Wednesday, March 09, 2005


I'm combining two controversial issues on the blog. It may not be a good idea. But anyway, this was a pretty good book, there is another citation from it here.

"We’ve seen how the October 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual, became a huge national news story, with the cover of Time magazine proclaiming, “The War Over Gays.” The liberal media predictably used the occasion to blame religious conservatives, calling for hate-crime laws and other items on the gay-Left agenda. But why did the national media ignore a murder that occurred less than a year later, a murder that was just as shocking as Shepard’s?

On September 26, 1999, thirteen-year-old Jesse Dirkhising died from suffocation after being bound, gagged with underwear in his mouth, blindfolded, drugged, taped to the bed, and raped with objects by one gay man while another gay man watched. In this modern media age, ratings-obsessed news programs rush to report on lurid murders of children (can you say JonBenet Ramsey?). But in this case it seems the liberal media did not dare incur the wrath of the militant gay movement by reporting a grisly murder story that had as its villains two homosexuals. Had Dirkhising been openly gay and his attackers heterosexual, you can bet the mortgage the crime would have led every network’s evening news broadcast.

The primary offender in this tale of politically correct self-censorship had to be the Associated Press. While the AP had put the story of the Shepard beating on its national wire, it sent out only local dispatches about the Dirkhising murder. Even these stories were but two-hundred-word pieces of colorless court reporting, which suggested to editors that the story could be buried deep inside the paper. Amazingly, although Dirkhising’s killers implied that the boy had died because of a “sex game” gone awry, the Associated Press never described them as gay men.

The Washington Times told the story of this horrific murder, but, all too predictably, only two other national outlets—the New York Post and Fox News Channel—picked up on the story. Fox News filed a series of reports and made the Dirkhising murder a major topic on its talk shows, but still the established media refused to touch the story. Amazingly, the liberal media saw no news in this statement from a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the gay rights group: “This has nothing to do with gay people.” The statement was demonstrably false, but it was more shocking coming from the Human Rights Campaign, which was the same group that had led the media to the story of how “hatred” from the “Far Right” and Christian conservatives had resulted in the murder of Matthew Shepard. That propaganda campaign—which was central to the organization’s fund-raising efforts—was marked by poisonous incivility, reckless guilt by association, and ugly rhetorical excess. And yet conservatives are the extremists.

When a mainstream outlet finally deigned to cover the Dirkhising story; it was merely to defend the media’s indefensible double standard. On the website, reporter Jonathan Gregg acknowledged that the Dirkhising story “received relatively little coverage”—actually, it had at that point received no coverage on the networks, in the news-magazines, or in the biggest newspapers—”while Shepard leaves a story that will probably endure for years to come as a symbol of intol erance and lowest-common-denominator conformity;” But he quickly dismissed the notion that “we in the media elite were unwilling to publicize crimes committed by homosexuals because it didn’t suit our agenda.” Gregg argued that, “essentially, Shepard was lynched—taken from a bar, beaten and left to die because he was the vilified ‘other,’ whom society has often cast as an acceptable target of abuse; Dirkhiser [sic] was just ‘another’ to a pair of deviants.” In other words, he was saying that the victim of a “hate crime” matters much more than someone who doesn’t fit a politicized category. Then Gregg repeated the reckless claim that Shepard’s killers “dramatically reflected some of society’s darkest influences—an acceptance of the persecution of gays” and that “many in our society think that beating up gays is justifiable.” Really? Just who had suggested that the violence against gays was accept able? Just who were these “darkest influences” he cited?

Jonathan Gregg might have wanted to bury the Dirkhising story, but alternative news outlets would not let that happen so easily. In March 2001, the key figure responsible forJesse Dirkhising’s death was convicted of first-degree murder. At that point, writing in the New Republic, Andrew Sullivan pointed out the clear double standard that Gregg and others had so adamantly denied. Sullivan, an openly gay journalist, wrote, “[.....]Consider the following statistics. In the month after [....] Shepard’s murder, Nexis recorded 3,007 stories about his death. In the month after Dirkhising’s murder, Nexis recorded 46 stories about his. In all of last year, only one article about Dirkhising appeared in a major mainstream newspaper, the Boston Globe. The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ignored the incident completely. In the same period, the New York Times published 45 stories about Shepard, and the Washington Post published 28. This discrepancy isn’t just real. It’s staggering.”
The media have made it clear that they intend to cover gay rights not as a controversial issue but as a cause to be advanced. And the gay movement is relentless, pressuring an already sympathetic media at every turn. For example, Cathy Renna of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) told an October 1999 gathering, “One of the most important things you can do is have those tough conversa tions with journalists about when it is completely inappropriate to run to some radical group like the Family Research Council because of misguided notions of ‘balance.’ We have to offer them some more moderate voices, or convince them that there is no other side to these issues... . We are now in the position of being able to say, we have the high ground, we have the facts, and we don’t have to go one-on-one with these people.” Renna was shamelessly imploring the gay movement to spin the media...."
( Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming
Meltdown of the Liberal Media
By Brent Bozell :122-124)