Sunday, November 3

Love and Bullets - A columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch is the first mainstream media personality I've seen who has put into print speculation about an amorous relationship between snipers John Allen Muhammed and John Lee Malvo. Yes, what seems like a story worthy of the National Enquirer has broken into more "respectable" quarters. (Or not.)

Certainly, the 41-year-old failed father and the 17-year-old immigrant drifter had an unusual relationship. Still, the facts are relatively clear as to how they became acquainted, and there lots of unremarkable reasons why a hardluck kid might look up to and emulate an older man -- and want to be with him -- besides sexual urges. To call the gangster pair gay at this stage in the investigation is rank speculation motivated by bias or the desire to drum up readership. As the court cases proceed, we're sure to hear more of the evidence, confessions and otherwise, which will help us understand the truth. In the meantime, let's keep the gay-baiting out of it.