In a March 31 FrontPageMag article, which he claims is the speech he would have given to a college Republican group railing against hate-crime laws had he not be subject to "an organized and highly disruptive demonstration by a mob of socialists, 'peace activists,' and homosexuals," Don Feder writes:
Take the 1998 homicide of Matthew Shepard. Was Shepard murdered because he was a homosexual? Possibly. But it’s equally plausible that he died because his murderers wanted drug money, and Shepard (weighing in at 105 pounds) was an easy mark. According to a 2004 report by ABC’s “20/20,” that’s what many close to the case believe.
As we detailed, what Feder portrays as "many close to the case" is in fact merely one of the men who killed Shepard -- who has a history of telling lies about his role in the death of Shepard and who mounted a gay-panic defense during his murder trial -- changing his story. The others are right-wingers like Feder who believe the killer because his new story fits in with their anti-gay agenda.
Here's what an actual person "close to the case" -- the former police chief of Laramie, Wyo. -- said at the time about the killer's new story: "Only three people know what really happened that night. ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."
Indeed, Feder is a veritable font of misleading far-right talking points in this speech-that-never-was. He recounts the overblown case of anti-gay protesters who were arrested at a 2004 gay event in Philadelphia, claiming they "could have been sentenced 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines," adding, "They weren’t disruptive. They didn’t attempt to block access to the event." In fact, as we detailed at the time, the leader of the protesters, Michael Marcavage, carried a bullhorn, leading his protest in the middle of the celebration and refusing to obey an order to go to an area on the edge of the event. (Feder doesn't explain how the use of a bullhorn can be anything but disruptive.) Further, even the attorney for the gay group that organized the event said, "They might get six to 12 months probation. ... Nobody's going to jail for 47 years" (the charges were ultimately dropped).
Feder also repeats the case of college librarian Scott Savage, who was accused of "sex-discrimination and harassment ... for recommending four books," one of which was David Kupelian's anti-gay "The Marketing of Evil." We realize Feder could care less about getting facts straight (witness his work for Accuracy in Media's anti-New York Times website), but as we've noted, the actual accusation against Savage was "harassment based on sexual orientation," something functionally different from what Feder said.