Last Tuesday President Obama gave a televised speech to the Nation which culminated, at least for now our official involvement in the Syrian civil war. That was not what made the speech different but that at the time we were making the speech, which was a plea to change the minds of the people and support military intervention in Syria, we had already washed our hands of the whole issue. and had punted to the Russians. This was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. The media which had been protective of its President, and had not allowed dissension finally let loose and the criticism was coming from everywhere. Think Progress tried to turn the debacle around by proclaiming the Administration’s strategy brilliant in letting the Russians deal with it. It failed, its readers themselves mocked the article, how can you be brilliant to something that happened inadvertently and that leaves the things as they are. After all we were told, quoting professor Victor Davis Hanson, we needed to bomb Syria, maybe send troops to: a) help the rebels, b) destroy WMD, c) punish Assad for using WMD, d) warn others not to use WMD, e) remove him, f) weaken him, g) restore U.S. credibility, h) restore mostly Barack Obama’s lost credibility, i) thwart Russia, j) show Iran, k) welcome in Russia, l) ignore Iran, m) create stability after Assad’s departure, n) not get involved after Assad’s departure, o) sort out good rebels from bad ones, etc.?
This is after we were told until November of 2011 that Assad was a reformer, as such we could not help the Moderate insurgents. Now that we are 21/2 years into the insurgency and now that up to 75% of the insurgents are hard-core radicals, affiliated with Al queda who we are still fighting in Afghanistan, do we want to send weapons and bomb President Assad. But never fear the Russians are going to save our butts, Russia which has been supplying weapons to Assad and has a naval base in Tartarus Syria, will with the help of the UN get rid of the WMDs in Syria, so we can go on our merry way. This is what Think Progress was calling brilliant.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Crime Prevention Act or better know as the Matthew Shepard Act was signed by President Obama in 2009, the measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and it removes the Federal government restriction to federally protected activities was a great victory for the LBGT community. James Byrd whose name appears in the legislation but is lesser known was a man dragged behind a pick-up truck by 3 white supremacists leaving parts of his body all along the 3 mile stretch that he was dragged in Jasper, Tx in 1998. The killers were caught 2 were sentenced to death row and the other will be serving a life sentence for this racially motivated gruesome and mostly forgotten murder.
Matthew Shepard for which the Act is known was a gay student at the University of Wyoming, in October 1998, he accepted a ride from two acquaintances who drove him into the woods to a secluded area and then proceeded to torture him, leaving him for death, all because he was gay and made a pass at one of them, who pretended to be gay. At least that was the story that the Media would recite non-stop for years to come. Shepard became a cause celebre among celebrities who wrote songs, plays , books and movies all depicting that basic story, a young man who is struggling with his homosexuality and pays the ultimate price for it, after suffering horrendous torture.
But now a new book coming out next week by investigative journalist Stephen Jiminez put all that doubt to say the least. As Austin Ruse writes:
Almost everything you think you know about the Matthew Shepard narrative is false.
“Almost immediately Shepard became a secular saint, and his killing became a kind of gay Passion Play where he suffered and died for the cause of homosexuality against the growing homophobia and hatred of gay America.
Indeed, a Mathew Shepard industry grew rapidly with plays and foundations along with state and even national hate crimes legislation named for him. Rock stars wrote songs about him, including Elton John and Melissa Etheridge. Lady Gaga performed John Lennon’s “Imagine” and changed the lyrics to include Shepard.
Thanks to a new book by an award-winning gay journalist we now know that much of this narrative turns out to be false, little more than gay hagiography.”
Shepard was not attacked because he was gay, one of his attackers was a gay lover. Shepard was a meth dealer, whose lover on a 5 day binge on Meth attacked him to get Shepard to tell him where his drugs were. This should not come as a surprise as an ABC 20/20 special made similar claims. The problem is that this Narrative was inconvenient so it was ignored. It was just another instance of false but accurate as Dan Rather would say. Then end result is we have a new law, that empowers the Federal government to interfere further in local crime issues, based on a lie. Ironically the one person that did suffer a “hate crime” is barely remembered, James Byrd.
There have been other instances where the Media has played a substantial part in manipulating the story by either repeating its version or ignoring that which would put it in doubt, as a commenter listed below;
The Scopes Monkey Trial?
Fraud. They hired a substitute teacher to SPECIFICALLY say something to a class that was never “his”, because they KNEW it would get him “fired” and provide grounds for the Suit they WANTED, but didn’t have an actual legitimate CASE to pursue.
Same thing. A planned event, discussed in advance, and the most ‘sympathetic” participant chosen to carry it out. She wasn’t just some poor woman ” too tired” to get up and move from her seat, she got on that bus SPECIFICALLY to challenge that law…Honorable endeavor? Yes. An “organic, spontaneous” event? No, but they PRETEND it was, because it’s a better “sell”
Sure, theoretically, IF a woman was raped, and IF she needed an abortion…but the “plaintiff” in that case was neither…they lied, fabricated the circumstances to “fit” a particular “theoretical” line to best win a Supreme Court Challenge. Poor woman raped, and forced to carry her attackers baby to term? No, but it makes a good “theory” doesn’t it? The fact that the actual Female Plaintiff in Roe vs Wade became so soured by the Rabidly Pro-Abortion Advocates who used and discarded her for Political Purposes eventually became a pro-life supporter, is somehow never mentioned in “The Narrative”
The crowning jewel to those is of course the election of President Obama in 2008, nobody can deny how the media elevated this practically unknown Junior Senator from Illinois into the next coming of the Messiah. In fact some did call him that. He was a Harvard Law Professor, no, he was a part-time lecturer, he was a great writer, no, his book was ghost written, he is the most intelligent, the sharpest dresser, his speeches are best ever given, he will heal the world and he is black. Nothing negative could said, printed or aired about him. In fact most did not investigate him at all, his grades, who knows, his health, his background all were ignored. Now 5 years later some are waking up to the fact that the President is a “lightweight”, that loftily rhetoric was just that loftily words read out of a teleprompter with no meaning. The Obama Doctrine ” leading from behind” is nothing more than an excuse to let others make the hard decisions allowing him to not make any.
Yesterday Sybrina Fulton was scheduled to testify before Congress, she is seeking support for Trayvon’s Law, which modifies the Stand Your Ground laws in effect in several states. She also wants the provision that indemnities people who have successfully defended themselves from charges in Civil Court. The mass shooting at the Naval Yard have prevented this from happening or at least has delayed it. The question is should she have been given the opportunity in the first place.
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy, but it was one of his own making. It has been the media portrayal of Martin which has allowed this continue. From the beginning the media has tried to portrayed Martin as a cherubic 12-14 year-old and Zimmerman as a burly out of control bully. During the trial it tried to hype that which supported the prosecution, which was minimal, and downplay or ignore that which supported the defense, which was overwhelming. After the verdict, the jury composition, which almost universally was thought to benefit the prosecution was questioned. Now anything that happens regarding the case is turned into a bash Zimmerman story. Will it take ten years for an intrepid investigative journalist to actually did into the case, explore the familial ties of Martin, examine his own text and the testimony of Rachel Jeantel who at the last appearance admitted that it was Martin that struck Zimmerman first, though she saw nothing wrong with it. Will someone investigate whether it was a case of homophobic bashing as it was inferred in court testimony, that Martin by his own admission is just a low-level drug dealer with a short temper, who saw Zimmerman as an easy prey.
While I wait I will have to just grin and bear to watch the Fulton’s and Martins pretend their son was someone else to maintain the illusion that America is still racist, and we need yet another law, this time name after a minor thug who got himself killed but no one is willing to admit, because doing so will make us racist.