Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Taking it to the sticks

Michelle Malkin notes a bald attempt to create news (or possibly an international incident) on the part of NBC. From an email forwarded to Ms. Malkin by a reader:

I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any
discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed.
I'm urgently looking for someone who can be filmed this April 1st weekend at a Nascar event (and other smaller events) in Virginia.

And Ms. Malkin's comment:

Catch that? The apparent "sting" involves targeting Nascar and other sporting events. 'Cause that's presumably where the fair and balanced NBC news staff thinks all the bigots are.

Now. I have never watched NASCAR. I have only ever watched golf as a child when my mom was glued to the set and we were a one-TV family, for the same reason: I'm just not interested. But a close relative of mine is pretty high up on one of the NASCAR teams, and I'd love to know what he thinks of these shenanigans. As Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion pointed out,

If I were at NASCAR HQ, I'd be blowing a gasket about now, and getting on the phone to NBC Sports in New York. After all, this is ocurring against a backdrop of NASCAR's increased efforts to bring minority drivers and owners into the series, and expand its appeal outside of the traditional Southern fan base.

In other words, something like this may very well cost NASCAR some money. And while there are undoubtedly racists at any large sporting event that draws literally hundreds of thousands of people each weekend, I can't help but think that NBC's choice wasn't a coincidence.

(h/t to Instapundit.)

The calculus is easy to perform: a sport popular in the South, where a plurality, at least, of our military hails from; one or more people dressed in unordinary fashion for both the area and the event, with an agenda to fulfill. Is there any doubt that both Dateline and the Muslim people hired as "tethered goats" will be selective about their contacts and what is actually aired? After all, "I went to NASCAR and nobody cared" doesn't exactly bring home the bacon, you should excuse the expression, in the same way that "I went to NASCAR and had food/punches/insults thrown at me" would. As McErlain notes, in a crowd as big as NASCAR crowds tend to be, I wouldn't be surprised if there'll be some of both - but what's the likelihood that we'll be told the details of the mix?

Wait and see.

Update: Apparently the Virginia sting has already taken place. Here, from the AP, with a hat tip to Michelle Malkin, is what happened:

The NBC crew was "apparently on site in Martinsville, Va., walked around and no one bothered them," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday.

And yes, NASCAR is blowing a gasket. And I should have mentioned yesterday that NBC is in its last year of covering NASCAR - next year the contract goes to Fox, ABC, and ESPN. According to the Instapundit link I put up yesterday, viewers were not happy with NBC's coverage even before NBC decided that to "expose" them as bigoted rubes.

Adding insult to injury, according to Malkin's latest, the sting operation may be moving to Texas (to a bigger, and hence rowdier, track, with an infield area where racegoers say the party crowd camps out) for another go.

Sheesh. I may have to start watching NASCAR just to stick my thumb in NBC's eye.

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