(The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
The unbalanced prisoner swap of American basketball player Brittney Griner for international “Merchant of Death” arms dealer Viktor Bout has many fuming–seeing as the deal did not manage to free Marine Paul Whelan, who remains imprisoned on unsubstantiated spying charges in the former USSR.
The Biden Administration has already changed its story more than once on what exactly went down, and on Friday the New York Times and other outlets blamed the failure to secure the release of Whelan on the fact that the Kremlin demanded an assassin named Vadim Krasikov be freed from a German prison in order to seal the deal.
In the meantime, Russian state-owned media has been seemingly having a fine time raking Americans over the coals while blasting our priorities and woke goals. (As an aside, the American press often calls Russian media “state-owned propaganda machines.” Ownership issues aside, isn’t most of our media blasting out leftist propaganda most of the time? Food for thought.)
Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Russian state-controlled media organization RT, told Russia-1 anchor Vladimir Solovyov that she was “very amused but not surprised that Viktor Bout was exchanged for Griner and not Whelan.”
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“His first problem is that he is white,” Solovyova retorted, meaning that Whelan wasn’t given priority in negotiations because of his skin color. Simonyan continued:
His second problem is he is a man. His third problem: He is a heterosexual.
This is not something that can be forgiven today. It’s just a catastrophe. Yes, here Griner beats him in every aspect.
Before we go any further, let me just make clear that I am no Putin fan, and I’m aware that most media fed to Russian citizens is regime propaganda and contains very little truth. That being said, some Americans have been claiming that race and sexuality is of utmost importance in this geopolitical game–when it really shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
For instance, RedState’s Nick Arama wrote how American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten felt some strange need to weigh in on the issue, tweeting:
What a great relief!!! Extraordinary news, a basketball star, but also a gay, black woman is released. And yes of course we want other prisoners like Paul Whelan released.
As Arama wrote, “Notice the ‘oh, by the way’ aside about Paul Whelan thrown in there. Later, she can say she said it and she cares.” Arama also reported on Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s response to the news:
The choice was bring Brittney home or no one. The president will never stop working to secure Paul Whelan’s release. On a personal note, Brittney is an important role model, an inspiration to millions of Americans particularly the LGBTQI+ Americans and women of color.
The question is, why are race and sexuality being thrust into this conversation? No wonder the Russians are eviscerating us; it’s frankly embarrassing. We’re talking assassinations, arms dealers, gulags, and oppression, and yet our nation’s “elite” are obsessing over who someone has sex with? Are they tenth-graders?
Simonyan wasn’t done:
[America is] a nation that spits on its heroes to the extent that it considers it significantly more important to free a rightfully charged well known athlete. She didn’t suffer because she served her Motherland, but because she couldn’t live another 10 hours without hashish…. This says a lot about the state of this society, of these intelligence agencies, and everything related to geopolitical confrontation.
Simonyan is a regime puppet, to be sure, and the YouTube site Russian Media Monitor (which uploaded the footage) points out several lies in the segment. I’m not here to be a cheerleader for the communist dictatorship or its lying media. The point is, however, that Biden and his cohorts have made a mockery out of the U.S. with this ill-considered trade because of their obsessive focus on “identity” even when we’re dealing with dire geo-political events–all the while failing to negotiate the release of Whelan.
In fact, Russians were far from the only ones making fun of the deal:
-> Read more of RedState’s coverage of the Brittney Griner prisoner swap.
Watch the full video here:
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