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This column was reprinted by permission of L. Brent Bozell and Creators Syndicate. To reprint this or any of his twice weekly syndicated columns, please contact Creators Syndicate at (310) 337-7003 ext. 110





 L. Brent Bozell


Time.Com Dismisses Dirkhising
by L. Brent Bozell III
November 15, 1999

The national media made the grisly murder of Matthew Shepard a national issue. With the exception of The Washington Times, the New York Post, and Fox News Channel, they quietly exposed their overwhelming bias in favor of the gay-left agenda by refusing to cover the death of 13- year-old Jesse Dirkhising after he was bound, gagged, and sodomized by two gay men. Now one national media voice has broken the silence. Sadly, what he has to say is a shocking defense of an indefensible double standard.

On the Web site, Jonathan Gregg suggested the Dirkhising story "received relatively little coverage, while Shepard leaves a story that will probably endure for years to come as a symbol of intolerance and lowest-common-denominator conformity." 

Correction: it wasn't "little coverage." From ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, from Time, Newsweek and U.S. News, from the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and USA Today , it was zero coverage.

Gregg asked: "Could it be because we in the the media elite were unwilling to publicize crimes committed by homosexuals because it didn't suit our agenda? The next stop in that line of reasoning was clear: That news is controlled by a bunch of gay-loving liberals only too happy to wield a double standard."

Gregg spent the rest of his analysis proving exactly that.

He began by refusing to acknowledge that the two men accused of killing Dirkhising told police they were lovers: "A red herring worth addressing at the outset is the failure to distinguish between homosexuality and pedophilia, which creates a false parallel...A double standard would be in effect had the media ignored a situation where two gay men killed a straight man for being straight. But sex with children is a crime regardless of the sexes involved, and is not synonymous with homosexuality." 

But to be precise, the evidence in this case suggests that the two accused killers are both homosexuals and pedophiles. It was the homosexual rape of a little boy and his repeated torture which led to his death. Where's the red herring?

Echoing most liberals who dare to discuss Dirkhising, Gregg declared: "The most salient difference between the Shepard case and this one, however, is that while Shepard's murderers were driven to kill by hate, the boy's rape and death was a sex crime. " He continued: "It was the kind of depraved act that happens with even more regularity against young females, and, indeed, if the victim had been a 13-year-old girl, the story would probably never have gotten beyond Benton County, much less Arkansas. (There is, of course, a double standard there.)"

Balderdash. Both Shepard and Dirkhising were victims of brutal crimes. Shepard was a gay victim; Dirkhising was victimized by two gay men. Gregg is saying that the victim of a "hate crime" matters much more than someone who doesn't fit a politicized category.

As for the "regularity" of sex crimes against young girls going ignored by the press, we must only assume Gregg has never heard of JonBenet Ramsey. Gregg unintentionally decimates his argument here. Why is the murder of a six-year-old Boulder beauty queen worthy of a thousand news stories, but the murder of a 13-year-old boy from Arkansas is worth none?

Then Gregg launched a broadside at conservatives that proves conclusively the political agenda behind the double standard: "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." Gregg claimed Shepard's killers "dramatically reflected some of society's darkest influences -- an acceptance of the persecution of gays -- the media saw fit to hold the case up as an example." They needed to address that while everyone would deplore the Dirkhising murder, "many in our society think that beating up gays is justifiable, and place the blame on the victims."

Just who is suggesting the murder of a gay man is acceptable? Just who are these "darkest influences" of society he cites? Where has Gregg found the conservative articles or pamphlets that support beating up gay people? Which conservative wrote an editorial suggesting that Shepard's killers should go unpunished, or serve a lesser sentence? 

Gregg concluded: "The reason the Dirkhising story received so little play is because it offered no lessons. There is no lesson here, no moral of tolerance, no hope to be gleaned in the punishment of the perpetrators."

Translation: The Shepard story deserved coverage not because of the murder, but because of what it could do for the gay left. The Dirkhising story was buried not because of the boy's death, but because it offered nothing but damage to the gay left. The media doesn't impartially serve the public. It just serves its political buddies.

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