Thursday, March 08, 2007

Matt Sanchez 24/7

So imagine that you are a graduate school student at Columbia University and dealing with midterm exams and what not. And then a snap of winter weather hits the city making those long pathways between campus buildings that extra windy and cold to traverse, even with a turtle-neck sweater on!

Then again, you are Cpl. Matt Sanchez, Marine reservist and right-wing media darling for daring to (gulp!) back on-campus military recruitment and complaining that some "non-minority" socialist students on campus insulted him by saying he was "too stupid" to understand that the military exploited minorities such as him (Sanchez is Puerto Rican).

An OpEd piece in the NY Post set the usual right-wing media channels on his tail including The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, culminating in his invite to the CPAC conference where Ann Coulter recently made those "faggot" remarks about John Edwards.

Not to miss out on the attention, Cpl. Sanchez launches his own blog to... promote his Columbia Spectator article on the lack of truly masculine characters in Ugly Betty?

Ah! But that was mere days ago and this is now:

From Joe.My.Blog:
From Matt Sanchez:
And, finally, for now, from Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

The Real Eleven Inches of Pure Hypocrisy

While it may be delicious to watch our opponents twist and squirm after honoring and embracing a larger-than-life gay porn star, I don’t see any hypocrisy in U.S. Marine reservist Matt Sanchez’s actions. As is his right, he spoke out against what he believed was bad treatment by Columbia’s ‘radical anti-military students’ (Sanchez’s words). Right-wing pundits and organizations pounced on the handsome Latino Marine and showered him with praise and media exposure. Now, they’re scrambling for cover.

Porn — gay or straight — has no ideology. Porn stars and porn consumers are Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelicals. There’s no inherent contradiction between Matt Sanchez being pro-military and being part of the ‘adult film’ industry. The real hypocrisy expresses itself in two different and important ways. First, the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law requires Matt Sanchez and thousands of other loyal Americans to hide their sexual orientation to serve their country in the military. Second, Ann Coulter and her ilk lift a man to hero and spokesperson status until — gasp! — he is found out to be a ‘faggot’ (Coulter’s word).

The important 11 inches in this story? That is the approximate distance between berths on U.S. naval submarines, so defamatorily measured in front of TV cameras by then-Sen. Sam Nunn in 1993, who immorally intimated that openly gay service members could not be permitted to bunk next to straight service members. From that shameful episode, Nunn led Congress to adopt the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ law, which should now be repealed. Let’s be done with officially enforced closets.

It's sometimes fascinating to see one of these mini-scandals shape up but part of me also cringes when you see someone who obviously did not know what was coming to him become a deer caught in the headlights.

The Task Force does well by defending Sanchez' right to his views and tries to redirect the dialogue towards renewed efforts to challenge the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policies (it was just last week that we blogged about yet another conservative Hispanic Marine in a whole different situation).

Still, I'm not sure I'd say that there was no hypocrisy in Sanchez letting Fox news use him in the same way that he accuses left wing media of championing minorities who express left wing views (though he does have a point when he says that when his views became prominent, it was only the New York Posts and the FOX news of the world that picked up the phone).

Still, what is most insidious to me is how conservative media outlets canonize a few minorities that espouse right-wing ideologies (Michelle Malkin anyone?). Perhaps it's my turn to turn into a Minutemen-loving, reggaeton-hating motivational speaker and Newt Gingrich fan and see if they bite? I'll even call myself Hispanic! I certainly could use the money!

An interesting point about Sanchez' essay: He never says whether he is a gay man or not. Likewise, though he does name the titles of a couple of his porn flicks as well as the monikers he used as an actor, he never once directly says that these were gay porn flicks, just "adult films."

Online he has also claimed to have had two fiances and a wife - but never a boyfriend (a bad thing when you've dated one of the most widely read gay bloggers).

Is he trying to avoiding being thrown out of the reserves? Is he bisexual? Is he gay and doesn't think it's a public matter? Only Sanchez knows.

Not sure the truth has set him free but let's hope he does come out a better man at the end of this.

UPDATE: Just for the heck of it, a few views on the right (all in defense of Sanchez).

1 comment:

TheHighandTheMighty said...

Okay,While I'm a straight Scots-Irish Male in Texas,many of my best buds are Hispanic!!
And I hate political hypocripsy from both sides!!
Be it Rosie O'Donnell excoraiting Tom Selleck for belonging to the NRA while having Armed Bodyguards escorting her rent a kids everywhere or Matt Sanchez and Ted Haggard denying theyr'e not Gay!!!
Ain't it funny while the same people on the right get their drawers in a wad over Melissa Etherridge kissing her Partner on the lips at the Oscars yet they get all buddy buddy over Matt Sanchez and Ted Haggard!!
Oh The Humanity!!!