Rep. Foxx: It Was Wrong Then And Itâ€™s Wrong Now
Matthew Shepard ABC News 20/20 Story Was Discredited The Day It Aired
Journalism, like milk, should come with freshness dates. Then, when it starts to smell bad and offend your senses, you’ll know it’s expired.
In researching the political fallout in North Carolina after Virginia Foxx’s now infamous comment about the murder of Matthew Shepard, I came across a blog post in the News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina’s online version of its local daily newspaper. The paper’s own editorial writer, Doug Clark, offers this piece: “ABC News report supports Foxx’s statement“, in which he writes, “But the long-accepted account, that Shepard’s killing was an anti-gay hate crime, was credibly challenged in this well-reported ABC News story all the way back in 2004.”
Wow. As a journalist, Clark isn’t even bothering to subscribe to the tenets of his industry: Check the facts. Had he, he would have known that the 20/20 story he refers to was just that, a story, widely discredited by the time it even aired. In fact, Glaad produced a “Viewer’s Guide” and released it the day the story aired. Refuting the “facts” in the piece, Glaad’s Executive Director said of 20/20’s piece, “this simply is not a credible piece of journalism“. Too bad Clark didn’t bother to delve deep enough into the history surrounding the Shepard murder or the ABC News 20/20 story, “New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder“.
The 20/20 story is based on ideas that Shepard’s murder was not a hate crime, that it occurred not because of hatred of gays, but, as Rep. Foxx said, was “in the commitment of a robbery”, with drugs being the central cause. People like Virginia Foxx and her ilk want you to believe that Matthew Shepard’s murder wasn’t a hate crime. Deep down, they want to believe that there is no such thing as a hate crime, as they think hate crime legislation is a “1984” concept in which Big Brother can monitor your thoughts. They’re wrong, because they don’t understand the meaning of “hate crime” and can’t see, as Kathleen Parker wrote this week, why a hate crime is even more despicable, because a hate crime “is really two crimes — one against the individual and another against the group to which he belongs. By that definition, Shepard’s murder may be viewed as a terrorist act against all gays, who would have felt more fearful as a result.”
Speaking of “terrorist acts”, in November, 1999, five years before the ABC News 20/20 piece,Â Dave Cullen ofÂ SalonÂ interviewedÂ Sgt. Rob DeBree, the chief investigator in the case, who said, “They knew damn well he was gay. […] It started out as a robbery and burglary, and I sincerely believe the other activity was because he was gay. […] That is one thousand percent torture, what occurred to that boy.” Cullen also wrote, in the 1999 piece,Â “A just-unsealed confession demolishes the “gay panic” defense. Too bad the media wasn’t around to hear it.”Â
But the media wasn’t around later, in 2004, either, when the ABC News 20/20 piece aired, nor again, last week, when Clark wrote his story. And the damage has been done. How do we know? Read some of the comments from Clark’s blog, evidence of misinformed Americans too happy in their hatred to challenge someone who speaks to their values:
“Shepard’s murder has become an urban legend and a rallying point for gays to demand special treatment, regardless of the fact that it’s been misrepresented as a hate crime.
The Dems/libs can’t afford to have the truth thrown up in their face.”
“This revelation is not new. I heard about it years ago, but of course the ideological liberal media played it down as they always do when it goes against their agenda. And Puleeze don’t tell me they have no agenda.”
“Why wasn’t it [a story in that paper discussing the Foxx story] headlined, “Rep. Foxx exposes truth in Shepard case” or “Foxx discloses facts on Gay lie?””
Then, Clark himself responds to some of the comments:
“I found the ABC report well-researched and credible, but I can’t say for sure that it represents the truth about the case. And if I can’t be sure what the truth is, I also can’t say absolutely what’s a lie. I would be surprised if you can be any more certain than I am.”
Those who have done their research, Mr. Clark, indeed can be more ertain of what’s truth and what’s not. Like,Â MoisÃ©s Kaufman, author ofÂ The Laramie Project, who according to Glaad, “interviewed more than 200 residents of Laramie in 1998 and 1999″. Let’s try to undo some of this damage. Because there are many who have researched both the Shepard murder and the ABC 20/20 story. And, thanks to them, we do know the truth.
Please take a moment to join our Facebook group, FireFoxx, dedicated to the resignation of Virginia Foxx.
Â Â Â
For more on the Matthew Shepard story, read:
Still bashing Matthew Shepard
Matthew Shepard and hate crimes
Rewriting the Motives Behind Matthew Shepardâ€™s Murder
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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.
That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.
Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.
“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.
That could be through September of 2024.
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”
“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”
That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.
“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”
READ MORE: Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution
Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”
And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”
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