Sorry, I Just Have to Keep Belaboring This Point
As long as we're undermining those noxious red-state and blue-state stereotypes, I should link to the Robert Blanchard article that Reason ran in the aftermath of the Matthew Shepard murder. Here's the thesis:
As a Wyoming native (now living in Texas) and a gay man, I find such geographical stereotyping to be more than simply inaccurate and irresponsible. The coverage of the Shepard case delivers a damning lesson about the gross inability of the hate crime news formula to explain complex social situations–and it demonstrates that when the media and advocacy groups are faced with the choice of responding to reality or simply sticking with their scripts, they almost invariably choose the latter.