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Is Virginia Foxx a Sympathetic Character?

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who offended gay rights groups and her own colleagues Wednesday by saying the infamous murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in 1998 was a "hoax," is now portraying herself as the victim.

Foxx reportedly says she has been receiving death threats ever since she said on the House floor Wednesday, "We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay...It's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."

Telephones in the congresswoman's office were not being answered Thursday afternoon. Calls were diverted to a general voice mail box, which was full and unable to record messages.

The Capitol Police are unaware of any death threats against the congresswoman. Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, tells the Sleuth there is "no ongoing investigation" of the matter, which means the police have received no information about death threats from Foxx's office.

Foxx somewhat retracted her comments about Shepard later yesterday, after gay-rights groups and Democratic lawmakers denounced her revisionist history. (The two men who killed Shepard were convicted after multiple witnesses testified the killers were motivated by anti-gay bias.)

In a statement, she said, "The term 'hoax' was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate-crimes bill. Mr. Shepard's death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received."

The congresswoman said she had based her comments on two reports that suggested Shepard's killers had not known he was gay. (Here is one such story from 2004, which was based on interviews with Shepard's killers after the incident.)

"Referencing these media accounts may have been a mistake, but if so, it was a mistake based on what I believed were reliable accounts," she said.

Here is our original story from Wednesday.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  April 30, 2009; 4:15 PM ET
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Once again, she's playing the media like a fine guitar, and getting the press coverage she desires in order to get re-elected.

We're all suckers for such tactics, aren't we?

Posted by: MikeK3 | April 30, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What kind of dumb-a$$ morons would elect this woman to Congress?

Posted by: toritto | April 30, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

She should share an office with Michelle Bachmann. Typical compassionate conservatism.

Posted by: Midknight | April 30, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I have it on good authority (I speak with three (3) deities on a regular basis) that Virginia-Fox-less has strayed off the sanity reservation.

I have no dog in this fight, but I do weep over how far down the Republican wing nuts are willing to dig into the layers of satanic nonsense. They feign religion, but they act devilishly. Read your good book, VF. What's that? You say you do read the Bible? Hmmm... You must have been really bad in school also, the Bible speaks against what you seem to practice. Espouse elsewhere -- like in your dank basement.

Posted by: vicweast | April 30, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Foxx is "informed" that Matthew Shepard died while trying to rob his attackers. So, it is those unconscionable liberals who exploit (a purported non-event as) an excuse for passing these bills (enacting punishment of people who attack homosexuals on account of they are homosexuals), which apparently flood and pollute Congress. Congress, Ms. Foxx probably opines, should be legislating to fight terrorism, praise America, praise God, borrow more money from China, cut taxes on the people most able to pay them, torture, and fund right-wing ideologue founders of corporate monstrosities. The prominent established fact about the remnants of the Republican Party in Congress is that members are only loosely acquainted with reality. Baseless opinion and herd mentality drives their votes.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | April 30, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

What kind of dumb-a$$ morons would elect this woman to Congress?

Posted by: toritto | April 30, 2009 5:50 PM

That's the $64K question, isn't it?

No need for any further comments to this story - identifying the nutjobs who cast votes for Foxx would be an interesting follow-up. Send a reporter to her district and ask man-on-the-street about Matthew Shepherd and "hoax". And ask if they still support Foxx.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | May 1, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think those death threats are a hoax.

Posted by: FauxReal | May 1, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Stupid is as stupid does, and Virginia Foxx does stupid very well.

Posted by: cymric | May 1, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Foxx and Bachmann do a disservice to other members of the House of Representatives who are informed, intelligent, concerned, and compassionate elected officials who listen to their constituents rather than drink the Repo Kool-aid and spew garbage and vitriole. Foxx and Michelle Bachmann are cut from the cloth only 40 years apart. I can say one thing about both...for them, ugliness goes all the way to the bone (peel away Bachman's makeup mask).

Posted by: politico5 | May 1, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Does she represent Mayberry RFD (Republican Foxx is Divisive)?

Posted by: MikeK3 | May 1, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The dumb A$$'$ that voted for that woman are from North Carolina, which is not to say that all of us think like she does..or vote like she does.

She figured that since Jesse Helms had passed on she would take up his mantle as the nuttiest fruitcake in the Congress. We figured we had hopefully seen the last of the likes of Jesse. Guess not.

Posted by: bettyb2 | May 1, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Just thought os something after I revisited the article's headline. No, Foxx is simply PATHETIC!

Posted by: politico5 | May 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Remembering that face-slaps are officially NOT torture, no matter how they are administered, how often, or for how long, I suggest that Virginia Foxx should be subjected to face-slapping until she renounces being a member of a radical religious fundamentalist terrorist organization determined to violently attack the U.S. government and replace it with a sick, twisted, lie-based global theocracy.

Posted by: ballanross | May 1, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

She's an ignorant B---h!

Posted by: asclepious2 | May 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Foxx is a perfect representative for the republican party where facts are always replaced with ideology. They hate Gay people, and make no attempt to hide that fact.

The GOP-->IS foxx and faux news, bachmann, palin, rove, limberger, hannity, malkin, steele. They are everything BAD about America.

Posted by: dematheart | May 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

In answer to your headline: No.

Posted by: nodebris | May 2, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that Rep. Foxx did NOT in any way retract her comments; she simply offered the standard "I chose words poorly" excuse politicians and preachers use when someone notices what they've said. As a mother, Ms. Foxx should be doubly ashamed: not only was she belittling and ridiculing the torture and death of a young man, she was doing it in the face of the dead man's own mother, Judy Shephard. Rep. Foxx cluelessly claims gay people are not the subject of hate crimes; she needs to know that bigoted and cold-hearted words like hers only encourage others bigots to harm gay people. And no, neither Rep. Foxx nor her snide disregard for the lives of gay Americans is sympathetic.

Posted by: jaynashvil | May 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The Winston-Salem Journal, the largest paper in Rep. Foxx's district, has an editorial out yesterday which condemned her remarks.

They also reference this editorial from another paper in her district (The Mt. Airy News) which comdemned Foxx for remarks where told teenagers smoking cigarettes was no different than drinking Mountain Dew.

If you want to write a letter to the editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, email it to Include your name, city and phone number, plus limit it to 250 words.

On my blog, I have more suggestions on what you can do to be sure we don't let Rep. Foxx off the hook.

One suggestion, demand that her GOP and Democratic colleagues vote to stricken her remarks from the record. Why isn't the NC GOP condemning her? Sen. Richard Burr represented this district before Foxx. Why is he so quiet?

If the GOP wants to rebrand itself, they can't let this kind of Republican serve in Congress.

Posted by: fakevirginia | May 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Grandma? Is that you? We've been so worried since you wandered away from the "home". Won't you please go back? Your meds are ready and they have your favorite pudding...

Posted by: capemh | May 4, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Ignorance doesn't get "cuter" with age... Actually, it gets magnified.

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | May 4, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Virginia Foxx is an individual of limited intelligence who plays to those who are her constituents who are also of limited intelligence. She is not a symapthetic figure for most people of the world. However, she is in her home district because the Christian jihadists who back her are anti-gay and anti almost everything else too.

Posted by: ironpenguin | May 4, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Question: Is Virginia Foxx a Sympathetic Character?

Answer: No. Virginia Foxx is Simply a Pathetic Character!

Why is is that the GOP is inundated with nutcases like her and Michele Bachmann? These people aren't psychologically examined before being put up for public office?
What about the nutcases that elect and re-elect these nutcases? Heaven help us all...

Posted by: rgnewton | May 4, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Foxx is an embarrassment to NC, our 5th Congressional District and to Congress. After so many letters and petitions sent to her, fellow constituents and myself are exasperated in our attempts to let her know our views while she consistently ignores the opinions and wishes of many in her district. Believe me when I say that she doesn't represent all the folks in her District. It is interesting to read others' opinions of her views and antiquated ideas. We tried to get Jesse out back in the 90's and have tried to get her out in 2000's. NC is a great place to live...such a shame that she is representing us! Yikes!

Posted by: ddkNC | May 5, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Foxx is one of many really pathetic, ignorant congressmen. Where do these people reside when they aren't on tv confirming all our suspicions? If I were in her district, I would be denouncing and screaming for her recall. Ignorance is no excuse---Her job requires that she be informed from the FIRST, not at the LAST. Sadly, she is one of many, not an aberration. And our republic is worse for it.

Posted by: mb1957 | May 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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