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Another debate about Jesse Dirkhising

I just read the article by Terry Krepel. (from March 2001)

What a disgusting piece of garbage.

He says conservatives only care about this case as a political tool. He states: "conservatives have demonstrated that they would love to take the fact that Dirkhising's accused killer are homosexual and extrapolate that into a general statement that all gays brutally sodomize young boys, which would certainly play into the hands on their political agenda."

Hey Terry, how about just covering the goddam news, and leave your political crap aside.

What a stupid jerk!

Bob Books, Louisville, CO

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Terry Krepel responds:


So, am I wrong? If so, how?

Terry Krepel

Bob responds:

You are not just wrong, you are impaired. However, I think our disagreement is fundamental and goes well beyond the Dirkhising story.

This story has not been covered. Ask the next 10 people.....who is Dirkhising? Who is Matthew Shepard? This story has been "spiked" in the same fashion that liberals "cover" all of the news. It's not necessary they arise in the morning and compare notes....they simply know which stories are politically charged and they cover them accordingly. You say the AP covered this story daily, well somehow none of the national papers or TV media picked it up. Somehow the story never made it to prime time. The "big 3" certainly did not cover it. Did the Times, and the Washington Post?

Your notion that Shepard's killing was a hate crime, and Dirkhising's was simply "because of someone's perverted sexual fantasy" is appalling....but your message is clear: News that advances your political agenda is news and deserves national coverage. News which does not, can be ignored as the rantings of conservatives. The fact that only conservatives think this story should be covered says volumes about the left. The left does not want to report the news and then discuss it, they simply stomp it out like a bunch of fascists. The new left has come full circle and become exactly what they have previously (and I think correctly) railed against.

There is no left wing conspiracy here, it's not necessary. All you folks agree on everything, and you really think your causes are so righteous that debate is superfluous.

Simply stated, the Shepard case received national coverage because the media kept the story alive every single day. The left has discovered the best way to win an argument is not to have one as in the Dirkhising case. Don't cover will go away. Don't debate will go away.

You are a "new left" liberal. You folks are not required to have fair discussions on issues. Your self-righteous views do not require debate. You really do believe that the Shepard case should be covered, but 2 gays, gag strangling a 13 year old boy (a neighbor no less) is somehow not newsworthy. Somehow, I think there could be a story here. Who are these creeps? What motivates them? Why do other homosexuals want to avoid this story? Why does the left want to avoid this story? How sad you are.

And I do not want an answer to this E-mail. I already know what you think, I read your column.

Terry Krepel responds:


Too bad: I'm responding anyway.

My point is that, despite conservatives' attempts to portray Jesse Dirkhising as the flip side of Matthew Shepard, the two deaths are not equivalent. One was a hate crime, the other was a sex crime. Jesse Dirkhising, unlike Matthew Shepard, did not die because his killers despised his sexual orientation. Name another sex-crime murder that received the play that Jesse Dirkhising did. I have never found a good explanation of why these two deaths must be considered equal.

That said, I do think that Shepard was overplayed in the media and was used by activists to advance certain causes. On the other hand, Jesse Dirkhising's death has been used by conservatives to advance certain causes as well -- for instance, to paint all homosexuals as being like the men who killed Dirkhising. AIM's Reed Irvine claims "The Dirkhising case shows that sadism and child abuse is an important part of the gay lifestyle," which is no more true than claiming that the Shepard case shows that violence and bigotry is an important part of being a white heterosexual male. If it's bad for Shepard's death to be used to advance an agenda, why isn't it bad for Dirkhising's death to be used the same way?

If you already know what I think by reading my site, as you claim, you would have picked up that I advance no political agenda and rarely criticize specific conservative views. All I do is hold certain conservative journalists to the standards to which they hold the so-called "liberal media." If liberal bias is bad for news as they claim, then conservative bias is too. And NewsMax, WorldNetDaily and CNS are as biased, if not more, then the "liberal media" they love to attack.

You would also have figured out (as if this response wasn't a clue) that I'm not so self-righteous that I think I'm above debate. Try finding opposing views on the ConWeb.

I'm just a guy with a (self-funded) website and a viewpoint. What I do is no different than what Brent Bozell does, except without the multimillion-dollar fund-raising apparatus and the Scaife foundation money. If the media were really as liberal as conservatives say, wouldn't you have heard of me before now?

I've been getting a lot of hits on that Dirkhising article lately for some reason. I have noticed, though, when I go back and retrace search-engine searches people have done for "Jesse Dirkhising," my article is just about the only one showing up in the results that doesn't come from a conservative viewpoint. Can you use that as proof that the Web is biased?

Terry Krepel

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Posted 3/25/2002

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