Although I agree with some that Matthew Shepard, as a very disturbed and troubled young man, has become far too mythic in proportion, the heinousness of the crime perpetrated upon him cannot be overstated. The immensely cruel and brutal evil that befell poor Matthew is unthinkable and cannot be forgotten. And while we cannot live in fear of the same happening to us, we must never think we are immune from such inexplicable violence.
And, yet, somehow ABC decided to run a story that would suggest that the men who tortured and killed Matthew did so out essentially because of a drug deal gone bad, rather than because he was gay.
And my first response is, "does it matter why they killed him?" And not just killed him, but tortured and crucified the boy. It reeks of someone trying to make excuses. It reeks of a media outlet trying to pander to a perception that many viewers are anti-gay.
In any event, this sort of investigation provides no redeeming feature or merit. It advances no cause, except perhaps the one that would see Matthew as the creator and ultimate reaper of his own circumstances. The insinuation appears to be that had Matthew not been a drug-adled queer looking for sinful man-sex, he would still be alive.
I normally would not weigh in on a program I had not personally viewed. I was, and still am, so offended at the basic premise of the show, however, I could not bring myself to watch it. Even if the show managed to convince me that it wasn't a gay-bashing to the nth degree (and that would take a lot of convincing) , it wouldn't change the fact that the man in question is a killer and his vicitm, regardless of his faults, didn't deserve death, particularly a slow, inhumane, degrading death.
I would boycott ABC, but they don't have anything of quality on to watch in the first place. For responses to the "news" story aired on 20/20, you can start by visiting
GLAAD's analysis of the story
the response of the Matthew Shepard Foundation
Also echoing many of my statements, along with some additional insights, are John Rowe's observations here.