September 15, 2013

"Matthew Shepard's murder in 1998 became a symbol of hate crime that helped to drive anti-hate crime legislation.'

"But 'what if nearly everything you thought you knew about Matthew Shepard’s murder was wrong?'"

IN THE COMMENTS: n.n linked to an item from 2004, "New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder," which was about an episode of "20/20," which I see that I blogged about this material at the time and said:
Justice demands that we think clearly about criminal responsibility and not let our minds be clouded by evocative stories that mesh with our assumptions about the world and our social policy aspirations. I believe the cause of gay rights is a very good one, and I also think that if the cause is good, truth should serve it. If you think your cause is so important that you must put it ahead of the truth, you are deeply confused.
Then I watched the episode "20/20" and thought it was a murky collection of "interviews with people who had plenty of reason to lie."
Now that the public's strong reaction to the original "gay panic" story is known, the two murderers have every motivation to say it wasn't like that at all. And the people of Laramie can't appreciate having their town associated with bigotry, so they too have a motivation to retell the story. I have no idea what is true here. Since the men weren't convicted of a "hate crime" and, in any event, they pleaded guilty, their convictions are sound whether their motivation was robbery or bigotry.
I haven't looked into the new articles enough to know how much more there is, but Andrew Sullivan is interviewing the author of what is a new book, "The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard."


Moose said...

God bless Sully for taking this one on. Really outside his normal angle of attack.

Lem said...

You mean they got another one wrong?

n.n said...

New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder (20/20; 2004)

We really should be careful to not promote prejudice as there is occasion to address it. Not only will we fail, but the real issue(s) will remain unresolved, and set a false precedent for future actions.

Michael K said...

I suspected something like this. Mot, if not all, of these outrageous events are bullshit. Every time I read about some murder by a hitch hiker or weird story like that, it's wrong by the time the story is known.

Of course, that is too late to matter. Just like Benghazi where there was no State Department memorial on 9/11. "What does it matter now?"

Lem said...

Should some of these products be removed from the market?

I mean, for the sake of correcting the record.

southcentralpa said...

Some of the grievance-mongers might have to get regular jobs?

Big Mike said...

But "what if nearly everything you thought you knew about Matthew Shepard’s murder was wrong?"

It wouldn't have mattered. The MSM would find some other event around which it could organize the "hate crime" meme.

Even today the powers that be are continuing to push the idea that Trayvon Martin was a consequence of "stand your ground" gone horribly wrong, when all of the evidence says that Zimmerman was assaulted by young Martin and was helpless to defend himself other than with lethal force.

So, bottom line, the truth doesn't matter if you're a progressive.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wouldn't be surprised; we got Kitty Genovese wrong in the public noodle too.

Bruce Hayden said...

Probably pointing out the obvious, but this case was really the basis, or justification, for including homophobia in hate crimes. So, this would put into question the basic premise behind this sort of special treatment for homosexuals.

And, rationally, it might also bring up a possible connection between (esp male) homosexuality and drug abuse. You hear stories about times when some male gays do illegal drugs, notably speed/meth and/or cocaine, often combined with ED drugs, for days long sexual marathons. The main alleged perp was supposedly several days into a meth run, and needed more. Is this what was really going on that night? If so, this could potentially change the rhetoric from homophobia and the necessity to protect gays from hate crimes to some of the less attractive excesses seemingly tolorated by the gay community.

AprilApple said...

Meth abuse and drug rage. That was the larger story.
As with all things from the pathetic American media - the narrative trumps the facts.

Moose said...

Having read thru the metafilter comments, my major complaint is the need to build martyrdom around Shepard. Seems that attaching the moniker of "hate crime" to a murder makes it worse than just killing someone.

Don't quite get the logic.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What if it turns out that everything you long suspected about Matthew Shepard's murder was true?

Bob Boyd said...

Tom Wolfe delves into the mechanics of the media driven false narrative brilliantly in his short novel 'Ambush at Fort Bragg'. It is also about a gay man who was beaten to death. Fantastic read.

Illuninati said...

I really appreciate that Althouse has brought up the subject and that n.n. has provided the better link.

The left/Marxists are at war with traditional "patriarchal" society aka traditional morality. One element of traditional morality is a commitment to truth. Unless it serves their interests, innocent life is meaningless to the left. The left is determined to take down the ideal of intact families with a heterosexual father and mother who love each other because of their differences and are willing to make sacrifices for their children. Conservative Christians are the particular enemy to the left because they believe in a loving father God who opposes everything the left stands for. Because science depends on a commitment to truth the left also bends science to serve their purposes. Anyone who doubts these things is free to study the history of Soviet Russia and China, their show trials, the mass murder, and their corruption of science.

As the link provided by n.n. shows, the pathology of the left is in full view here, very similar to the Trayvon Martin story where reporters deliberately misreport a story to support the agenda of the left. Not only did they manufacture a motive, Shepherd's sexual orientation, but they hid the underlying pathology which really motivated the murder. In this case it was a drug, methamphetamine, which is known to cause brain damage and psychosis not traditional morality that motivated the murderers. Both murders were raised by females without a consistent positive male role model at home. Neither of the murders had anything to do with traditional morality, but that truth did not keep the left from manufacturing a false narrative in which people who held traditional morality were responsible for Shepherd's murder. They have used this false narrative as a massive propaganda tool to attack traditional morality ever since.

It used to be that despots tried to regulate people's speech. The left has gone much further and now regulates the very thoughts someone is allowed to have. Unless someone has expressive aphasia, speech is always a reflection of thought. Freedom of speech is impossible without the freedom of thought. Of course the left loves freedom of thought and speech, but only for themselves. They hate the idea that other people are free to think and express ideas which undercut their own lust for power.

Ironclad said...

I met Matt Shepard's father when working on a job in Saudi Arabia (he and his family lived in the main compound in Dhahran). He was a decent man and it's sad his son died tragically.

That said, I remember getting into an argument with one of the Shepard friends when discussing Matt's death. I mentioned that the case appeared to be more complicated than just gay hate (the drugs part) and having my friend go into a rage over the suggestion that it was nothing more than prejudice. Totally into the "narrative" by then, and no facts would dissuade him that the story might be more complex.

Matt had been a troubled kid too growing up in the closed community. He had alcohol and sexual issues at a young age and sending him away to high school (as was done there) was even more pressure.

It's a sad story that ended tragically. But it's worse that his life has been sanitized into something that it was not - and I fear that it may end badly when the bubble finally pops.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Sounds like this lie made it to the moon and back a couple of times and just now is the truth grabbing some boots.

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

The ends and means are justified by the ends (or what people rationalizing their actions think will be the ends) alone.

RecChief said...

"I know in my heart...."

Which to seems to give leftists license to ignore facts.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I really don't think he was in a methamphetamine-induced rage when this happened. I don't buy it at all," O'Malley said. "I feel comfortable in my own heart that they did what they did to Matt because they [had] hatred toward him for being gay," he said.

Boulden told "20/20" in an interview shortly after the attack in 1998, "I know in the core of my heart it happened because he revealed he was gay. And it's chilling. They targeted him because he was gay."

Well, if they know in their heart, just who the who the hell am I to say different? Their own truth trumps anything and everything else and it always will.

cubanbob said...

There is the actual truth and then there is The Truth. Not necessarily do they actually have to jibe. That said, it was a horrific murder and those responsible should suffer the maximum the law allows for.

MadisonMan said...

Assigning the word 'hate crime' to a murder seemed silly to me. Still does.

I'm probably committing a felony by posting this comment, though.

Lawyers exist in this country, seemingly, to invent new laws that they can then hire themselves out to either prosecute or defend against. If they could do both, doubling their fees, I'm sure they would.

n.n said...

If each party has an interest to misrepresent the truth, and there is no verifiable independent source of information, then what is the procedure for assessing the situation?

Also, notice that false claims, especially their exploitation thereafter, is a cause for promoting prejudice. These new "revelations" may be designed to do damage control. Perhaps the original narrative has outlived its usefulness, and the risk it represents is now greater than the potential reward.

Phil 3:14 said...

Too often, "hate crime" is a Rorschach test.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Makes one wonder about the ultimate value of instantaneous news dissemination via the internet. Of course we want to believe that more information is better and that the blogosphere provides the alternative news that the MSM won't, but doesn't it seem that, in the aggregate, the internet serves the dissemination of lies better than that of the truth? Could AGW have attained the status of a religion without a picture of a polar bear on a paltry berg? Would George Zimmerman have even been charged if the news about him had been limited to local papers?

We can't put the genie back in the bottle. I only hope that we, as a society, develop the sort of skepticism necessary to process this barrage of information judiciously.

TMink said...

I am just sorry that the guy was murdered. May he rest in peace.


kimsch said...

MadMan, I agree. Every murder is a "hate crime". Hate crimes as a category should go away. Saying someone committed a crime due to "hate" of a victim's gender, sexuality, religion, ancestry, whatever only goes to motive. The victim isn't any deader because the perp was motivated by hate.

Julie C said...

Reading the comments on the Metafilter post I'm struck by how angered some of them are that anyone would dare question what they believe is a definite set of facts.

In the days/weeks after Columbine, we were all led to believe that the perpetrators were kids who'd been bullied, who were outsiders, outcasts etc. A few years ago a writer did lots of investigating and wrote a great book called Columbine, which called into question quite a lot of those initial assumptions.

Renee said...

If we really are going to address issues, then we need to acknowledge the same ugly problems people who are gay share with heterosexuals. Some our biggest concerns, do not come with a gift registry or wedding cake.

jr565 said...

The Matt Shepard is the gay Trayvon Martin case. No diverging from the orthodox view. Trayvon was a kid with ice tea and skittles killed for walking while black by a white hispanic racist who profiled him.
ANd similarly Matt Shepard was killed by gay hating bigots for being gay, no questions asked and how dare you for suggesting otherwise.

In the case of Matt Shepard I have to admit, this is the first I've heard that it was anything other than a gay hate crime. So I bought the story hook line and sinker.

That is, assuming of course, that the writer of this book is correct.

jr565 said...

Just found this tidbit in the details from the book:

"Everyone had something to hide.
For Aaron McKinney, one of the two men convicted of Shepard’s murder, it was the fact that he was Shepard’s part-time bisexual lover and fellow drug dealer"

Wow, talk about a detail to leave out of the reporting on the issue.

Tari said...

You have to love this line in The Advocate piece:

"There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness."

So it's all about the usefulness of a story, not the truth. Once a lie has been helpful, it can be discarded. Nice to know.

jr565 said...

There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness."

were truer words ever spoken! By liberals about liberals.
This pretty much explains every bit of opposition from the anti war crowd towards Bush and why thy are now nowhere to be found.
A great example of this in action - Cindy Sheehan. A mother of unimpeachable moral virtue (or whatever the words use to describe her). But that doesn't mean the media has to hold on to her after she's outlived her usefulness. And once she has she's jettisoned like trash. Never to be heard from again.