Sunday, July 10, 2005

Just Musing, But...

I watched a little of the Whatever Pepsi Whizzo Snack Assortment Sheetrock 900 NASCAR race from Joliet Raceway on NBC on Saturday afternoon, and aside from having the cojones to call Joliet "Chicagoland," what set me most to musing was a short interview they did with someone from either CNBC or MSNBC (Boy! Imagine the red tape to get that interview!) who was preparing a short film for the cable channel about NASCAR.
Three things the filmmaker (I use that phrase as a catch-all; he may be the film segment's producer, I wasn't paying that much attention) said got my muse working. First, he said he had no idea when he started his research that NASCAR was so popular a spectator sport. (Dude, Sports Illustrated scooped you about 8 years ago on that one. Open a magazine once in a while.) Then he opined that the reason for this success was that NASCAR audiences enjoy the closest relationship with the athletes of any sport in America. I have no idea what he meant by this, but it sounds like a completely objective crock of shit; does NASCAR let a fan or two ride along in Jeff Gordon's backseat at Daytona or something? Is every Sunday "Have a NASCAR Driver to Dinner" Night? Because, you know, baseball and hockey players still sign autographs, and most of them don't swear on TV (Mr. Roenick...).

Third, he said that NASCAR is great because it's run and controlled by one family. Great. Now corporate hegemony is getting a free pass on NBC.

Obviously, this guy was puffing the cartel up for his thing to be seen by as many poeple as possible, but still. Be a journalistic filmmaker, be a propagandist, but don't be both.

Woe to the Republic.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Whizzo assortment: "If it wasn't NASCAR, it wouldn't be corrput now, then, would it?"

Maybe what the flack meant about relationships is that NASCAR fans see drivers as being more like themselves than fans of other sports. And in terms of NASCAR, they're probably right: Beer-drinking, tobacco-chewing, backwards-baseball-cap-with-football-team-logo-wearing , fake-country-music-listening right-wing morons.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I didn't make it all that clear, but it seemed like he was talking in terms of access. Whatever.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

access? Well, I certainly don't buy that claim.


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