Michelle Malkin has updated the story on how NBC is planning to parade obvious Muslims around NASCAR races to see if those hayseeds at the races will demonstrate American discrimination against the Muslim people.
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 national media are arriving on the story as well. AP motor sports writer Jenna Fryer arrived on the story. NBC defended itself in a statement:
"'Dateline' is looking into this story," NBC said in a statement. "We were intrigued by the results of a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll and other articles regarding increasing anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States. It's very early on in our newsgathering process, but be assured we will be visiting a number of locations across the country and are confident that our reporting team is pursuing this story in a fair manner."
Tim Lemke at The Washington Times also reported the story, running the NBC statement and adding:
However, Laila Al-Qatami, a spokeswoman for the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, said "Dateline" also plans to film at other sporting events, including football games, and will explore issues such as discrimination in housing and employment.
"They're going to place people in a lot of situations, whether it's an airport, a school, or buying a house," she said.
Miss Al-Qatami said her organization provided ideas to NBC but was not involved in the decision to place people at NASCAR events.
John Hinderaker at Power Line had this take:
NBC is willing to go to great lengths to try to prove that Americans hate Muslims. What do you think the chances are that they'll show this video of American soldiers distributing Toys for Tots to Muslim Iraqi kids? Somehow, I don't think that's what Dateline finds "intriguing."