Debbie Schlussel

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Debbie Schlussel
Born (1969-04-09) April 9, 1969 (age 47)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Occupation Attorney, blogger, pundit, writer

Debbie Schlussel (born April 9, 1969) is an American attorney, author, political commentator, and a blogger. She has been published in the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and The Jerusalem Post

Schlussel has made controversial and critical comments about groups of people, including American Muslims, sexual assault victims, Polish people, illegal immigrants, female athletes, and Holocaust survivors (see below). She became best known for her August 2015 response to former president Jimmy Carter's announcement that he was diagnosed with cancer. As criticism of her mounted, Schlussel repeatedly tweeted, "a cancer has cancer".[1]

Early life and political career[edit]

Schlussel was born in Southfield, Michigan to a family of Polish Jewish descent. She received a BA from the University of Michigan and later earned a JD and MBA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1990, Schlussel ran for the Republican nomination for the 4th District (Oakland County) of the Michigan House of Representatives. She was defeated by Barbara Dobb by a single vote from around 8500 cast.[2] Schlussel has since claimed that voter fraud led to her defeat, making allegations of impropriety against the family of her opponent and the judge who ruled on the issue.[3]

In 1998, she lost in the same district (now renamed the 39th) against Marc Shulman. She responded to the defeat by attacking Shulman, in particular when he received the Republican nomination for the Michigan Supreme Court.[4][5][6]

Professional life and views[edit]

Schlussel is a member of the Detroit Film Critics Society, who reviews films for both radio and her web site.[7]

The New York Times described her in 2010 as, "a kind of all-purpose film critic, political commentator and Web opinion spinner."[8] Her columns (mainly about politics) have been published in the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and The Jerusalem Post, amongst others. Her film reviews are posted at Big Hollywood, which is part of She was a talk show host at radio station WXYT-FM, then known as WKRK, in Detroit from 2002-03.[9]

View of Muslims[edit]

Author William Youmans[who?] described Schussel as a "leading right-wing observer of AD [Arab Detroit, whose] blogging, articles, and op-eds inform other right-wing activists, who mobilize against government-community relations when they seem too cozy. This group has called for greater scrutiny of Arab and Muslim Americans by government officials, and officials they consider pro-Arab are frequent targets of their protests. Consistently, Schlussel and her allies have sought to expose the 'true nature' of Detroit's Arab Americans as potential terrorists."[10] Schlussel has often alleged that "mainstream" "American" politicians, ranging from Republican Fred Thompson to Democrat Barack Obama, have connections with radical Islam,[11]

In October 2001 she criticized President George W. Bush for alleged ties to the Council on American–Islamic Relations,[12] a group with which she would tangle in court a decade later.[13][14]

In 2005, she wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal accusing Morgan Spurlock (who produced the documentary series 30 Days and film Super Size Me) of unbalanced and faulty methods in preparing a documentary about Islam.[15][16]

In 2005, Schlussel opined that "WNBA players are bad role models for young girls", citing as one example Anna DeForge, who is a lesbian.[17][18] She was criticized for these statements by player Kayte Christensen in an Arizona Republic column.[18][19]

During and following the 2006 captivity of American journalist Jill Carroll in Iraq, Schlussel said that Carroll hated Israel and America, and implied that Carroll sympathized with her captors.[20][21] When objections were raised,[22][23] she responded to her critics as "blind worshippers of Jill Carroll" in need of "LASIK."[24] In 2007, she stated that atheists are intolerant of Christians,[25][26] and wrote that American Muslims are no more moderate than those in the Middle East; that blog post of hers was read aloud on The Rush Limbaugh Show.[27][28]

Other commentators have not been so favorable; for example, Aaron Goldstein and John Tabin of The American Spectator criticized Schlussel for a lack of diligence and for being unreliable.[29][30]

In 2011, Schlussel provoked controversy by her comments after CBS reporter Lara Logan was sexually assaulted while covering Egyptian protests. Schlussel stated, "Lara Logan was among the chief cheerleaders of this 'revolution' by animals. Now she knows what Islamic revolution is really all about. So sad, too bad, Lara."[31][32][33]

After the killing of Osama bin Laden, Schlussel wrote on her blog "1 down, 1.8 billion to go", referring to the world's Muslim population.[31][34][35]

Schlussel has said about American Muslims "As I’ve repeatedly said before, American Muslims are NO different than Muslims on the streets of Riyadh, Cairo, Benghazi, and Bint Jbeil. They are just as extreme, and the American border is a fiction of convenience for them, NOT something that magically moderates them." [36]

In 2011, she was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as one of 10 people in the United States' "Anti-Muslim Inner Circle".[37][38]

Controversies related to comments on the Holocaust[edit]

On May 30, 2012 Schlussel wrote a blog post[39] commenting about a speech by President Barack Obama, in which he mistakenly used the phrase "Polish death camps" referring to the German death camps in occupied Poland.[40][41] Schlussel said Obama owed no apology for his remark, and she criticized ...

the feigned shock and fake moralizing over his comments, yesterday, about German Nazi death camps in Poland being a Polish death camp...Poles murdered millions of Jews, they maintained several death camps, and they wiped out almost all of both sides of my family, as well as those in hundreds of thousands of other Jewish families. This wasn't just the Nazis. It was tens of thousands of eager Poles and more.[39]

In addition to discussing Polish collaboration with the Nazis, she said that a "majority were all too happy for the Judenrein". She discounted the Polish Righteous Among the Nations by stating that only a "very tiny few" gentile Poles aided the Jews.[39] Her commentary provoked protest in Poland.[42] The chairman of the Polish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission, Grzegorz Schetyna, called her commentary a pack of lies.[43]

In its daily news release, the Polish government-affiliated Institute of National Remembrance dubbed Schlussel's commentary as defamatory.[44]

Holocaust survivor controversy[edit]

In 2014, Schlussel alleged that Jewish children who escaped Europe prior to World War II via the kindertransport were not Holocaust survivors. The St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center referred to the blog post in which Schlussel made this claim as "vicious" and issued a statement asserting that

"We at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center define a survivor as someone who lived and suffered under Nazi occupation. This definition was informed by the official terminology used by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; …any person, Jewish or non-Jewish, who was displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to racial, religious, ethnic, social and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. In addition to former inmates of concentration camps, ghettos and prisons, this definition includes, among others, people who were refugees or were in hiding.' Likewise, Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, defines survivors, as 'Jews who lived for any amount of time under Nazi domination, direct or indirect, and survived.' Clearly, those rescued through a kindertransport meet the above criteria."

The statement went on to say:

By creating her own personal designation of who is a survivor, Schlussel dishonors and discredits thousands of other individuals who were torn away from their families, suffered displacement and sometimes abuse and neglect in their new, unfamiliar surroundings. Most never saw their parents again, as was the case for the target of her vitriol, who lost both parents, and other family members in Auschwitz.[45]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angry Twitter users hammer Fox News for insulting Jimmy Carter on day he announced his cancer diagnosis,; accessed October 26, 2015.
  2. ^ Gizzi, John. "Back from a one-vote loss". Human Events (July 31, 1998).
  3. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Jayson Blair in a Skirt: Detroit Free Press "Reporter" Fabricates Story", (December 12, 2005).
  4. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Chutzpah, Inc.: Michigan GOP Recruits Fieger Associate, Trial Lawyer for Supreme Court; Promises Appt. After He Loses", (August 24, 2006).
  5. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Endorsements: If You Vote in Michigan, Remember... ", (November 6, 2006).
  6. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Schlussel Endorsements Help Decide Michigan Elections", (November 8, 2006).
  7. ^ Cieply, Michael. “A Movie Critic Loses Her Screening Privileges (But Gets ‘Em Back)”, The New York Times (November 21, 2010). See also Cieply, Michael. “Studio Returns a Critic's Movie Pass”, The New York Times (November 22, 2010).
  8. ^ Cieply, Michael. “Much Movie Title Meshugas”, The New York Times (May 3, 2010).
  9. ^ Neville, Arthel. “Saudi Arabia Friend or Foe?; Who Should Get Sniper Reward Money?”, CNN, November 26, 2002.
  10. ^ Youmans, William. “Domestic Foreign Policy: Arab Detroit as a Special Place in the War on Terror” in Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade, p. 272 (Abraham Nabeel et al., eds., Wayne State University Press, 2011). See also id. at 23, 97, 101, 276, 279–81, 336, 371, 373.
  11. ^ "Untraceable E-mails Spread Obama Rumor", CBS News, October 15, 2007.
  12. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. “Bush’s Scary CAIR Friends”, WorldNetDaily (October 16, 2001).
  13. ^ Muslim civil rights group sues critic Debbie Schlussel for fake CAIR Michigan website, Associated Press (January 6, 2011).
  14. ^ Ashenfelter, David. “Blogger Schlussel renames organization after CAIR lawsuit”, Detroit Free Press, January 11, 2011.
  15. ^ Schlussel, Debbie (June 24, 2005). "Unreal for 30 Days: A "documentary" on Islam tells a preconceived story". Archived from the original on March 24, 2006. Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  16. ^ Balko, Radley (August 16, 2005). "Spurlock Food Scare a Super Size Scam". Fox News. Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  17. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Lesbian Basketball, Season 9 vs. the Indy Chick",, June 2, 2005.
  18. ^ a b Christensen, Kayte (June 21, 2005). "Want models? Role models? WNBA embodies female athlete". Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 26, 2007. 
  19. ^ Terry, Mike. “Whitmore Becomes a Better Fit”, The Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2005.
  20. ^ Schlussel, Debbie (January 18, 2006). "SICK: Jordan Times on Jill Carroll & Who Deserves Beheading". Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  21. ^ Schlussel, Debbie (March 30, 2006). "So, Anti-American Jill Carroll was Freed...". Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  22. ^ Geraghty, Jim. “Jill Carroll and the Blogosphere”, National Review, April 1, 2006.
  23. ^ Geraghty, Jim (April 7, 2006). "Outside Voices: Jim Geraghty Looks At Where Blogosphere Has Succeeded, And Where It's Fallen Short". op-ed. CBS News. 
  24. ^ Schlussel, Debbie (April 2, 2006). "Premature Articulation: The REAL Jill Carroll for Jimmy Carter Geraghty and Others w/Reading Comprehension Deficiencies". Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  25. ^ ”Senator Joe Biden Under Fire Over Controversial Remarks; Has NFL Moved Beyond Racist Past?”, Paula Zahn Now, CNN, January 31, 2007.
  26. ^ Schlussel, Debbie (February 7, 2007). "When Atheists a/k/a Future Muslims Attack". Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  27. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "Meet Your 'Moderate', 'American' Muslim Neighbors: New Study Shows U.S. Muslims Are Extremists",, May 23, 2007.
  28. ^ Grewal, Zareena. Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p. 357 (NYU Press 2013).
  29. ^ Goldstein, Aaron. “Debbie Schlussel Isn’t Very Diligent”, American Spectator, May 18, 2012.
  30. ^ Tabin, John. "Schlussel's Hannity Smear Debunked", American Spectator, March 19, 2010.
  31. ^ a b Norton, Anne. On the Muslim Question, p. 69 (Princeton University Press 2013).
  32. ^ "Now FEMALE pundit lays into Egypt sex attack victim Lara Logan and 'animal' protesters.". Daily Mail. February 18, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2011. 
  33. ^ Tomasky, Michael. “Lara Logan, Nir Rosen, Debbie Schlussel and the age of exposure”, The Guardian, February 17, 2011; accessed October 26, 2015.
  34. ^ Schlussel, Debbie. "WHOA: Osama Bin Laden Dead, But Won’t Make Much Diff Amid Growing Islamic Threat to West",, May 1, 2011.
  35. ^ Lemons, Stephen (May 1, 2011). "Osama bin Laden Dead: Debbie Schlussel Calls for Killing 1.8 Billion Muslims; Let the Crackpot Raving Begin!". Phoenix New Times. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ Steinback, Robert. The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle, Intelligence Report, Summer 2011, Issue Number: 142, Southern Poverty Law Center.
  38. ^ Ernst, Carl. Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance, p. 73 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  39. ^ a b c Schlussel, Debbie (May 30, 2012). "Poles Were Complicit in Holocaust: Outrage Over Obama "Gaffe" is Fraudulent, Ignorant". Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  40. ^ "White House shrugs off Polish apology demands", AFP (May 30, 2012).
  41. ^ "Poland welcomes Obama letter on 'death camp' error", Reuters, June 1, 2012.
  42. ^ "A collective letter – also in English – addressed to the extremely unprofessional American journalist Debbie Schlussel, including an email" (in Polish). July 7, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  43. ^ Schetyna, Grzegorz (July 6, 2012). Gość Radia Zet (in Polish). Interview with Monika Olejnik. Radio Zet. Warsaw. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  44. ^ IPN (2012). "Przegląd mediów – 6 czerwca 2012" [Media review, June 6, 2012]. (in Polish). Institute of National Remembrance. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  45. ^ Opinion Page,; accessed October 26, 2015.

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