It may not be a particularly sound barometric test, but when I get a book in my hands about a subject I find interesting but by an author I am unfamiliar with, I look in the author bio in the back: if he or she has ever done any work for Fox, I immediately begin to question not only whether or not I will agree with the author's thesis, but also whether or not the tome in hand is more akin to science fiction or fantasy, more so than, say, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or Pratchett's Discworld.
When I first learned of Jimenez's thesis and then his association with Fox, these are the cogs that started turning in my head. So as soon as we got his book at my library (and believe me, of course, we'd get THIS book as opposed to all the other gay-related books that I would prefer the library to get), I googled "criticism, book of matt," and found the following article from MediaMatters.
Although right-wing media have rejoiced at the arrival of The Book of Matt - convinced that it exposes an LGBT "grievance industry" founded on "lies" and cover-ups, Jimenez's repeated conjecture, unreliable sources, and stubborn denial of blatant evidence of homophobia mark the book as a sub-par work of reportage.
In the course of his failed effort to upend the public's understanding of Shepard's murder, Jimenez pays no heed to the reality of anti-LGBT hate crimes. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) notes that no other minority group is as targeted for hate crimes. However poor the investigative work and unfounded the conclusions, Jimenez's book gives aid and comfort to those who turn a blind eye to anti-LGBT violence and bigotry.
This is actually the conclusion of the piece, so be sure to click over and read the rest.
Given what tomorrow is (50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK), there's been a lot of talk about where everyone was on THAT day. "Well, everyone remembers where they were on the day that it happened." Learning about the death of Matthew Shepard was one of those moments for me (along with the Challenger explosion and 9/11), and while, yes, his murder has been used as a political means, I'm okay with that means being one for justice. Using his death to bring back a darkness is a terrible, terrible thing.