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Attacking the messenger to preserve the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Narrative

Attacking the messenger to preserve the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Narrative

Media Matters, Think Progress and SPLC attack author Stephen Jimenez as “Truther” and right-wing tool.

Stephen Jimenez is the author of “The Book of Matt,” a book that calls into question the deeply ingrained narrative that the murder of Matthew Shepard was an anti-gay hate crime. The extensively researched book reveals that the Shepard anti-gay hate crime narrative may be all wrong.

Jimenez, who is gay himself, has been praised by prominent gay rights activists, including Andrew Sullivan.  In response to the new information, Sullivan has even called the narrative “a politically convenient myth” deployed to “raise gobs of money and pass unnecessary laws.”

Stephen Jimenez: Meth And The Murder Of Matthew Shepard from The Dish on Vimeo.

On Monday, The New York Post’s Andrea Peyser lauded Jimenez for shedding light on “an uncomfortable truth”:

 Jimenez unearthed a story that few people wanted to hear. And it calls into question everything you think you know about the life and death of one of the leading icons of our age.

But questioning this fundamental narrative has upset some activist groups.

For example, Media Matters has been attacking Jimenez for weeks, calling Jimenez a Matthew Shepard “Truther” and right-wing tool:

Media Matters Stephen Jimenez ao 10-29-2013

Media Matters quickly responded to Peyser’s piece with a scathing article titled, NY Post Celebrates Stephen Jimenez’s Matthew Shepard Trutherism:

While her uncritical reporting on Jimenez’s book is a disservice to the Post‘s readers, Peyser’s column is useful in at least one respect; it perfectly illustrates how The Book of Matt has been more about boosting Jimenez’s public profile and stoking his self-image rather than providing a solid, fact-based account of Shepard’s murder.

And Media Matters is not the only left-wing organization determined to undermine Jimenez.

Think Progress labeled the new dialogue on Shepard as “disgusting” in one article. It also featured another article titled, “‘The Book Of Matt’ Doesn’t Prove Anything, Other Than The Size Of Stephen Jimenez’s Ego.” The author writes:


Jimenez talks a great deal about humanizing Shepard, and makes some vague gestures at wanting to start a conversation about meth use in the gay community that are quickly abandoned. But the real subject of The Book Of Matt, or at least the place where Jimenez’s reportorial detail and emotional energy seem to be most focused, is Jimenez himself.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also jumped on board the ‘Truther’ bandwagon, and cited Media Matters in an article on SPLC’s Hate Watch Blog, filed under “Anti-LGBT” and “Extremist Propaganda” tags.


Not surprisingly, the SPLC post is written by Dave Neiwert, the inventor of the debunked “right-wing eliminationist narrative.” SPLC is heavily invested in perpetuating the eliminationist narrative, so it’s not surprising to see SPLC bring Neiwert in for a special appearance to attack Jimenez.

What is evident from these ad hominem attacks against Jimenez is that certain groups heavily invested in perpetuating the Shepard hate crime narrative have closed their minds to another possible reality.


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Underlying the attacks on Jiminez is the typical northeast liberal media stereortypic reaction: How dare a Hispanic person speak against the mainstream media’s version of the truth?

As a gay Hispanic his job is to vote Democratic, chant mantras against George Bush or Ted Cruz and, otherwise, keep quiet until his “betters” tell him how to think and what to say.

He violated these rules and will be publicly castigated for doing so.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to JOHN B. | October 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “He violated these rules and will be publicly castigated for doing so.”

    They’re acting just like Stalin.

    “Don’t follow our storyline? Now you see him… BAM! Now you don’t!”

If calling out a false narrative is the price of being called a truther, then perhaps we ought to just let the facts speak for themselves?

It’s a shame that inconvenient facts are railroaded by those with a stake in keeping the status quo.

Truth matters, but not to hyper-partisans, who only want their opinions reinforced without regard to facts.

This is your normal ThoughtPolicing by the moonbattery.

ThoughtCrime by anyone…but especially a member of a “victim class”…will not be tolerated.

NC Mountain Girl | October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

As always. the facts must not be allowed to intrude between the SPLC and its gravy train of gullible urban liberal donors. The shrinking base of bubbes who fear the klan has given way to members of the gay, lesbian and hopelessly confused community who loathe conventional morality but the tone remains the same. It’s ironic that the SPLC donor base so lacks experience out of a narrow urban milieu that they fail to recognize there is almost no difference in emotional tone between a TV evangelist’s pitch and that of the SPLC. Both are in the business of selling a form of spiritual redemption merely through the process of writing a check.

James_teh_2nd | October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

I know it’s cliché, but, the flak is thickest over the target.

There had been rumors that this crime was not what it was made out to be since the start, but the State Media had a narrative to push and they got a lot of mileage out of doing so.

As always when the truth comes out like this it does make you wonder how many other critical State Media events like this are fundamentally false.

Yep – the same addle-minded people have printed a postage stamp to memorialize a pedophile, child predator, Harvey Milk.

If you’re gay, black, communist, fascist, or Islamist (or all of the above), you get a Get Out of Jail Free card and immunity from criticism of any kind. Any criticism is racist.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | October 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

Ah, how the world turns! Now, the ruling class has determined that “facts” depend on who says they’re facts; Isn’t that what the Blue Queen said in that fascinating accord about falling down the rabbit hole?

So, an accusation of being someone who seeks out the truth behind a narrative – a “Truther,” as they say – is now a left-wing smear attack?

Wow, they really aren’t interested in truth or facts, are they? In fact, they seem more interested in perpetuating a lie than seeing anyone expose the truth.

Who knew?

    Milhouse in reply to Archer. | October 31, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Truthers are not people who seek out truth, they’re nutcases who spew insane theories about the 11-Sep-2001 attacks, which they claim to be the “truth”. “Truther” is a mocking term, because none of these theories have even a shred of truth to them.