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Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Old 09-14-13, 05:26 PM
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Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I never paid much attention to the Matthew Shepard case. I just took the anti-gay hate crime narrative for granted. But after seeing how easily the media can be manipulated by advocacy groups in recent cases, I wonder whether they got it right.

The latest issue of The Advocate has an article titled "Have We Got Matthew Shepard All Wrong?". It's about a new book, "The Book Of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard".

Have We Got Matthew Shepard All Wrong?
A new book argues that America’s most notorious hate crime was not a hate crime at all.

What if nearly everything you thought you knew about Matthew Shepard’s murder was wrong? What if our most fiercely held convictions about the circumstances of that fatal night of October 6, 1998, have obscured other, more critical, aspects of the case? How do people sold on one version of history react to being told that facts are slippery — that thinking of Shepard’s murder as a hate crime does not mean it was a hate crime? And how does it color our understanding of such a crime if the perpetrator and victim not only knew each other but also had sex together, bought drugs from one another, and partied together?

None of this is idle speculation; it’s the fruit of years of dogged investigation by journalist Stephen Jimenez, himself gay. In the course of his reporting, Jimenez interviewed over 100 subjects, including friends of Shepard and of his convicted killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, as well as the killers themselves (though by the book’s end you may have more questions than answers about the extent of Henderson’s complicity). In the process, he amassed enough anecdotal evidence to build a persuasive case that Shepard’s sexuality was, if not incidental, certainly less central than popular consensus has lead us to believe.

Read The Full Article - http://www.advocate.com/print-issue/...wrong?page=0,0
Andrew Sullivan has an interview with the author:

Part 1 - Reexamining The Murder Of Matthew Shepard
Part 2 - The Role Of Meth In Matthew Shepard’s Murder
Part 3 - Was Matthew Shepard’s Murder A Hate Crime?

I have no doubt that brutal anti-gay attacks like that actually happen. Or that the killers are any less guilty of committing a vicious crime. Or that Matthew Shepard did anything to deserve the tragedy that happened to him. It was a horrific murder, and nothing should diminish from that.

But I wonder whether the media bought into a sensationalist angle and got it wrong?
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Old 09-14-13, 08:40 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Unfortunately, it's a little late, like most thoughtful news stories, but I'll give it a read over the weekend.
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Old 09-15-13, 12:36 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I think the mass media love controversy beyond all else, because it boosts their ratings. Nothing matters more to most of them than that, not even the truth.

I wasn't there when Matthew Shepard was killed, so I don't know why it happened. It was a terrible, despicable crime, and no one should ever be murdered...but its a sad result of living in a fallen world, populated by selfish, fallen people. I'll read the articles, and get back to you with more.
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Old 09-15-13, 12:54 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Wow, I am really out of the loop as I never heard of this case and went into the thread expecting to read about something that happened recently.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:33 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Hype, I think it was ABC that ran a follow up story a few yrs later, revealing it was about a drug deal more than anything else. Looks like this book reaffirms that as well.

Last edited by Artman; 09-15-13 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:51 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

From reading some of this, it looks like Matt was not the innocent upstanding community boy.

About the only consistent fact, was he was gay.
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Old 09-15-13, 05:14 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Media Hype. The media today is more concerned about sensationalism and controversy than they are about reporting the news in an unbiased manner. The Trayvon Martin case was a good example of recent media sensationalism.
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Old 09-15-13, 05:42 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by robin2099 View Post
Media Hype. The media today is more concerned about sensationalism and controversy than they are about reporting the news in an unbiased manner. The Trayvon Martin case was a good example of recent media sensationalism.
The viewing audience is more interested in sensationalism and controversy, so that's what news gives them!
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Old 09-15-13, 06:38 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

It's not the fault of those who pollute the air. It's the fault of the assholes who breath it!
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Old 09-15-13, 09:21 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I saw a couple of articles on this and followed the links in this thread, but I can't help but notice a lack citation of any evidence for the detailed story the author presents.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:49 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
I saw a couple of articles on this and followed the links in this thread, but I can't help but notice a lack citation of any evidence for the detailed story the author presents.
Great, so now you are a homophobe as well.
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Old 09-16-13, 03:35 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I can't believe such stupidity exists, and people try to act as if torturing and murdering someone is a 'common occurrence' in a 'simple robbery'.

Here are some excerpts from an article from that time period, with some info of what an officer had to say about the case.


http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/21/us...pagewanted=all


Sergeant Debree recalled, Mr. McKinney said he and Mr. Henderson had identified Mr. Shepard as a robbery target and had then lured him out of a Laramie bar and into their truck by pretending to be gay.

The detective said Mr. McKinney had admitted hitting Mr. Shepard three times with fists and six times with a stolen revolver.

An autopsy found that Mr. Shepard had been hit 18 times in the head. He was also bruised on the backs of his hands, indicating he had tried to protect himself, and around the groin, indicating he had been kicked repeatedly.

About 18 hours after the beating, a bicyclist found him still alive, tied to a ranch fence. Reggie Fluty, an Albany County sheriff's deputy, testified on Thursday that Mr. Shepard's wrists had been so tightly bound that it had been difficult to cut the rope and that his head had been covered in blood except for a clean spot ''where he'd been crying and the tears went down his face.''


Detective Fritzen said that in explaining the violence, Mr. McKinney had told Ms. Price, ''Well, you know how I feel about gays,'

Addressing the judge, Mr. Rerucha said: ''They beat him for $20, your honor. That was the contents of the wallet.''


http://www.salon.com/1999/11/06/witness/


“That is one thousand percent torture, what occurred to that boy,” Debree said.

And unbelievable stupidity on display in this video about a comment from a congress woman on the case. And I recall plenty of other politicians who were anti-gay using similar tactics to try to dismiss the case as a 'simple robbery' and having nothing to do with the person being gay.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TQGuS3pyRo0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


An overview of the case, and plenty more exists on the web.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard
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Old 09-16-13, 05:56 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
The viewing audience is more interested in sensationalism and controversy, so that's what news gives them!
Wrong; many in the media are ideological bullies, hypocritically doing the exact thing they accuse their opponents of, and sometimes worse. That's why I won't watch that stuff anymore.
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Old 09-16-13, 05:57 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Great, so now you are a homophobe as well.
Typical response of the liberal left, thinking every opposition of their ways are due to hate or fear.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:13 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by moviefan2k4 View Post
Typical response of the liberal left, thinking every opposition of their ways are due to hate or fear.
I know when I think liberal lefty, I think kvrdave.



dirty, fucking hippie.
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Old 09-16-13, 07:40 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by Julie Walker View Post
I can't believe such stupidity exists, and people try to act as if torturing and murdering someone is a 'common occurrence' in a 'simple robbery'.
In one of the video's linked above the author addresses this point directly. He says a lot of people say the crime was so brutal it had to be motivated by hate. He counters that the perpetrators were coming off a 3 day meth binge without sleep. He also says, without presenting evidence, that they mistakenly believed Sheppard either had or could get a large quantity of Meth that night.
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Old 09-17-13, 01:59 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

There is some interesting and incriminating evidence against the author of the book in this link in regards to his claim. And basically it's not a new theory of his and he's been pushing it for at least a decade if not longer.

http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/...ew-shep/195894
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Old 09-17-13, 09:12 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by moviefan2k4 View Post
Typical response of the liberal left, thinking every opposition of their ways are due to hate or fear.
Something about this sentence just...doesn't read correctly?
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Old 09-17-13, 09:17 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

The Matthew Shepard Foundation has already condemned Jimenez's theory
Really? That's shocking.

Even in parts of the country considered LGBT-friendly, anti-LGBT violence is a pervasive - even worsening - problem. New York City, for instance, is on track to see a doubling of anti-LGBT hate crimes by the end of 2013. These are figures that hate crime denialists and Matthew Shepard truthers can't dispute.
Ahhh, so here's the reason to discredit the book altogether. Because certain crimes are happening at an alarming rate, and something (i.e., more legislation), must be done.

Hate Crime Denialists.
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Old 09-17-13, 09:48 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by moviefan2k4 View Post
Typical response of the liberal left, thinking every opposition of their ways are due to hate or fear.
Mod Warning: You have been warned previously regarding generalizations. Consider this the last one before further action is taken.
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Old 09-17-13, 11:37 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
It's not the fault of those who pollute the air. It's the fault of the assholes who breath it!
No, it's a vicious cycle. News programs are subject to ratings pushes just like every other TV program. If they don't get good ratings, they don't get the advertising, and they don't exist. It's a sad fact that sensationalism and controversy get higher ratings, so that's what news programs cater to. In disgust, the more intelligent people get their news from other outlets, and there are plenty of better options available for those willing to seek them out; leaving the TV watchers, people who make shows like Honey Boo Boo a hit, as the core audience of news programs, so news continues to get dumb downed in an effort to appeal to these people.
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Old 09-17-13, 11:50 AM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I haven't read the book, but based on Jimenez's comments in the interviews linked in the OP it wasn't a case of media sensationalism as much as facts not being made available to the media (due to gag orders and so on). According to Jimenez, anyway.

Anybody seen The Laramie Project? I looked it up on Netflix and it seemed very self-indulgent to me ("We're a hip theater group from New York and we're gonna show those hicks in Wyoming what's what!").
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Old 09-18-13, 10:21 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

I'm against hate crime laws. I think all first degree murderers should get life in jail with no possibility of parole. So this new claim about Shepard's murderer has no effect on the sentence that I think he deserves.

To those who do favor hate crime laws, please tell me how much less of a sentence you think Shepard's murderer deserves if it turns out that this was not a hate crime.
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Old 09-18-13, 10:29 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by Julie Walker View Post

And unbelievable stupidity on display in this video about a comment from a congress woman on the case. And I recall plenty of other politicians who were anti-gay using similar tactics to try to dismiss the case as a 'simple robbery' and having nothing to do with the person being gay.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TQGuS3pyRo0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

In the video, she specifically said "he was killed." She never said it was a "simple robbery."

Can you cite even one person who denies that the fact that Shepard was murdered?

Whether it was a robbery or a hate crime does not matter. What does matter is that a person was murdered.
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Old 09-18-13, 10:41 PM
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Re: Matthew Shepard - Hate Crime or Media Hype?

Originally Posted by grundle View Post
To those who do favor hate crime laws, please tell me how much less of a sentence you think Shepard's murderer deserves if it turns out that this was not a hate crime.
I don't know that 'hate crime' laws really need to apply to crimes like murder which are already punished more severely than others crimes.

Where 'hate crimes' would seem to come into play would be with more minor crimes. Spray painting a giant penis on the side of an abandoned building and spray painting a swastika on the doors on a synagogue are, technically speaking, the same thing, but the swastikas on a synagogue carry a different intent than simple mischief. And, yes, intent is part of the law; otherwise there would be no difference between first degree murder and second degree murder.
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