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Media Matters Falsely Claims 'Right Wing' Slurring Matthew Shepard

Media Matters Falsely Claims 'Right Wing' Slurring Matthew Shepard


Media Matters has been on the attack over journalist Stephen Jimenez’s The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard. In their quest to uphold the apparent mythmaking surrounding Shepard, Media Matters oddly labels all coverage of The Book of Matt “right-wing,” suggests that questioning the oft-told Shepard story is “trutherism,” and neglects to make even a single argument about Jimenez’s argument: that Shepard’s death came at the hands of men to whom he was dealing meth, and at the hands of a man with whom he was lovers, rather than the anti-gay killing pounced on by the media and politicians with an axe to grind. “To right-wing media figures,” Media Matters slimes, “Jimenez’s theory is significant for more than just how we understand Matthew Shepard. It’s also an opportunity to assail the LGBT community’s campaign for equal rights and protection from violence and bigotry.”

Sadly for Media Matters, the facts seem to be on Jimenez’s side. Jimenez, who is gay, has had his book endorsed by famed gay journalist Andrew Sullivan, who writes, “If you’re going to base a civil rights movement on one particular incident, and the mythology about a particular incident, you’re asking for trouble, because events are more complicated than most politicians or most activists want them to be… No one should be afraid of the truth. Least of all gay people… Shouldn’t we understand better why and how?” The book has been excerpted at The Daily Beast, covered by The Huffington Post, and reviewed favorably by Aaron Hicklin of The Advocate, who wrote, “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?”

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