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gender & sexuality | media criticism

Matthew Shepard hate killing "a myth", says ABC News 20/20

20-20 tonight devoted its entire hour to an "investigation" purporting to show that hate/homophobia had nothing to do with Matt Shepard's murder. 20-20 co-host Elizabeth Vargas conducted prison interviews with Matt's killers, who now repudiate their own defense at trial which was that the killing was motivated by "gay panic" after Matt made unwanted sexual advances, and claim that in reality the only motive was robbery. Various third parties made on-camera statements in "support" of this revised version of events, and claimed among other things that Matt Shepard was a dealer and user of methamphetamine who was the victim of a drugs-and-money-related robbery gone bad.

It's never surprising to find there are other sides to a story, but what bothers me about this is 20-20's hard sell that the Matt Shepard Story as we know it is a myth, a total fabrication, and that the self-serving claims made in the unconvincing interviews they aired are the reality.

related, at Madison IMC: [ ABC's 20/20 Got it Wrong in Matthew Shepard Piece ]