Many of Scott Beauchamp’s (and TNR’s) defenders are attempting to discredit Matt Sanchez’s reports by using his pre-Marine past against him and that past is a doozy: Sanchez admitted months ago that he used to be a gay porn star.
I’m on Media Matters’ email list and its pushback against Sanchez’s reports was on my mail server last night.
In an effort to undermine a New Republic article by Army Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp about alleged inappropriate conduct by U.S. troops in Iraq, an article by Weekly Standard reporter Matthew [sic] Goldfarb relied on Marine Cpl. Matt Sanchez as the only military source identified by name but did not reveal facts that weigh on the credibility of Sanchez's attacks on The New Republic article: that Sanchez, whose website describes him as a "Marine Reservist" who is "[p]resently in Iraq interviewing the troops," has reportedly been under investigation by the Marines over allegations that he bilked private donors out of $12,000 for a deployment to Iraq he never made and that he apparently once worked as a male escort [sic]. He has also admitted to having been in gay porn films, a fact he has acknowledged "leaving ... off my curriculum vitae." [SNIP]I don’t know the outcome of the USMC investigation into Sanchez’s funding either, but it’s obvious that he’s in Iraq right now—and knowing well how the military operates, I seriously doubt that Sanchez would be approved as an embedded blogger/reporter if the accusations of fraud had gone against him. And as for his past in relation to the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, I would imagine that Sanchez is no longer a Reservist.
However, Goldfarb did not disclose several facts that might undermine Sanchez's credibility. Sanchez is reportedly under investigation by the military for fraud. According to an April 1 Marine Corps Times article, Sanchez was informed in a March 22 email from Reserve Col. Charles Jones, a staff judge advocate, that he was under investigation for lying "'to various people, including but not limited to, representatives of the New York City United War Veterans Council [UWVC] and U-Haul Corporation' about deploying to Iraq at the commandant's request." According to the article, the email added: "'Specifically, you wrongfully solicited funds to support your purported deployment to Iraq' by coordinating a $300 payment from the UWVC and $12,000 from U-Haul." The article stated, "In an interview Thursday with Marine Corps Times, Sanchez said the fund-raising allegations are 'demonstrably false' and that he never collected money from either organization." The article stated that "[t]he Corps on Friday [March 29] was slated to wrap up" the Sanchez investigation, but Media Matters has been unable to locate any articles reporting whether the investigation did indeed wrap up, and if so, what the results of the investigation were.
Sanchez’s past as it relates to his credibility as a civilian observer of Coalition efforts in Iraq, however, has no affect on that credibility whatsoever. But we all know that there is a sector of the Left that is all too willing to hold a converted Conservative’s past against him/her--this applies to converted Christians as well--as some sort of evidence of hypocrisy for whatever that new conservative may advocate with regard to his/her new stance. And the fact that Sanchez is part of an ethnic group (Hispanic), toward which the Left holds a proprietary attitude, stokes the Left’s outrage all the more (and don’t I know it).
I was all set to talk about change (again) and how it isn’t hypocrisy when someone shakes off an old ideology in favor of a new one which makes more sense to him/her. But, as it happens, Sanchez was far more eloquent about his conversion in a March 2007 letter he wrote to Michelle Malkin:
I don’t like porn, it reduces the mind, flattens the soul. That’s not hypocrisy talking, that’s experience. If I started off with liberal leanings, being on a gay porn set should have been heaven. In porn, everything taboo is trivialized and everything trivial is projected. How does a conservative trace his roots to such distasteful beginnings? Like all followers of a cult, it’s tough to figure out when you stopped believing in the party-line, but I can tell you that by the time I finished my summer tour of the major studios, I was pretty disgusted with myself. It was an emotional low, and the people who surrounded me were like drug dealers only interested in being with the anesthetized in order not to shake off the stupor of being high. Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me to today[.] [SNIP]Back when Sanchez's past first became public knowledge, See-Dubya of Junkyard Blog reminded us that
I learned a lot at the CPAC, mostly that I’m not as right-wing among the true believers as I feel in a place like New York, where people glibly promote diversity unless you don’t agree with them. [SNIP]
I am embarrassed to say, I thought my fellow conservative friends would distance themselves when this news came out, and I’m touched that the opposite has happened.
[r]edemption is a Christian doctrine, and an American doctrine, and a conservative doctrine as well: making the best of what you have instead of insisting on perfection. Perfection is a myth. Perfection is the enemy of the good. All men, and all institutions, and all human doctrines, are deeply flawed and twisted, but we must do the best we can with them.(Emphasis mine.)
To understand American conservatives, even those who aren't themselves Christian, you need to understand Christianity--not as it appears in vicious stereotypes and smears on left-wing blogs, but as it is really preached and practiced and understood. As I am fond of pointing out, a lively Christian faith is actually a great defense for American liberty, and a firewall against ideological zeal and extremism. And as seen in the response to the revelations about Cpl. Sanchez, it keeps us human.
Some sectors of the Left believe that humanity is perfectible on its own--an idea that is in direct opposition to the idea that mankind is perfectible only by accepting the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This concept is what many scorners of Christianity fail to grasp--via ignorance, willful or otherwise. What did JC say, time and time again, to those whom He healed? "Go and sin no more."
I think that the Left is ticked not only at Sanchez for the reasons specified above, but at conservatives and Christians because, in our reaction to Sanchez and others like him, we failed to live "up" to the caricatures which they hold about the Right and about Christians.
Sorry about that.
(Thanks, appropriately enough, to Gay Patriot)