🤔 Where was the MAGA movement to free Whelan?

The Daily Reader

realize most things MAGA says make no sense. But their position on the swap that freed Brittney Griner from a Russian prison makes no sense, even for MAGA.

They view it like a one-sided sports deal in which one team outfoxed the other.

In this case, they say Putin traded a weaker asset (Griner) for a stronger one (Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer known as the “merchant of death”). So they’re supposedly upset because Putin cleaned Biden’s clock.

But this makes no sense because . . . 

MAGA loves Putin. He’s everything they admire in leaders. Ruthless. Tyrannical. Immoral. 

Plus, Putin and MAGA hate the same people. Liberals, atheists, and LGBTQ+. Especially, LGBTQ+.

Putin recently backed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that passed the Duma, Russia’s parliament, by a vote of 397 to 0. Even Ron DeSantis had to be impressed by that vote.

Plus, Putin loves MAGA back. He’s always denouncing the “woke” crowd. He not only helped Trump beat Hillary, he held back on freeing Griner until after the Senate runoff in Georgia. Didn’t want to give Biden a PR boost that might swing a few votes Senator Warnock’s way. Looks like he also loves Herschel Walker. Who knew?

Given all this, why does MAGA care if Putin ate Biden’s lunch on the Griner/Bout exchange? They should be happy: Putin’s their guy.

Furthermore, Putin says Viktor Bout’s not even guilty. Says he was set up by the U.S. feds.

Okay, no logical person believes that. But that’s besides the point. The point is, if you think Bout’s an evil man who should be locked up, as MAGA now says they believe—why would you revere Putin, his patron?

See, no sense. Wait, there’s more.

MAGA’s mad because Biden chose Griner’s release over Paul Whelan’s. He was imprisoned on espionage charges that sound as, well, trumped-up as the drug charges against Griner.

MAGA says Biden chose Griner over Whelan because of politics—in short, Biden was appealing to his base. To which I say, duh.

I mean, Biden’s felt the pressure from a free Brittney movement on the left for months. Which raises this question . . .

Where was the MAGA movement to free Whelan? I’ll tell you the answer.

There was none. MAGA didn’t give a damn about Whelan. Probably never heard of him until Griner got out.

Whelan was arrested in December, 2018—back when Trump was president.

If MAGA cared about Whelan, they’d have pressured Trump to call Putin to free him. But they don’t and he didn’t. And so Whelan rotted in Putin’s jail. Just like Trevor Reed, a former Marine, who got arrested on bogus assault charges in 2019. Also when Trump was president.

By the way, Biden got Reed out. He swapped a Russian drug dealer for Reed’s freedom in April. Didn’t hear MAGA say boo, one way or another, about that deal. Wanna know why?

Cause MAGA didn’t give a damn about Reed either. 

I think we all know what’s going on.

Brittney Griner’s Black, queer, and a basketball player. Apparently, all jailable offenses as far as MAGA’s concerned.

MAGA’s not upset that Biden swapped the “merchant of death” for her release. They’re upset that she was released at all.

The other night at the Bulls game, they flashed Brittney’s picture on the big screen and asked fans to welcome her freedom.

Most people cheered, but one doofus, sitting in front of me, booed. Proving you can take a MAGA man to a Bulls game, but you can’t take the MAGA out of the MAGA man at the Bulls game.

Welcome home, Brittney! 

Listen to The Ben Joravsky Show

What Ben's Reading

  Xochitl Gonzalez’s novel Olga Dies Dreaming. In many ways, it’s the ultimate “mean mommy”  book. Tells the story of two highly successful Puerto Rican siblings, navigating their way through upscale New York City in the teens. Then Hurricane Maria slams into Puerto Rico and nothing’s the same. Wonderful book by a major talent that proves you can’t have a fully happy ending when so many people in the world are oppressed and exploited.
 Tiffany Walden and Andrew Davis on Rickey Hendon’s phone call to a Ja’Mal Green volunteer. Hendon will be a guest on Thursday’s podcast.
 Ben Joravsky: it’s been a year.

Best of the Ben J. Show

  Former alderperson Helen Shiller talking Chicago politics. 
 Jim Coogan on Trump’s many crimes 
 Chris Scott: the political strategist explains Ohio.

Remembering Danny Goldring
“He viewed himself as wanting to try everything. And it wasn’t about lead roles, it was about unique roles.”

by Kerry Reid
Family style
A fashionable Pilsen trio enjoys their Election Day.

by Isa Giallorenzo

Something From Tiffany’s
by Alani Vargas
White Noise
by Dmitry Samarov

🥪 The snack time you don’t want to miss 🥪

Issue of
Dec. 7 – Dec. 21, 2022
Vol. 52, No. 

Download Issue (PDF)

View this e-mail as a web page




Chicago Reader on LinkedIn



Forward this e-mail to a friend.

Want to change how you receive these e-mails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2022 Chicago Reader, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Chicago Reader, 2930 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 102, Chicago, IL 60616