Washington Free Beacon Claims Brittney Griner Smuggled Weed

Alexander Zemlianitchenko/Getty Images The Washington Free Beacon repeated Russia’s accusation that the WNBA superstar Britney Griner ...

Britney Griner

Alexander Zemlianitchenko/Getty Images

The Washington Free Beacon repeated Russia’s accusation that the WNBA superstar Britney Griner smuggles the weed into Russia, where it is held captive.

Thursday, Robert Schmadan intern, wrote a piece headlined “Biden Wants to Trade Russian ‘Death Dealer’ for US Weed Smuggler and Falsely Accused Sailor.” While the first and third references, respectively, to Victor Bout and Paul Whelan are correct, second to Griner is Russian propaganda.

The lede of Schmad’s article reads: “The Biden administration offered to trade a prolific arms dealer who conspired to kill Americans for a WNBA player who smuggled cannabis oil in Russia and a wrongfully accused ex-Marine, CNN reported Thursday.

In fact, Griner isn’t even accused of being a “weed smuggler.” It was cannabis oil that Russia said it transported, which its lawyers explained was medical. But the backlash and fabricated accusations, as CNN noted this morning, make Griner and Whelan’s arrest the equivalent of “hostage taking.” Given his celebrity status, Russia probably always intended to use him as a pawn in order to get someone like Bout, who was transporting weapons to terrorist groups and other evil actors.

Thursday was not the first time the Free Beacon sided with Russia in the Griner case.

“Whatever one thinks of Russia’s draconian drug laws, Griner has quite plausibly admitted his guilt,” the Free Beacon wrote in a statement. July 8 Editorialwho asked “Should Bout be free because a WNBA star wanted to get high while playing basketball in an overbearing police state?”

The Free Beacon is right that Griner shouldn’t get more priority. Griner and Whelan should be treated with equal urgency. However, the outlet failed to take into account that Griner was likely pleaded guilty because the Russian judicial system, which is unfair, has a 99% conviction rate and therefore would not have excused Griner for having the hash oil for medicinal purposes. The Free Beacon dismissed what one might think of Russia’s “draconian drug laws” as inconsequential, and indeed treated the arrest as mere good faith.

The real scandal shouldn’t be about Griner, but rather about the Biden administration offering this horribly reported deal as Bout is a national security threat. Also, it is inexcusable that apparently another American is being held by Russia, Marc Fogelwould not be included in a prisoner exchange.

Journalism requires not following a narrative, but rather having skepticism, objectivity and, above all, reporting the truth. The Free Beacon, which does an excellent job of reporting on stories not covered by the mainstream media, failed in this regard.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Washington Free Beacon Claims Brittney Griner Smuggled Weed
Washington Free Beacon Claims Brittney Griner Smuggled Weed
Newsrust - US Top News
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