Topic: Media Research Center
Mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson has been the Media Research Center's point man (or woman) in cheering Russia's dentention of WNBA star Brittney Griner on trumped-up drug charges (even while the MRC was acting all sad that Russian athletes were being banned from international competition due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine), going on to insist that Griner deserves all the harsh treatment the Russians could dish out because she's a black non-heterosexual who purportedly doesn't love America enough (even though speaking out against injustice is a First Amendment right). When the U.S. gained Griner's freedom through a prisoner exchange for U.S.-imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout -- whom the MRC had previously deemed too valuable to exhange for Griner -- Maxson rushed to whine about it in a Dec. 8 post:
The Biden Administration today got taken to the cleaners in the prisoner swap of Viktor Bout – the world’s most notorious arms dealer in the world -- for American basketball player Brittney Griner while a real hero rots in a foreign prison.
This morning, Joe Biden said of Griner, “She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home.” However, American Paul Whelan, a former Marine serving 16 years in a harsh Russian penal colony, is not safe and is not coming home. He was arrested by Russia for alleged espionage in 2018. It’s no surprise that Biden failed a high-profile veteran. He left Americans behind in Afghanistan, too, just last year.
Griner checks the political boxes for the leftist president. She is black, lesbian, woke. Griner was arrested in Moscow last February attempting to board a plane with cannabis. Later, she was convicted of drug smuggling, sentenced to nine years in prison and recently transported to a harsh prison. The Phoenix Mercury center has already been canonized by the far-Left Women’s NBA.
Griner returns to pounding a basketball. Whelan pounds sand.
Maxson censored the fact that Whelan is hardly a saint. He received a bad-conduct discharge from the Marines following a court martial for attempted larceny, false statements and dereliction of duty, among other things. In other words, he actually committed crimes that were much worse the Russia accused Griner of doing (having a couple vape cartridges of cannabis oil) - but Maxson wants you to think his "former Marine'" status makes him virtuous.
Later that day, Nicholas Fondacaro and Bill D'Agostino played whataboutism:
On Thursday, the liberal media celebrated Russia’s release of WNBA player Brittney Griner as a triumph for President Joe Biden. But back in 2018, the same journalists were desperate to find a negative framing when the Trump administration negotiated the release of three American hostages from North Korea.
It’s right to celebrate when an American is brought home after an ordeal in a hostile country, but what the liberal media have been demonstrating is a double standard of lukewarm praise - annoyance when a Republican scores that victory.
But that defense crumbled quickly after former Trump national security adviser John Bolton revealed that Trump had a chance to exchange Whelan for Bout but declined to do so.
Kevin Tober went on to whine that "anti-American WNBA player Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison due to the Biden administration trading away one of Russia’s most dangerous terrorists and arms dealers Viktor Bout" -- the only evidence Tober provided of Griner being "anti-American" was her protesting against injustice by sitting out the National Anthem during WNBA games, which she has the very American First Amendment right to do -- then expressed glee that "the 'big three' nightly newscasts actually gave voice to criticism that the United States shouldn’t have traded a dangerous Russian terrorist for Griner, especially while leaving U.S. Marine Paul Whelan behind." Tober failed to mention the criminal background that got Whelan kicked out of the Marines, let alone explain why such a criminal should be let back into the country.
Tober then served up some Fox News stenography a couple hours later:
On Thursday evening’s edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson exposed to a national audience what was revealed on investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel’s Substack, which is that NBC News originally reported that Russia reportedly offered the Biden administration a choice between freeing Marine Paul Whelan and anti-American Basketball player Brittney Griner, and Biden chose Griner. Then when nobody noticed, NBC quietly covered for Biden and changed the story to what is currently the media narrative that Russia said take Griner or you get nobody.
After airing Biden repeating his claim that Griner was the only American prisoner they would allow to go home, Carlson mocked Biden’s apparent lie: “This was not a choice of which American to bring home. Really? Oh but it clearly was a choice and we know it was a choice because the first accounts of the prisoner swap with Russia said it was a choice.”
Unfortunately for Tober and Carlson, NBC retracted that claim the following day. Tober has yet to correct his post.
In a Dec. 9 post, Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called Republican critics of the Griner-Bout swap given how they are die-hard supporters of the "fascist" Trump, grumbling further that this was "a classic straw man diversion. Many non-conservatives, including MSNBC's own contributors, have criticized Biden's swap." Maxson returned to tout the anti-Griner rantings of a right-wing sports guy:
Due to America’s obsession with identity politics, Russian President Vladimir Putin knew we were ripe for the plucking. That's Jason Whitlock’s This explanation for Thursday’s outrageously uneven U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange that left behind American ex-Marine Paul Wheland and teacher Marc Fogel.
Whitlock claimed on his Blaze Fearless podcast that “CRT, diversity inclusion and equity (DIE) dictated that President Joe Biden go to unreasonable and dangerous lengths to win the release of Brittney Griner. She’s black and gay. Her membership in the LGBTQ, BLM alphabet mafia makes her more valuable to the Biden Administration than (ex-)Marine Whelan and school teacher Fogel, both white men incarcerated in Russia.”
Putin used America’s commitment to racial and sexual idolatry “to fleece us in a trade,” Whitlock added. “There are rumors that Putin targeted Griner because he recognized that the Biden Administration would be forced to bow to pressure from the alphabet mafia.”
CRT and DIE have weakened the American educational system, work environment, movies and television. Whitlock says we should not be surprised when it is also evident in our foreign policy.
Again, Maxson failed to mention Whlean's criminal record.
Brad Wilmouth used a Dec. 11 post to complain that Republicans were being called out for opposing the Griner swap because she was a black lesbian:
On Saturday afternoon, CNN was again showing how fixated on race and identity the liberal media are as CNN contributor S.E. Cupp and former contributor James Carville suggested that racism is to blame for Republicans criticizing President Joe Biden's prisoner exchange agreement with Russia that led to the release of the WNBA's Brittney Griner.
The allegedly conservative S.E. Cupp theorized that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the agreement because Griner is a "Black lesbian," and Carville declared that is it because she is "not White" and "not straight."
After host Jim Acosta showed a clip of McCarthy criticizing the plan that resulted in the release of a high-value Russian prisoner known as the "merchant of death," Carville began his response: "So, Jim, I'm going to say something controversial, but I'm going to preface it with something true."
After acknowledging that a reasonable argument can be made against doing such prisoner exchanges because of the cost, he still accused Republicans of the worst motives as he continued: "Does anyone in their right mind think that if Brittney was a blind Chi Omega from SMU that the reaction would have been the same? Of course not."
A bit later, he added: "...a lot of this like a lot of things in America are driven by the fact that this young person is not White and is not straight. And if you don't believe that, you're not in tune with American politics. I'm sorry, this is something that just has to be said."
Wilmouth didn't mention that the MRC's own Maxson specifically cited Griner being a black lesbian as a reason to oppose the exchange.