what I have heard on Showtime it adds a whole new dimension to the drivers and how they communicate with their teams. It is great.

As far as costs well I think it is worth it.I am with DirecTV and ShowtimeHD/Showtime2/Showtime3 is only $12.95 a month. I have gotten $5 off a month until November 2010 that's only $7.95 a month, only $1.98 per episode of Inside NASCAR! I have no other pay channels and feel this is a real bargain! I don't watch any of the other shows on Showtime and may see a couple of movies a month that i'll record on the DVR. Let Speed and ESPN have the vanilla interviews saying "blah blah ran good today thanks to the guys". You have to see this show if you were a TWIN fan!

Sally said...

Interesting that, in it's drive to attract more viewers and it's 'diversity' programs, Nascar still seems to actively support conservative and right wing ideals. It would seem that avoiding overt support of any particular political or religious slant would be a wiser choice. They had no problem discouraging showing the rebel flag around the tracks, yet they choose someone as controversial as this to say the prayer? Politics and religion aren't supposed to be topics for converstaion in polite company. Maybe Nascar didn't get the memo.

Vicky D said...

I happened to watch the Nascar show for a few minutes the other night and could not believe the radio transmission. I think the producer should bleep out some of the words but on one, it just went on and on. I turned the channel I did not want to listen to that any longer. I would like to see Joel Osteen saying the pre-race prayer - he's got great messages that I think Nascar folks would find them powerful. Like JC said some of these folks who sing the National Anthem and some have even forgotten the words. How hard can it be to bring a college or even high school band to do it instead of these folks who are trying to sell cd's? I found your story of those others very interesting I had not heard that before.

Palmetto said...

The broadcasters could drop the prayer and anthem for all I care. When the anthem is no longer broadcast, record companies will no longer compete to have their 'talent' screech before a national audience.

If nothing else, go back to the drivers getting in their cars before these two activities, instead of wasting time getting in afterward.

Are there really enough people interested in a single show to subscribe Showtime to get it? For the same price a fan could subscribe to TrackPass and get the scanner feeds live instead of delayed three days.

Chadderbox said...

I have Direct TV and I do not subscribe to Showtime, and I will not subscribe to Showtime just to see Inside Nascar. I am basically able to get my fill of weekly nascar happenings with Race Hub and Nascar Now, therefore I am not familiar with the format of Inside Nascar. My question is this...does Inside Nascar usually show the Invocation from the past weeks race? If they do, then it seems they would show the Dobson Invocation during the weekly race highlights. Its my opinion that Showtime as a network would be able to have a wide variety of programming which would include their "alternative" and Gay lifestyle programs and Nascar programming, which may or may not have a conservative message. If the Nascar Media group produces Inside Nascar aren't they ultimately the ones responsible for what appears on the program? Having been a fan of Nascar for over 30 years, and one who goes to 3 races a year, I am personally not surprised to hear that Dobson will give the Invocation as I have always thought of Nascar as conservative leaning. But, I will admit I do not know that much about Dobson's beliefs on gay issues and alternative lifestyles.

Rockin Rich said...

Re: controversies around Showtime content, having to pay to see NASCAR personalities, "stamp of approval", etc. —

Seems to me that maybe we might also ask why a NASCAR moral leader who happens be an alcoholic-beverage-sponsor rejecting team owner would agree to be seen on a network channel known for its adult content.

Judging by the posts on this forum, it appears that many people are upset that they have to pay to see NASCAR programming on a channel that they say disgusts them. The NASCAR personalities that appear on this channel are fully aware of its content. Perhaps it is time we ask of them why they choose to act somewhat as "enablers" for attracting viewers to this channel many dislike. While we are at it, maybe we should ask ourselves why we are so anxious to be fans of NASCAR people that choose to put themselves in this environment.

I am not pointing a morals criticizing finger at Richard Petty here. I am a fan and admirer of his accomplishments over the years. I think he is a genuine human being. Being human, he also makes choices that I, and others, don't agree with. I hate that he allowed the virtual destruction of his organization by selling out to Gillette. I am not not particularly worked up about him appearing on Showtime. It kind of goes along with the thinking that led to the Gillette acquiescence. I am still a fan.

I am also not worked up about having to pay to see NASCAR on Showtime. I get plenty of information about, and see enough NASCAR programming that not seeing the Showtime pieces doesn't bother me. I can easily get my NASCAR "fix" without it.

As far as Showtime itself, that is one of the freedoms that this Memorial Day reminds me of. It is there because we have those freedoms. We all are also free to view it or not.

Of course, my lack of interest in Showtime my stem from the fact that I prefer to "participate" rather than "spectate". Just sayin.

51 yr. fan said...

It's not only Showtime that features the trashmouth. Other
presentations of the KB tirade
played enough before the "beep"
for everyone to know the word.
All sports now want to have the
background included for the aesthetics but all you get is
trash talk. I heard a players
outburst on MLB this week. Who
would want to take their kids to
these venues?

God bless our troops.

Anonymous said...

For nascar, it's all about perception and money. They try to portray themselves as a family enterprise, but money has (and will)trumped values everytime. The purpose of the nascar's Anthem is not to honor our country and military service men and women, but to schmooze the "artist". Sometimes we get a wonderful rendition, but that's just being lucky. I can think of only one thing that will correct the bad singing - the fans should boo the singer. You would hope the embarrassment to nascar would rectify the situation, but the term "Let them eat cake", comes too easily to mind.

My guess JD is that you are a socialist for not wanting the great Dr. Dobson and not having the wish that nascar go after showtime for the money.

red said...

i have questions: who/what group within nascar corporate makes the decision as to anthem performers and invocation speakers? is it, in fact, nascar at all or is it the track management? is the race sponsor involved in the decision? if the decision is made somewhere other than nascar corporate, does nascar have final approval?

this is one of those areas where i feel that i just don't have enough solid information to be able to agree that having dobson do the invocation is a "stamp of approval" of his positions by nascar.

as for showtime: if one is paying for showtime, one presumably understands and accepts the nature of the programming carried on that channel. is there a disconnect between the "family friendly" nascar promoted by the sport & the adult language laden radio transmissions? perhaps. but it's always been that way. the difference is: fans weren't as aware of it as they are curently or, if they were, they weren't as bent out of shape about it. nascar was not a "big time" sport back in the day so some behaviors and language that were commonplace were just part of the sport. in this day of BIG sponsor $$, the face of the sport may have changed -- but the emotions that come & are expressed when racing at high speeds in close quarters remain the same. and the langauge reflects that.

is it hypocritical of nascar to mandate "clean language" on the race broadcast and in victory lane but then support the creation of the showtime program? nah. it's just another way to extend the brand. fans can opt in or out to either end of this.

and two non-media notes:
1. please take a few moments this weekend to really think about what our veterans have done and are doing on our behalf. if you can, stand on the sidewalk as the memorial day parade passes and support those marching.
2. jd, are you staying with the petty blue background? i recall when/why you began using it but i'm just curious.

Nan S said...

Dobson and religious tolerance should never be used in the same sentence. He is an intolerant man who spreads prejudice and hatred. Its a shame they are choosing him. I will be watching F1 and Indy. I guess I will pick up the 600 after its in action since then I will avoid this person and his bad agenda.

Anonymous said...

Just another glaring example of how the powers at be will try anything to get ratings except providing decent race coverage and announcers that don't annoy you to the ninth degree (see the Waltrips and Kenny Wallace for examples of competly annoying announcers)

I read an article yesterday that talked about fans not being able to identify with their favorite driver easily because they can't find them on the track because of the revolving sponsers on the cars. What are fans supposed to do, buy 5 different jackets at $300 a pop and then some how figure out which sponsor is on the hood the week they go to the track??? I am sure that sounds great in the marketing and sovenier sales meeting but it aint going to happen for most people. Ohh the "most people" are they ones no longer watching on TV or going the tracks.

With race coverage the way it is a person has no chance to find their favorite driver as the paint scheme is always different, and i their driver isn't one of the five TV wants to talk about that week, the car is only shown from some weird angle for 3 seconds a race.

This are some of the reasons I quit watching the races...

Anonymous said...

i have no problem with a nascar show on showtime - no one is mandated to buy showtime - and nascar has no obligation to insure ever bit of nascar tv is available to everyone - showtime is a premium pay channel, speed is a premium pay channel, espn is a pay channel, and that is the way it is - for me there is more nascar tv available then ever - and nascar should be praised for that - sure is wou;ld be a great world if the showtime show could be seen by all - no different then the all star race on spped - shure you get more motorsports value if you buy speed and less if you buy showtime

Unknown said...

As a consumer, a person should know what they are buying. Showtime is not SPEED Channel, and has never claimed to be. Showtime has the right to air whatever programs they want, just as viewers have the right not to watch them or subscribe to the channel. While the decision to air Inside NASCAR on Showtime was probably money driven, fans still have the choice whether they want to subscribe or not.

As for the language of the competitors, they shouldn't have to censor themselves. I understand that the sport is advertised and family friendly. The expectation that the drivers are squeaky clean comes from the vanilla robots that mention sponsors names in every interview. I keep reading that fans want them to be less vanilla and have more personality. That's what you are getting with the scanner audio.

Go to your local track and hang out in the pits. Not everyone is going to be saying please and be on their best behavior. While some polishing should be expected as drivers move up the ranks, what has become comfortable to them may not change when there is a surge of emotion.

Get over it! The drivers are going to cuss. If you don't like it, don't listen. No one is making you.

Besides, it's usually the ones that have the most to hide that scream the loudest and say other people should change their behaviors.

As a note, Hendrick Motorsports,
at least on the 48's scanner, plays a legal disclaimer before the race saying that you might hear foul language.

West Coast Diane said...

I'm with "red". I was under the impression that the track was responsible for pre race events. Which leads to "red's" next question, does NASCAR have approval rights?

I find myself watching less and less of NASCAR shows or FF'ing thru ones I do watch. I am in information overload. I noticed I am even reading less on the internet. There are days when I check Jayski and just read the article headlines and never click to read. Definitely not paying for a channel to watch one show.

Definitely the singing of the National Anthem needs to be fixed. It is a shame they let singers do their own thing.

Regading Dobson. For a 2 minute prayer, unless he includes something provocative, not sure I care one way or the other. We don't know the views of the other invocation givers because most of them aren't famous. To draw the conclusion that because Dobson is delivering the prayer means all involved in NASCAR are anti-gay is a bit of a stretch.

Like I said, I'm finding myself on information overload and the dissecting of every little component that makes up a race. I gave up MLB, NBA & the NFL many years ago. Racing (except for my husband's :-)) may be next.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Fans are upset as we have reported several times this season that TWIN was cancelled and SPEED inserted an amateur talent contest.

The perception that TWIN "moved" to Showtime is one that the network has addressed several times on the "Inside NASCAR" Facebook page.

What fans want is access to their sport. Asking them to subscibe to an adult-oriented cable network simply to see a one hour weekly series is an issue and one we are debating.

In terms of profanity, I would respectfully point out that there is a big difference between saying words on a team radio during the heat of the moment and then having those words repeated over and over again on national TV for days.


Not too sure you can cut it that thin. What fans are going to see on TV is not explained as being arranged by the track or directly by NASCAR.

In regard to Dobson, you comments are very clearly from a heterosexual point of view. What happens to fans who are gay or those who are not members of a Christian-based religion?

I would suggest that perhaps their perception of the situation would not exactly match the one you offered.

As I tried to point out in the column, it is important for NASCAR to include rather than exclude with it's public actions.


Anonymous said...

At least we live in a country where we have a CHOICE to watch or not to watch a program. If you don't like it, don't tune in.

Just because a program contains "adult-content" doesn't make it a bad program.

Showtime has great "Original" programming. You forgot to mention the Emmy Award winning series WEEDS. I don't smoke marijuana and this show won't change my mind. It is just a great show.

Again, if it offends you, don't subscribe or watch.

BUT, don't tell many of us who like their programming something is wrong with it or US.

Again, if it offends YOU - don't watch.

Chadderbox said...

I definitely do not fall into the category of one who is upset that they would have to pay extra in order to see Inside Nascar on Showtime. Being one who attends three races a year out of state from where I live, I pay a high price to attend those races (tickets, hotels, etc.). So I do not mind paying for what I want.

It seems to me that The Nascar Media group (or whoever the powers that be in Nascar) who opted to move onto the Showtime Network let the fans down because this show (Inside Nascar) could have been on Speed Network. I am sure many fans of Nascar already have this channel. If I am wrong about this let me know.

10 or 15 years ago I most likely would have ordered Showtime because there was not that much Nascar on TV during the week and this might have been my opportunity to get more Nascar coverage. But today we Nascar fans have many options throughout the week. This is my reason for not ordering Showtime. Today we have options.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Who said it offends anyone? What NASCAR did was take an exclusive series that was offered on a digital cable network (SPEED) and seen in over 75 million homes and move it.

They chose a tiny 17 million home cable TV premium network designed for adult entertaiment because Showtime had the cash to pay the bill.

What fans got was another monthly bill to pay in order to see the exclusive content produced by NASCAR's own TV company.

We are all adults here, no one is offended by adult content presented in the right setting.

Check the "Inside NASCAR" facebook page and see just how many folks offering comments do NOT have Showtime.


Shirley Buttacavoli said...

First of all, if anyone is offended by anything or anyone on the radio, TV, scanner, etc. - you have the option to shut it off, change the channel, or never turn it on in the first place.

As far as Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family - I’m one of Tim Tebow’s biggest fans. However, I don’t agree with some of his beliefs or those of Focus on the Family. But that’s their choice, and mine to disagree.

I’m just curious to know how many more times we’ll be discussing Focus on the Family before a sporting event. It was bad enough living through the Tebow “family” commercial before the Super Bowl. Now it’s Dr. Dobson before the Coca-Cola 600.

Re: profanity: It amazes me that Sirius/XM actually tries to sensor the driver channels during a race. I’m paying to listen to a live scanner and would like to listen to it just as that – LIVE and unedited.

However, SPEED Channels attempt to air Kurt Busch’s recent tirade on Inside the Headsets had more bleeps than words. Why bother? Although, it was hilarious to listen to.

If I could afford it, I would order Showtime, strictly for Inside NASCAR. Since it is a ‘premium channel’ I would expect to hear and/or see audio and video uncensored. If I had the channel, I might check out some of the shows John listed. However, The Real L World would not be one of them. But again, it’s my option to turn it on, or not turn it on.

And finally, I think the solution to pre-race ceremonies should be:

Taylor Gibbs handles the invocation and the MRO kids do the National Anthem each week.

Problem solved! ;-)

Haus14 said...

"Dobson fits into the conservative slice of the NASCAR pie, but pushes the envelope with his hardline views on issues like child discipline, religious tolerance and homosexuality. Dobson attracts religious controversy like a magnet."

These days, anyone who has Biblical views will be controversial to some. No one wants someone else to tell them they are wrong and when that happens there is often a resentment that accompanies the response.

Even though he is a "magnet" for controversy, a majority of Americans agree with Dr. Dobson and his view points. It is the minority who is able to make alot of noise that creates an illusion of overwhelming disagreement.

Regarding the Showtime issue, the biggest problem with their show is that it airs 3 - 4 days after the race. By that time, hours of NASCAR follow up shows have already been shown. There is nothing new to cover.

West Coast Diane said...


I was commenting on Dobson. Your comment would mean no invocation, since they are all religious based which would offend atheists.

Personally I am still surprised they have a prayer before the races or show them on TV.

Probably a good reason shouldn't mix religion, politics with sports!

Daly Planet Editor said...


"Even though he is a "magnet" for controversy, a majority of Americans agree with Dr. Dobson and his view points."

You are going to have to back that one up, my friend.


Daly Planet Editor said...


They can be included too!


Haus14 said...


"Even though he is a "magnet" for controversy, a majority of Americans agree with Dr. Dobson and his view points."

You are going to have to back that one up, my friend.


I will use the issues you mention in your article...


Gay marriage has now lost in every single state -- 31 in all -- in which it has been put to a popular vote. (AP)

USA Today/Gallop poll headline from May 2009, "Majority of Americans Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage" (57%-47%)

Discipline of children...

A November, 2008 ABC News poll found 65% of Americans approve of spanking children, a rate that has been steady since 1990.

Daly Planet Editor said...


There is a huge difference between opposing legal gay marriage and the fundamental comdemnation of Americans who are gay.

Using a related topic to justify hate for fellow Americans because of their lifestyle is just embarrassing.

Dobson on spanking children:

"Pain is a marvelous purifier. It is not necessary to beat the child into submission. A little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."

"Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked and their wishes should be granted. Two or three stinging strokes on the legs or buttocks with a switch are usually sufficient to emphasize the point."

No TV survey can speak to that point better than Dobson's own words.


Nan S said...

I too don't understand why you have a prayer as an offical part of a sporting event. If people want to pray to themselves fine, no one is stopping them. I often pray for a certain driver's engine to blow up :). MLB has it right, first the anthem, then Play Ball !

Anonymous said...

JD - Why do you feel that NASCAR has some sort of obligation to make sure that ALL their content is available to everyone for free for all of time?! Last I checked they're in the business of making money like everybody else in this world & I'm sure Showtime is probably paying NASCAR Media Group a handsome fee to produce this series(which by the way is a whole lot better than TWIN). I've seen the show & its really well done & usually pretty entertaining. But the whole point of Showtime paying NASCAR to air the series is to get more subscribers! If you don't want to buy Showtime that's your prerogative, but you just seem bitter about it as if you're somehow entitled to watch any NASCAR content whenever you want. Have you even considered that in most markets SPEED isn't on the basic cable/dish packages. So guess what, it too is a PREMIUM CHANNEL! If you want to watch it, you pay extra for it. Do you care about all the other shows on there not involving NASCAR(Pinks, Wrecked, Bullrun, etc)? Probably not, yet you still subscribe to a higher tier so you can get SPEED & simply watch the NASCAR content...How's that any different than what Showtime is trying to accomplish???

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:02PM,

Those two agendas are totally different.

SPEED is a channel that regularly features motorsports and is themed around that genre.

Showtime is a channel that has no motorsports of any kind. The other sports offerings are slim to none.

SPEED is a digital sports TV network that has over 75 million homes and would be a great service to NASCAR and the fans.

Showtime is a movie and adult program channel with less than 17 million homes that has absolutely no interest in NASCAR.

The business dynamics are completely opposite.

No one said NASCAR content should be offered for free, but trying to make the case that SPEED and Showtime are the same is not going to fly.


Anonymous said...

some very interesting comments. I agree with JD, a vote on gay marriage is no gauge. Many people who don't care one way or the other simply don't vote, same as many other issues. I very much disagree with Dobson's views---anyone who's watched Supernanny can see there is no need to hit a child. But as Diane said, I don't think he's going to throw that in a 2 minute prayer. I may choose to mute him though. But I agree with many think the prayer can go, along with the Pledge of Allegiance and God Bless America....the pre race stuff (in person) has just gotten ridiculously long. I am very respectful of and enjoy listening to the anthem (except for some of the aforementioned 'recording artists'), and that's traditionally done in all sports. and, I might add, people are kind of mixed up about Memorial Day--Marty Smith had it right. It's to honor the fallen--Veterans Day is to honor those who have served. However, we can't really honor them enough so I'm okay with that.

I couldn't care less how good Inside NASCAR is; it's their right to put it on, and my right not to choose to pay for it. I don't feel they 'owe' it to me.

MCs_nascargang said...

NASCAR has always promoted itself as a family friendly, family oriented sport, with an emphasis on Christian principles. No other sport has that image. On the other hand, these guys are competitive, emotional drivers. That is also a part of the sport. I think they can maintain this balance on public channels and use Showtime for a little more in depth look at driver, heat of the moment emotions.

Haus14 said...


There is a huge difference between opposing legal gay marriage and the fundamental comdemnation of Americans who are gay.

Using a related topic to justify hate for fellow Americans because of their lifestyle is just embarrassing.

Dobson on spanking children:

"Pain is a marvelous purifier. It is not necessary to beat the child into submission. A little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."

"Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked and their wishes should be granted. Two or three stinging strokes on the legs or buttocks with a switch are usually sufficient to emphasize the point."

No TV survey can speak to that point better than Dobson's own words.



Has Dobson ever said he "hates" gays"? He disagrees with their lifestyle choices, he may even hate the lifestlye, but to describe someone as in tolerant when they simply disagree with a lifestlye would be no more accurate than to say that those who don't allow smoking in their place of business or home are intolerant of those who choose to smoke. They simply disagree with their lifestlye choices.

Is Joe Gibbs intolerant of people who drink because he is against alcohol and refuses to have alcohol sponsors on race cars?

The fact that 31 out of 31 times attempts to legalize gay marriage have failed at the ballot box simply shows that Americans aren't in complete agreement with that lifestyle either. If they didn't have a problem with it, they wouldn't have a problem with allowing them to be married.

As far as Dobson's quotes on spankings, "Pain is a marvelous purifier. It is not necessary to beat the child into submission. A little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."

"Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked and their wishes should be granted. Two or three stinging strokes on the legs or buttocks with a switch are usually sufficient to emphasize the point."

Which part of that quote would the 65% of American people who are in favor of spanking disagree with?

As far as you attempt to discredit the quoted surveys by calling them, "TV" surveys, you know and i know that these are scientific surveys done by legitimate and recognized companies.

It is ok to be wrong once in a while, JD. Well at least once, since I don't think you have ever admitted you were wrong on this blog...just poking at you a little bit there at the end.

Tom said...

I have a memory of the worst rendition of the National Anthem I ever heard at a NASCAR race (referencing earlier posts complaining about

Prior to the 2007 (or 2008...not 100 percent sure) Nationwide (Busch) race at Las Vegas, John Schneider - aka Bo Duke of Dukes of Hazzard fame - sang the anthem and turned it into his own statement.

First, he encouraged everyone to sing along. Later, when he got to the "Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave" part, he had the nerve to say (OUT LOUD) "you bet it does" with some really phony enthusiasm.

I actually heard a few gasps and boos from the crowd.

And as for forgetting words to the anthem: Jesse McCartney, who by no strange coincidence was promoting his starring role in "Alvin and the Chipmunks - the Squeakquel" at Auto Club Speedway last fall, missed the "what so proudly we hailed" line. I laughed.

There have been some really, really bad anthem singers. Those who just SING THE SONG always rock in my world.

GinaV24 said...

NASCAR is all about the money. they pay lip service to the idea of family while what they do is exactly the opposite of any kind of family values that I'd encourage.

The consistently disrespectful renditions of the National Anthem at NASCAR events is a good example. The Idol wannabe or whatever other Fox/TNT/ESPN supported "star" is selected to sing it and usually they do a pitiful job.

Inside NASCAR may well be a good show, but although I was disappointed at first that it would be on Showtime, once I heard the lineup - Myers, Waltrip and Brad as hosts, well, my disappointment has faded and I just don't care enough to even be concerned that I can't see it.

I listen to the scanner when I'm at the race and through trackpass on my computer and as an adult, I don't find it that shocking that the drivers use language in private that they wouldn't use in public. It doesn't bother me, but I do agree that the conflict between NASCAR wanting to portray a holier than thou attitude and some of their sponsorship choices makes me shake my head., extenze and some of the other companies that put commercials on during prime time are a lot more disturbing to me than the language on the team scanners. I probably wouldn't let a child listen to the scanners but if you're watching the tv broadcast your kid may get a shock when the provocative commercials come on.

It's a free country and I'm glad for that. I vote with my remote and my pocketbook these days. If I don't like it, I don't watch it.

Sophia said...

As my soon to be 90 year old mom said the other day "Why does everybody have to talk about who they sleep with? Gay people have been around forever, since I was a child, but it's just gotten to be so in your face now." Affairs of all kinds now make soap opera multi night continuances on major cable stations. Even so called "news ones" that one might channel surf across.

Also I find it interesting that the more somebody yells AGAINST same sex partner's rights (Let's not call it marriage for now) or against homosexuality, the more they later accidentally 'fall out of the closet' themselves with a scandal. Thus they old "they protesteth too much."

As far as filthy language, Tiger Woods has said some HORRIBLE words on live TV for years but gets by with it due to his being a cash cow for the PGA. Just go to youtube & google his tirades.

But I also get that what drivers say in the heat of the moment IS far game for that day's news. But to use it endlessly to promote the ^%$#&@& repeatedly on a show, kind of just caters to the lowest common denominator, so many days after the rant.

Then again, I had the tv on today for something & saw a series of NASCAR crashes in a much for it NOT being about the wrecks. NASCAR is very two faced about itself, indeed. To me to promote horrible crashes could be seen as obscene in some ways. Is it good morals to PROMOTE scary, dangerous crashes?

Then again, if you want to talk moral issues, why are so called male "enhancement" adds ALL OVER NASCAR!?!? Do not tell me it is a true medical conditon. I'm aware of those that exist & this is also overkill of a situation to have salacious money making commercials/sponsors for NASCAR--and others. I've ranted on these commercials with TWO MALE doctors who are outraged when their kids/grandkids are FORCED to see such adds when 'ambushed' with a commercial & the remote is not glued to one's hip.

So where DO we draw the lines?

But is it me or has the "Conflicting Media Morality" issues been worse since Brian France took over?

I'm fed up with lots of things & yes, I still miss TWIN.

Dropping TWIN really ran me off & the HORRIBLE CAMERA WORK has KEPT me away from the sport.

p.s. Had free SHOWTIME for awhile & caught the NASCAR show a few was well done but still too much video for me unless they've changed that since I gave up STime.

P.P.S Word veri??
Recks !!!!!!! (you can't make this stuff up, folks)

Daly Planet Editor said...


That's because I am not wrong. Each American has the true right to practice their own religion without being judged.

Dobson's two right-hand men have both proven to be bisexual. Together, those three men spent years preaching to Americans a legacy of intolerance and hate toward those who did not share their hardcore Christian beliefs.

As you stated, if you do not believe what Dobson offers as a way of life he believes comes from the bible, you are somehow "wrong."

Here in Florida, the state paid Rekers hundreds of thousands of dollars to be the expert witness on why gay people should not be able to adopt children.

Once he was paid, he used those funds to take a gay escort on a trip to Europe. Ted Haggard appeared on Larry King to denounce gays as being "sick" and then went home to Colorado to smoke meth with a gay prostitute.

It's not hard to understand the difference between someone who says "do what I say or you will be shamed" and someone who says "look at my life and judge me on it."

Christianity does not need Dobson to survive. Many of my friends are evangelical and they are upset with the reality behind the smokescreen of Dobson's movement.

NASCAR and CMS pushed aside the local ministers for the Coke 600 invocation. Dobson is there as a symbol and my column reflects the conflicts between portraying the sport as being a moral high-ground and then selling a TV series to an adult-oriented cable network.

You can't work both sides of the street.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, I pay more to get SPEED (digital feed) than the cost of Showtime.

My understanding is that the "uncensored" in-car radio sound on Showtime is the same as what 1,000's in the stands have access to - and no one forces anyone to listen to either.

To my knowledge, I do not recall your ever saying before that NASCAR "moved" TWIN from SPEED to Showtime. My impression all along, until your comment above, has been that SPEED chose to not renew TWIN, but Showtime was interested in a NASCAR show like Inside the NFL.

I do believe it is likely that what has happened to NASCAR and this week's reports of the attempted sale of insider information foretell the future of sports in the Disney world - it will all migrate from ABC to EESPN, so every sports fan can pay more for sports.

Daly Planet Editor said...


SPEED is not a premium network.

It is distributed in a digital cable packages and in sports bundles on satellite services.

Fans who choose to use scanners can access team radios during the live races. Other NASCAR scanner feeds are bleeped for profanity prior to distribution.

I have written several columns on the fan perception that "Inside NASCAR" on Showtime is "TWIN" on another network.

This has also been the topic of many posts by Showtime on the Facebook page of the series. It is a fan perception, not a reality.

As you know from the last several years, sports on over-the-air broadcast networks face an entirely different set of challenges from a live event on a cable network.

Migrating the NASCAR content to ESPN allows for clear distribution of the product without the time hassles of four timezones and the agendas of local ABC TV stations.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, when Time Warner went digital in my community several years ago it put SPEED in the digital package in hopes of SPEED's attracting cable subscribers to pick up digital service, which I did expressly because I wanted what was then, as I recall, SpeedVision. While it might not fit into the industry definition of a premium channel, for me to get SPEED I have to subscribe to TW's digital service which costs me over $30 extra per month and I would consider dropping digital if it weren't for SPEED. Thus, in my case, SPEED may not be premium, but it is more costly for me than getting Showtime would be.

At 12:38PM you wrote "What NASCAR did was take an exclusive series ... and move it." I interpretted you to be saying that NASCAR made the choice to end TWIN and instead "move" the show to Showtime.

Migrating sports from ABC to EESPN will allow Disney to cut ABC loose and increase the number of sports fans who might feel the need to pick up cable or satellite. Despite the impression some in the media give, NASCAR does not have an exclusive on greed.

Anonymous said...

My mother taught me that other people's lives were none of my business. Whether I think it's right or wrong, it's someone else's private business and not mine. Why bother with it? Only conservatives seem so obsessed with what total strangers are doing. Why can't the various religious sects just agree to disagree (especially as JD points out, we have the freedom to express it?) That's what the people we honor this weekend died for..our freedoms. Not intolerance.

BTW...parents who hit their kids are just too lazy to discipline them with intelligence. Easier to just smack 'em than to be calm and use your head.

Richard in was the same thing here. I switched to DISH for that reason....I got more from satellite then than what I would have gotten from going digital with cable.

Tom said...

Thank you JD, for pointing out so many of the things I was thinking as I scrolled down through the posts! When we talk about "moral" issues here, again, I can't help but feel that those that are supposed to represent the moral really are the immoral ones here. Personally, I think having this kind of guest invoker is a step backward for the sport. I haven't watched it in weeks but I guess i'll go another before tuning in. Indy is on, pretty sure there will be no Cotton Mather there to ruin my day. Thanks for giving the Rev. Marchman a shout out. Regardless of your particular faith, he is missed.

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

Sophia, thanks for bringing up the "male enhancement" sponsor issue. Talk about just plain embarrassing. . . much more so, in my view, than spontaneous vulgarity over the scanner. If I'm listening to a race on the scanner, I can change the channel when my driver crosses the language-line. Re-broadcasts of ugly language are as unnecessary and offensive as Extenze commercials.

Inviting religiously fanatical conservatives, (epitomized by people like Dobson) appears, on the surface, to highlight Nascar's hypocritcal efforts to mask the amoral and/or raunchy side of the sport - the incredible vulgarity, the drivers who father babies out of wedlock, the drivers who relate the sordid details of their serial sex lives in the press (Smoke, anyone?), and the drunk Nascar drivers who get caught driving while intoxicated on state highways.

I'm okay with drivers being human, i.e., imperfect. I'm not so okay with pretending the sport is squeaky clean and doesn't have image problems. An invocation by someone like Dobson can't hide what lies beneath the slimy surface. I won't be listening to Dobson's invocation, that's for sure.

And for the record, I like the invocation as a Nascar institution.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I can't subscribe to the notion that the majority of the country belongs to a bible thumping cult (e.g., any Christian denomination), packs around a Confederate Flag, despises gays, can't stand people of color and worship known pedophiles (Catholic Church). This is freakin' America. The melting pot of diversity. Get over it! For those not in the Southeast, believe it or not, there are people out here that aren't REDNECKS. NASCAR, its drivers, are entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less...the same as Showtime. NASCAR is showing its conservative roots by playing to the "right wingers" in a somewhat subdued manner by using Mr. Dobson. The Confederate Flags may be absent, but the message is loud and clear. I appreciate the on-track competetion and the strategy involved, the politics... not so much. If you're a full-fledged redneck, bible-thumping, racist/bigot and wish for Jim Crow to return, be advised that you're in the minority, not the majority. There's plenty of us NASCAR fans that reject your morality.

Andrew said...

Haus - I think a better comparison about how people feel about gays is this poll: 70-75% of Americans now support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Not only that, one poll shows that a majority of every individual group (Democrat, Republican, male, female, senior, under-30) supports it.

As for Dobson, I'll just say that it just makes me that much happier I decided not to go to Charlotte this year. I can mute the TV; unfortunately, it's much harder to mute him in real life.

Back to the Showtime issue: Showtime has, in the past, had great shows (see: Stargate SG-1 and Odyssey 5). It also has a tendency to drop them on a whim (see: Stargate SG-1 and Odyssey 5). Inside NASCAR looks like a fun show, but that alone won't get me to subscribe to Showtime. And I think between ESPN and Twitter, I get enough of what's going on in NASCAR these days.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 9:02 a.m. Wow, seems that your biases are showing there in your post.

I don't consider that watching NASCAR makes me a "redneck" at least not in the way that I think you mean the term. I don't live in the SE and I try hard to respect other people's choices.

I sure do have a hard time though with the "ministers" who don't live what they preach.

Cotton Mather, indeed! NASCAR as led by Brian France has jumped the shark in an awful lot of ways and are reaping what they've sowed - lack of fan interest, poor attendance and ratings.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying NASCAR is full of hypocrits? Is that right? They start a sport based upon breaking the law by speeding and supporting the moonshine industry and then have the guts to call it "family friendly". Been to a race lately? The campgrounds are anything BUT family friendly. It was the height of hypocrisy to see the government officials at the Hall of Fame dedication praising law breakers like Junior Johnson. Dobson and his ilk are hypocrits too...posing as Christians while promoting hate and discrimination among a segment of God's children. If Jesus came back tomorrow I think he'd be mortified to see what some of these "holy men" espouse. Not to mention their own problems walking the straight and narrow. And don't get me started on holier than thou Joe Gibbs and his god based sponsors enabling Kyle Bush. Honestly JC, I think the real story here are the people who are dim enough to actually buy the load of crap NASCAR puts out there week after week. Family friendly my white fanny. I don't need or want NASCAR, the religious right or anyone else to police my morality. They could do away with the prayers entirely as far as I'm concerned. But you know what? As a free American I have the power to choose to ignore them. I also have the choice NOT to subscribe to any cable channel or watch the shows I'm not interested in. Or listen to the radio scanner. So does everyone.

KoHoSo said...

A very good and interesting conversation! I applaud Mr. Daly for tackling the subject as well all above that have discussed it and made good points on both sides.

I can really only add one thing at this point...NASCAR showed its true colors long ago and what values they really have as a corporation when they failed to step in to stop those explicit promos for Son of the Beach when races ran on FX. As I always say about this, I am no prude but there should be respect for the entire audience especially when such a large portion of it is socially conservative.

SRQ Mike said...

No big deal here. The pragmatic France Family, Bruton Smith, and all the other hucksters want to retrieve every possible dollar resting in the pockets of every single demographic slice residing in America and beyond.

gzuckier said...

Shouldn't God-fearing Christian folks be in church on Sunday, or at least at home with the family, rather than drinking it up at a sporting event? What kind of Conservative Christian could compromise his principles to get this exposure, let alone associate himself with all the unGodly accoutrements of NASCAR, as the post suggests? Well, doesn't matter to me, when the good Rev made his snide allusion to this being a place where he could pray in Jesus' name, as a member of one of the unAmerican religions, I kind of felt like I had stumbled into the wrong service while looking for the Cohen bar-mitzvah, and tuned out.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe is missed the avn awards, i still miss the L word.
most nascar fans love dexter and weeds.

giantslor said...

Count me as one more potential NASCAR fan who was alienated by the Dobson appearance. I don't support any kind of religious invocation in the first place, but for NASCAR to invite one of the most extreme right wing fundamentalist zealots in America to deliver it is beyond the pale. NASCAR, you had me, but you lost me.

Unknown said...

Driving into Baton Rouge from New Orleans on I-10 you'll pass three giant crosses on the east side of the highway. A friend of mine was remarked, "Baton Rouge, Jews and Vampires stay away!"

I enjoy NASCAR but I sometimes think that there is a failure by NASCAR management to recognize that the sport has a broader base than conservative, evangelical, white Christians. I have liberal friends who are fans, Jewish friends who are fans, and secular humanists that are fans. In the section we sit in at Talladega, a lesbian couple has been sitting near us for years (and they are smokers).

I get tired of all the emphatic "in Jesus name" prayers and the conservative dignitaries that pop in to the events for their day with the fans, but I usually just tune them out and enjoy the race. In some ways I find these people alienating, but I live in Alabama, so I'm used to feeling like an alien.

I have said to curious friends that NASCAR is everything wrong with America and everything right with America going on simultaneously. On a Sunday at Talladega you can buy a bourbon and coke with a Bud tracer while leering at a girl in short shorts while listening to the local Pentecostal pastor pray for moral purity. What one thinks is wrong with America and what one thinks is right with America will vary depending on the fan. I kinda of like the short shorts and bourbon and coke, but I also attend church and live a rather conservative life though I'm consider by most people who know me as a liberal.

One day I'd love to hear a rabbi give the invocation at Talladega or a black UCC minister might cause a real moment of silence. Maybe the Canadians could tolerate a mullah. I remember a rabbi doing the prayer a Cowboys game one year. The world did not come to an end. I do think the military worship and Jesus worship at NASCAR events is over the top (somewhat like a mini Republican convention), but I just ignore the parts I don't like (like Denny Hamlin) and enjoy the parts I do like (like Stewart and Junior).

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your recent comments. You echo my sentiments. The friend most responsible for spreading his enthusiasm for NASCAR to me is a Jew, who married a Christian.

My friends who are gay tell me there is no such thing as "the gay lifestyle" or "lifestyle choices." They tell me this was not a choice. The only choice they made was to acknowledge their sexual orientation instead of denying it.

One of my friends told me some of the most anti-gay people are actually closeted. They maintain this strong position as their way of fending off their natural sexual orientation.

I have stayed overnight with gay friends in their homes. No one tried to influence me to "switch teams" or touched me inappropriately.

By the way, of my gay and lesbian friends, all but one are in long-term committed relationships spanning more than 20 years. That's longer than my parents were married and longer than most of my heterosexual friends' marriages lasted.

Thank you for bringing up this subject, J.D.

Kenn Fong