The MRC Wanted Brittney Griner To Rot In Prison
The Media Research Center whined that the purportedly "anti-American" WNBA player was released in a prisoner exchange with Russia -- and it censored the criminal record of the onetime Marine whom it preferred was released instead.
By Terry Krepel
As we wait for the Brittney Griner situation to reach its drawn-out conclusion, President Joe Biden has proposed a moved to get Griner out of Russia ... but at a terrible cost.
Griner was not "loaded up with drugs"; she had two vape cartridges of cannabis oil.
Scott Whitlock devoted an Aug. 5 post to "nets ignore" complaints on how terrible "vicious terrorist-backer" Bout is and how purportedly unworthy of a trade he is for Griner. He did somehow manage to avoid slandering Grainer like the MRC's sports bloggers love to do: "Americans want to see any imprisoned fellow citizens brought home quickly. But when Joe Biden is considering releasing a violent terrorist-supporter who has been intent on killing Americans, viewers should be told just how serious a decision that may turn out to be." Simmons' fellow sports blogger, Jay Maxson, played the whataboutism card in another post the same day:
Vice-president and world class hypocrite Kamala Harris is in full virtue signal mode with her condemnation of Russia for sentencing WNBA all-star Brittney Griner to nine-plus years of prison for drug possession.
Maxson went on to sneer that Harris is now "enlightened about marijuana users. Especially if they can attract black, lesbian voters." He didn't explain why it was a bad idea for Harris to enforce the law as it was written at the time -- we thought right-wingers were all about law and order.
Yet another post that day cheered an NBC reporter for criticizing the proposed swap but but complained that he said he was "sorry to say it."
Simmons found yet another person to criticize the proposed swap in an Aug. 9 post: "Most current and former NBA players have a shockingly low amount of common sense, but former Boston Celtics forward Enes Kanter Freedom is a welcome exception. ... Freedom, like any human being with a shred of common sense, sees this proposed plan as foolish and potentially detrimental to the United States in the long run."
Maxson was back to laughably smearing Griner as a drug smuggler in an Aug. 17 post -- then pretended he (or she) cares about Griner's plight:
Our bad. Shame on us for failing black women who try to smuggle drugs onto planes. Through our bigotry, we have really let down Brittney Griner, the black lesbian basketball star serving a nine-year prison sentence in Russia for drug smuggling.
Maxson quickly returned to hateful ways, though: "Griner’s story demonstrates that we need to do a better job of protecting black women. Who knew that she needed us to protect her by yelling 'no!' before she tried to board that Russian jetliner?"
Maxson ramped up the homophobia in an Aug. 18 post maliciously cheering low TV ratings for the WNBA:
With a strong LGBT-ISK3FG flavor, the WNBA has become one of the most woke, left-wing, unappealing professional sports enterprises in the United States.
An Aug. 22 post by Simmons, though, somehow managed to avoid spewing hate at Griner to evoke a more universal sentiment: skepticism that an offer by Dennis Rodman to help free Griner will amount to anything.
As Griner's prison term wore on, so did Maxson's pathological hatred of her. Maxson sadistically expressed joy over her situation in a Nov. 9 post:
It just gets worse for woke WNBA all-star Brittney Griner. Imprisoned in Russia since February for drug smuggling, she’s now being transported to a dreaded penal colony, aka “forced labor camp,” with potentially hellish conditions. Someday, the anthem protester will return home to the United States and hopefully with a new appreciation for the country she loathed.
Maxson spent a Nov. 28 post attacking a college professor for not hating Griner the way he (or she) does:
A liberal Baylor University professor is demanding that Christians stop hating homosexuals and that the Baptist school should lead the charge of protest against Russia’s imprisonment of lesbian basketball player Brittney Griner.
Garrett is correct, of course -- particularly as that applies to Maxson -- but Maxson will still attack him because homophobic right-wing narratives demand it:
In shilling for the LGBT movement, Garrett demanded that Christians set aside scripture on unnatural relations and celebrate unrepentant sin. They need to read the Bible differently, too. Apparently, LGBT folks should receive a free pass on biblical sin. Especially Brittney.
Maxson didn't prove anything he (or she) accuses Griner of saying to be wrong. He (or she) just wants Griner to be destroyed by the Russian penal system for expressing her First Amendment rights.
Maxson is a very sick person for lusting over Griner's punishment for holding opinions that are different from his own (or her own).
Release, anger and Paul Whelan
When the U.S. gained Griner's freedom through a prisoner exchange for Bout -- whom the MRC had previously deemed too valuable to exchange 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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately for Tober and Carlson, NBC retracted that claim the following day. Tober has yet to correct his post to reflect this fact.
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.
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.
Wilmouth didn't mention that the MRC's own Maxson specifically cited Griner being a black lesbian as a reason to oppose the exchange.
Fondacaro spent a Dec. 22 post complaining that another American imprisoned in Russia on dubious charges didn't get the same attention as Griner:
When it comes to Americans being detained and held hostage in Russia, many have focused on the case of anti-American WNBA star Brittney Griner being swapped for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, while U.S. Marine Paul Whelan got left behind. But as ABC’s Good Morning America revealed on Thursday, there was another: Sarah Krivanek, who was arrested two months before Griner but was left to “rot” by the Biden administration and assaulted by a male inmate while in prison.
Fondacaro not only failed to offer evidence to substantiate his claim that Griner is "anti-American," his whining about this is hypocritical to the max: This post is the only reference to Krivanek in the NewsBusters database, showing that she was "forgotten" by the MRC as well.
Maxson spewed even more hate at her in a Jan. 3 post:
The legend of Brittney Griner grows. Now she’s “the face of global unrest” and Arizonan of the Year, according to the left-stream Phoenix newspaper, The Arizona Republic. That award went to the late, great American hero Pat Tillman in 2004, but the standards for this honor have weakened substantially since then.
When a sports writer pointed out how right-wingers (like Maxson) smeared Griner for not standing for the national anthem as a protest against police brutality, Maxson sneered that "Griner was just another lemming following the crowd," further whining that she is "a hero of the Black Lives Matter movement that shook down corporate America and professional sports two years ago, ruining the sports experience for untold numbers of Americans."
Maxson also attacked President Biden,claiming that he "let the Russians keep a real hero, Marine Paul Whelan, locked up so that a woke athlete could play basketball." Yes, Maxson thinks a man who received a bad-conduct discharge from the Marines following a court martial for attempted larceny, false statements and dereliction of duty, among other things, is a "real hero."
Maxson concluded with more hate:
Arizona criminal of the year would have been a more appropriate “honor” for the woman for whom President Joe Biden gave up the Merchant of Death Viktor Bout in a late-year prisoner swap.
Maxson is simply parroting the hate of his (or her) fellow right-wingers desperate for any excuse to attack a woman of color who's not heterosexual and who won't also peddle their partisan narratives. Who's the real lemming here?
Defending Trump prisoner swap
Nicholas Fondacaro began a Dec. 12 post still whining that Griner was freed and Whelan was not, complaining that "The View" co-host and "faux Republican Ana Navarro" said that "Fox News anchors Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity were such good buddies with dictator Vladimir Putin they could just fly into Russia and free Paul Whelan, the Marine still imprisoned on trumped-up espionage charges" and added that they "have very good relationships with Putin. Tucker Carlson's a celebrity in Russia." Fondacaro didn't dispute the accuracy of Navarro's statement; instead, he huffed:
The show was kicked off with disinformation as Goldberg began by claiming the Trump administration had released 5,000 Taliban fighters in exchange “for no one” in return. But according to The Washington Post, the deal entailed “The United States would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners; the Taliban would release 1,000 of its prisoners” (A.K.A. our Afghan allies).
Fondacaro did not comment on the highly unbalanced nature of that transaction -- at least Griner for Bout was a one-to-one swap.
The next day, Tim Graham similarly complained that the highly imbalanced 5-for-1 swap was portrayed as for "nothing" -- to the point that he was forced to cite hated fact-checker Snopes to back him up:
On Monday, the “independent fact-checkers” at Snopes.com explored “Did the Trump Admin Agree to Free 5,000 Taliban Prisoners?” They ruled this was "True." But they were not evaluating MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough, who repeatedly made the false statement on Friday and Monday that Trump received “nothing in exchange.”
Like Fondacaro, Graham is not about to admit that a 5-for-1 swap could be described as effectively "nothing," let alone defend the unbalanced transaction in the face of the one-for-one Griner-Bout swap.