Club Q Redux in NYC: Hate Crimes Alleged as Gay Bar Repeatedly Attacked, Then the Press Becomes Its Own Victim

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The number of times this plays out is becoming a revelatory pattern with our media.


In the wake of the tragic shooting in Colorado where five lives were taken and 17 others were wounded, the press has been on edge and full of teeth-baring accusations. Following the Saturday night attack on November 19, many figures in the press spent days accusing a wide range of people and outlets of culpability. Names like Tucker Carlson and Lauren Boebert were pointed out as contributing to the hate-inspired speech, and outlets such as Breitbart and Daily Wire were said to be conduits of intolerance feeding into this attack.

And in the ensuing days, another story emerged of violence directed at the LGBT𝜋 community. In New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, the gay establishment named Vers was targeted repeatedly by an assailant. In the span of a month, the bar was the site of an attack on four occasions, with the individual caught on security video throwing bricks at the front windows, sometimes during hours of operation. Not only were authorities searching out the attacker over this criminal activity, but also hate-crime charges were certain to be applied. Club Q was frequently invoked in the reports of these incidents, and the overall intolerance in the country was trotted out as being behind this egregious act.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine represented the position of many officials and members of the press in labeling this attack.


Governor Kathy Hochul directed police to increase their presence in “at-risk communities.” The bar’s owner, David DeParolesa, summed up the motivation behind this violence.

While DeParolesa stressed that his bar is a safe place and that no one was hurt during any of the incidents involving his establishment, he said he also feels the country is in a moment of “emboldened anti-gay, anti-trans resurgence. “The pendulum swings,” he said. “This is the manifestation of that.” 

A focused investigation by NYPD used surrounding security video from area businesses to pin down the perpetrator, then days later an arrest was made. A couple of telling details are found in the aftermath. The arrest of Sean Kuilan led to him being charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon for three of the four incidents. (Those were caught on security video.) Of note: No hate-crime charges are included. 

The other item of interest is how this story evaporated from the news cycle almost immediately. That is because of another detail coming to light. Unlike the report of the arrest from the local outlet The Gothamist, Yahoo News was willing to provide another detail about the suspect taken into custody.

A local gay man was arrested on Tuesday for the recent brick attacks on a popular Hell’s Kitchen gay bar in NYC.

And just that quickly, the press drops the story. Hate crimes are no longer applicable. This series of attacks is no longer framed against a supposed swelling tide of anti-gay intolerance. The pre-written field reports which were filled out like journalistic Mad Libs are tossed out immediately.


There is a very obvious gameplan at play in the media complex these days and the press has repeatedly exposed themselves as not just partisans, but a group embarking on a preset agenda. Look at the frothing outrage we were delivered in the days after the Colorado shooting, where all the accusatory hysteria was flooding news outlets, absent any type of tangible evidence. Then, the very moment the shooter was found to self-identify as non-binary and his history was learned, the journalists walked away from the news as quietly as possible.

Contrast those reports with another shooting that played out just days after the Club Q murders. In a Virginia Walmart, more people perished when a manager came in and took lives, except we did not see near the same level of outrage and days of perpetual coverage from our media mavens. This was possibly because the workplace violence aspect could not be leveraged against a grander narrative. It could also have been due to the shooter being a black man, who does not fit the profile the press requires to go into full-throat outrage mode.

The playbook is laid open when we see the behavior and the reaction from these journalists. Instead of investigating the details, we get overwrought commentaries and think-pieces filled with lecturing invective and condemnation, with no shortage of accusations leveled. Guilt is assigned before evidence is found, and punishment is called for in the court of public opinion. 


Then, as their scripts are blasted into confetti once the facts arrive, they are free to trundle off without any responsibility for their actions. The false charges and fact-free indictments are swept aside and no one has to bear the heft of accountability for their behavior. We should not tolerate this from anyone. More so, we should push back when it is the supposed thought leaders decrying division in this country who leap at the chance to ostracize a swath of the country. This is virulent behavior that needs to be remedied, and soon.


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