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Random Lugnuts: A Tale of Two Foxes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Daytona 500
What is Random Lugnuts?  It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan.  The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop:  you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.

Random Lugnuts: A Tale of Two Foxes

Bill Crittenden
March 3, 2014


Last week, during the rain delay for the Daytona 500, Fox ran a replay of the 2013 event.  Lots of people, perhaps understandable for the casual fan (I got caught watching a third of an old Camping World Truck race a couple years ago), thought it was a live broadcast.  They must have missed the ticker at the bottom saying it was a replay of the 2013 race (I swear there wasn't one for the truck race I was watching, but I could be wrong).

So, after the replay ended, people congratulated Jimmie Johnson on his third Daytona 500 win.  Deadspin actually has a fantastic collection of tweets from the event at http://deadspin.com/scores-of-idiots-dont-realize-fox-is-airing-last-year-1529242573.

You'll notice from there that Fox News even posted the "win" on their Facebook page (and later issued a correction).  Of course, that was good material for poking fun at a coworker who swears Fox News is the only real news and everything else is liberal propaganda.

Yes, these people really do exist.

Of course, when I mentioned it, he said, "every network reported that.  EVERYBODY.  They ALL did."  After a bit of searching, because, you know, unlike Fox News viewers I actually check my facts across multiple sources, I couldn't find any reference to any other major news source congratulating or crediting Jimmie Johnson for winning the 2014 Daytona 500.  Sure, a few minor websites and their Twitter accounts posted it, and one in particular I remember that night mentioned that they had gotten their information from Fox News.

If only the rest of Fox's "News" could be as easily disproven, but it's often impossible to prove a negative assertion (Russell's teacup, anyone?).  Even then, I'm sure that the lack of evidence showing other networks' mistakes is just evidence of the coverup, and the continuing existence of evidence against Fox News is just liberals attacking Fox because they fear the truth.

Yeah, I've dealt with these people before.  I'm ashamed to admit I used to be one of them, but perhaps because of that I understand how they think better than most.

My coworker also brought up the point that Fox News and Fox Sports are different organizations, with different people (also while saying that newsroom people are "nerds" who don't understand sports, in the classy way that people like this do), and, except for the anti-intellectual nerd shaming, I can't deny it.  But I can ask, in Coach Carter tone, "doesn't anyone else see a problem with this?"

Throw a debris caution at a "too-good-to-be-true" moment, and the average Fox Sports viewer wants to see 1.) the debris 2.) where it is on the track and 3.) how it got there, just in case it was planted.

The average Fox News viewer?  "Well, if the pretty gal who says Jesus is white tells me something, I can't deny it, they couldn't put it on TV if it weren't true."

How is it that two organizations can coexist without one influencing the other to be a better, more credible news organization?  How bad is it that the division with integrity, logic, depth, and objectivity is wasting it on football and NASCAR while the important issues of the day are left to the Keystone Cops of news networks?  How bad is it that the average American viewer demands this integrity, logic, depth, and objectivity in its NASCAR coverage but not in coverage of the issues that matter in the rest of the world?

Yes, when your company's best journalists are covering NASCAR races and the ones covering issues like war and politics treats their job like a WWE broadcast, and that network is the most trusted news source in America, we've got a problem.

Perhaps sports can explain the news.  In any call where two people share the blame, say, a few years ago when Harvick got out of his car to attack Kyle Busch and Kyle shoved Kevin's car out of the way and drove off, people's opinions of the exact same piece of film often depend on their views before it's watched.  Harvick fans looked for Kyle's fault and Busch fans looked for any reason to blame Harvick.  It's psychological, and we can't help it.

And nobody wants to hear someone go on and on about how their favorite is the person that's ruining NASCAR, so why would they watch a news channel that goes on and on about how their politics are ruining America (even if it's true)?

How did I take that film, a Kevin Harvick fan since 2001, a guy who though Kyle Busch had a tremendous amount of talent but needed to calm the fuck down?  When Kevin got out of his car, I yelled to the other room (my son has always been a Kyle Busch fan. I blamed M&M's), "hey, come here, my driver's about to kick your driver's ass!"  After watching the video, I actually respected what Kyle did to avoid what would have been a series of cheap shots at a driver still strapped, defenseless, into his car.

I then found myself in the unlikely position of defending Kyle to a die-hard Earnhardt fan (and, incidentally, "Obama-is-a-Socialist-Muslim-traitor" believer) when Kyle was caught driving a Lexus LF-A over 100 mph.  He was going on and on about, "moron's gonna kill somebody," and I remembered his stories about Earnhardt's off-track driving antics being told in quite different tones.  So I said, "that's bullshit, you only have a problem because you don't like Kyle Busch."  He denied this, of course, everybody likes to think that they're the epitome of objectivity.  So I said, "you know what you would have said if Earnhardt were caught doing the same thing?  'Gee, Dale, only 128 miles an hour, why so slow?'"  He thought about it, chuckled a bit, and I've never heard him give Kyle Busch shit about his attitude again.

I'm still working on convincing him that President Obama hasn't already rigged the 2016 election for an illegal third term because he thinks he saw an "Obama 2016" bumper sticker on a car in Wisconsin.  One step at a time.

My opinion of Kyle Busch now?  On track, he's the closest thing to Dale Earnhardt this generation of NASCAR drivers has, but you'll never convince the old Earnhardt fans of that because Busch is a kid from Vegas who drove for Rick Hendrick before and races Toyotas with candy sponsors on them now and couldn't grow a decent mustache if he tried.  Understand this, and you might see why people like this just have this "feeling" that the fella with the middle name Hussein that went to a school in Indonesia "just isn't one of us" and take criticism against at face value, even when they find themselves contradicting their actual principles for the sake of opposition.

Perhaps it's best for Fox News' agenda if they do keep the Fox Sports crew away from the people that "report" the news.  Wouldn't want any "call-it-as-I-see-it" sports guys telling a news producer, "you know that's bullshit, right?"

But our country could use a little more Fox Sports NASCAR in the Fox News offices.  Can you imagine Darrell Waltrip covering midday political news, or Tony Stewart hosting a show like The O'Reilly Factor?

One can dream...



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