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Sunday, January 8, 2023
CNS Less Hateful Toward Brittney Griner Than Its MRC Parent

Unlike its Media Research Center parent, largely ignored the first several months of WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in a Russian prison on trump-up drugs charges; publishing only a few articles in that time, mostly in July and August:

There was another brief flurry ofGriner-centric articles in late October and early November:

At this point, CNS pretty much stayed clear of following its MRC parent's footsteps of cheering Griner's imprisonment because she's a black non-heterosexual who exercised her First Amendment rights of criticizing her country's flaws (which the MRC insists is "anti-American").

When Griner was released in early December, CNS finally got interested in the story. Susan Jones offered a relatively straight account of the release in a Dec. 8 article:

We'll keep negotiating in good faith for Paul's release," President Joe Biden said today, as he announced a prisoner swap -- a Russian arms dealer for a WNBA star -- that will bring Brittney Griner home to her wife, but leave American Paul Whelan in a Russian prison.

"This is a day we've worked toward for a long time," Biden said Thursday morning, announcing that with the help of the United Arab Emirates, Brittney is now on a flight to the United States.

"We never forgot about Britney, we've never forgotten about Paul Whelan who's been unjustly detained in Russia for years," Biden said.

"This was not a choice of which American to bring home. We brought home Trevor Reed when we had a chance, earlier this year. Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul's case differently than Brittney's, and even though we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul's release, we're not giving up. We will never give up.

Susan Jones went there later in the day, however, uncritically quoting Republican Rep. Michael Waltz disparaging Griner and championing Whelan:

So my heart breaks for the Whelan family. I think, you know, a lot of people are asking, and rightly so, so what was his crime -- not being a celebrity? Not checking enough boxes for Hollywood? The fact that we left a U.S. Marine behind and made this choice. And I don't buy the Biden administration and President Biden saying we didn't have a choice.

Jones made sure to hype that Waltz is "the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress"-- but she censored, as her MRC colleagues did, that Whelan is a criminal who was kicked out of the Marines on a bad-conduct discharge 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).

Arter followed with an article proving Waltz wrong, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre again pointing out that Russia did not the U.S. an opportunity to free Whelan.

Patrick Goodenough kicked CNS' Dec. 9 coverage with a pair of articles: The first hyped how Russian officials were praising Bout's release, while the second pondered what prisoners the U.S. might have to facilitate an exchange for Whelan. That was followed by an article by Jones sneering at Nancy Pelosi for noting that Griner is married to a woman while promoting the Respect for Marriage Act (which CNS absolutely hates):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed Thursday to be a "glorious day here in the House."

"I mean, the joy, the pride, the euphoria that we feel today, having passed 'The Respect for Marriage Act,' a landmark decision, landmark law, changing the law for full equality," she effused. "Now the federal government will never stand in the way of anyone marrying the person you love."

Pelosi was among those noting the perfect timing of the bill's passage on Thursday -- the same day that lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner was heading home to her wife, after President Joe Biden struck a deal to free her in exchange for a notorious arms dealer known as "the merchant of death."

"How wonderful is it that on the same day that Brittney Griner is going to be free -- thank you, President Biden. Thank you to Secretary of State and other national security people, and to my -- our colleague Greg Stanton, who represents Arizona -- Phoenix, Arizona in the Congress.

"He has brought her here. We had met her when she was here playing and -- basketball, and now today she is free; free to go home to her wife on the same day that we passed the Marriage Protection Act. So we are -- Respect for Marriage, the Respect for Marriage Act!

"So we are just -- her freedom is a gift to the world, to all of us. Our gift to her is this legislation that her marriage is protected wherever she may -- she may live. Her wife Cherelle and she and their family will have a holiday season without worrying about whether their marriage is protected."

Arter followed that with concern trolling from another Republican congressman that the prisoner exchange "sends the wrong message to U.S. adversaries - that you can take an American citizen hostage to get leverage over the United States." A Dec. 9 column by Lee Kessler, meanwhile, labored to make Griner feel guilty for being freed (bolding in original):

This is my prayer for you, Ms. Griner. As an American, I am happy you are home, and reunited with your family. You are an American, and you have a right to be back in the United States of America. It is my understanding that Viktor Bout's family is equally joyous at his return.

What I want you to understand, though, is that Americans will die as a result of this exchange. You are now free to pursue your American Dream--the NBA, where you play basketball. Mr. Bout is now free to pursue his dream, which is to kill Americans.


Make no mistake, Americans will die in the future as a result of your freedom. You will not know their names, nor will I, for some time. But your experience in Russia must have established for you a new reality on the difference between true freedom--however flawed you view it--and true oppression. Mr. Bout will ensure, directly or indirectly, that Americans die.

So, please, honor them now in advance. Men and women--and possibly children--will pay the price for your freedom. Their families will never be "reunited" because their loved one will have perished. The government of the United States has decided to spare you, in exchange for the future death of American citizens.

It is my prayer that you be grateful for the sacrifice the countrymen you have disparaged will make in the near future for you. And that you will show the same grace and compassion for them and their beliefs as they, fellow Americans, have shown to you today.

Kessler did not identify any American Griner has "disparaged," or what those purportedly disparaging words supposedly were.

CNS' focus turned away from Griner over the next few days:

Then it was Griner-bashing time again in a Dec. 13 column by technically-not-a-convicted-felon Olver North (who normally writes at WorldNetDaily):

We learned Thursday Women's National Basketball Association player Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison after being arrested 10 months ago on drug charges. It's become almost irrelevant the "reasons" totalitarian regimes use to lock up Americans. What is relevant here is the "negotiated exchange" resulting in her release and return.

A black, LGBTQ+ celebrity was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor "The Merchant of Death" Bout. It's interesting to note, Griner first made news by kneeling through the playing of our national anthem during WNBA games to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter -- a self-professed Marxist organization. Meanwhile, Bout was in a U.S. federal prison for selling arms to groups wanting the weapons to kill Americans. Now, Griner and Bout can return, respectively, to hating America and killing Americans.

North did not explain how Griner taking a stand against racial injustice equals "hating America."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2023 11:34 PM EST

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