John M. Becker

Andrew Sullivan Endorses Matthew Shepard 'Trutherism'

Filed By John M. Becker | October 30, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Andrew Sullivan, contrarian, debunking, disgraceful, Matthew Shepard, Media Matters, revisionist history, truthers, truthiness

andrew-sullivan-headshot.jpgThis may not be surprising, but it's disgraceful...

Yesterday, popular gay blogger Andrew Sullivan endorsed so-called Matthew Shepard "trutherism." This thoroughly discredited theory is that Matthew Shepard's murder wasn't a vicious anti-gay hate crime, but a drug-related killing.

Of course, Matthew Shepard "trutherism" is no more based on truth than other forms of trutherism like 9/11 "trutherism," JFK "trutherism," vaccine "trutherism," or global warming "trutherism" (for a thorough debunking, you can't do better than this expert takedown from Luke Brinker at Media Matters), but facts don't matter in "truther" bubbles.

And it certainly didn't stop Andrew Sullivan from endorsing the premiere Shepard "truther" book, Stephen Jimenez's The Book of Matt. Sullivan slaps his imprimatur on the book's unfounded conclusions -- based on jailhouse interviews and "facts" that never emerged during the investigation, trial, or sixteen years of intense scrutiny and have been repudiated by police, prosecutors, and defense attorneys -- and labels them as truth and the actual Matthew Shepard story a "convenient untruth."

Why? Because he says so. This new "truth" also happens to provide him with an opportunity to bash two things he loathes -- the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes laws -- but I'm sure that's just a coincidence... And as was the case with Sullivan's full-throated, contrarian, and misguided defense of Brendan Eich, he's playing right into the hands of our right-wing, anti-gay enemies, who've been smearing Shepard and trying to discredit him and his story for years as part of their effort to pretend that LGBT people don't face terrifyingly high rates of hate-motivated violence or need hate crimes protection.

Spitting on Matthew Shepard's grave in order to take petty political swipes and drive up traffic to your website? That's disgusting.

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