Sensationalism versus Competent Journalism
With the recent arrest and indictment of Jeremy Mayfield, a number of supposed news sites and racing web sites have been making some rather phenomenal claims regarding the arrest, implying things that aren‘t true, or just plain misreporting or misrepresenting what has happened.
One example is a couple of news sites said that Mayfield was arrested for having illegal designer bath salts. Nowhere on the arrest record, search warrant inventory, or indictment is there any mention of illegal bath salts. Another example was that Mayfield was arrested for sales and possession of marijuana. Unlike these supposed accredited reporters, I did some investigating on the marijuana charge that was reported. It seems that a James Bryant showed up at the Mayfield property well after the search warrant was executed and Mayfield was being booked at the jail. The police searched Mr. Bryant’s vehicle and found a small amount of marijuana, which falls into the category of personal possession not intent to sell, and a marijuana pipe. Mr. Bryant’s marijuana and pipe were confiscated, he was issued a citation, and allowed to leave. Nowhere on the search warrant or inventory is there an amount of marijuana connected to Mayfield which would be considered enough for sales and possession. The only mention of marijuana is connected to Mr. Bryant. But rather than issue a retraction or correction, these sites just let it hang out there.
Some so-called journalist have tried implying that Mayfield is a drug dealer because of his gun collection or that he’s getting ready to incite an armed insurrection or arm a militia group. Mayfield is a gun collector and enjoys doing some plinking and target practice from time to time. While 69 guns might seem like a lot to some folks, it’s nothing compared to some gun collectors I’ve read about who own guns numbering into the hundreds to include fully automatic weapons such as the old Thompson sub-machine gun, the venerable M-2 Browning .50 cal. heavy machine gun, M-3 “grease guns”, Uzi’s, and others. And the guns in Mayfield’s range from antique firearms to current modern day rifles and pistols. Nowhere is there a fully automatic weapon. One site tried implying that the fact that Mayfield has pistols in his gun collection to him being a drug dealer. This is plain and simply an example of yellow journalism at its finest.
Until Mayfield actually goes through the judicial process on this latest debacle, I would suggest that these “wonderful accredited” journalist go back, look at what’s been actually turned up, look at what they’ve written, and either issue retractions or corrections to their mis-statements. I’m not sticking up for Mayfield here, I’m just saying that there’s a lot of sensationalism going on that’s being passed off as competent reporting and it’s bad reporting in an attempt to generate a lot of hits for those web sites.
In what I view as being little more than a slap on the wrist for pushing Ron Hornaday into the outside retaining wall under caution at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday night, NA$CAR fined Shrubbery $50,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31. Big whoop. I would’ve went directly with the back-up threat of indefinite suspension. Carl Long's crew chief got fined $200,000 and Long gets docked 200 owner's and driver's points, and both Long and his crew chief were suspended for 12 races (later educed to 8) for a worn out engine in a non-points event. Shrubbery gets fined $50,000, parked one Cup & Busch race, and probation for what amounts to 2 race weekends for what some view as attempted vehicular homicide. Makes perfect sense what NA$CAR did. NOT!
Shrubbery has given his sponsors a big black eye as well as JGR. I won’t say he’s hurt NA$CAR because they’ve tolerated his past antics and relied on Shrubbery to generate headlines for them in an attempt to fill the grandstands and raise TV ratings. Which BTW, hasn’t been very successful.
Fan reaction, as a whole, has been negative. With M&M’s being the most visible sponsor, numerous fans have written and said they’re boycotting their products because of Shrubbery’s continued on-track hijinks. M&M’s pulled Shrubbery’s picture off their web site and issued what I consider to be about a terse a statement as one can expect in these days of political correctness.
Should M&M’s pull their sponsorship on the JGR car, you can rest assured that Shrubbery won’t be driving for JGR. And if they pull their sponsorship on the KBM vehicles, you can bet some of the other sponsors might follow suit.
Back when Tony Stewart pulled some of his acts in the Home Depot car, Home Depot insisted that he attend anger management classes. I think this is the minimum M&M’s should do should they not pull their sponsorship. Whatever actions JGR takes above and beyond that is up to the team owners.
Chevy won the Cup & Truck Series manufacturer’s championships and Ford just wrapped up the manufacturer’s championship for the Busch Series. Shut out is the big T from Japan. However, as a consolation prize, since everyone‘s a winner in NA$CAR, they get to be the pace car for the Daytona 500.
North Wilkesboro Speedway
I’ve been asked several questions about North Wilkesboro and here’s what I know. The company that was running the track folded up its tents and went home. There’s no sign of them to be found anywhere. Apparently, Steve O’Donnell, NA$CAR’s VP for Racing Operations and the man who swore NA$CAR was sports entertainment, has been talking to someone about the track and the possibilities of it maybe returning to the schedule after certain repairs and renovations are made. Whether or not O’Donnell will confirm this remains to be seen and I doubt you’ll get Bruton to fess up either. My take is that IF North Wilkesboro does come back, it’ll be for one of the lower tier NA$CAR series like the Whelen Modified Series and at best, maybe a Truck or Busch Series race despite fans demands for more short track races on the Cup schedule.
Here’s some trivia about North Wilkesboro Speedway. When NA$CAR was first looking into the SAFER walls, some of the test were conducted at North Wilkesboro Speedway and proof of it can still be found on one of the front stretch retaining walls.
Based on some current weather forecasts, there’s a possibility that the Phoenix race could get rained out. Should the rain continue until Thursday, the race would have to be rescheduled and run after the Homestead race making it, rather than Homestead, the season finale. Wouldn’t that just rain on Faux King Brian’s parade?
On Friday, November 11th, a number of companies are offering a variety of discounts and free meals to our active duty, retired, and military veterans as a way of showing their appreciation for those who are serving or have served our country. Here’s a link to a web site showing a lot of these offers: