The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, May 31, 2002  

Debbie Schlussel Doesn’t Get Off on the WNBA

Among the greatest threats to Western civilization and life as we now know it, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) would not likely turn up our on list of American culture’s first, say, 500 enemies. Nor, do we believe, would the league be viewed in this manner by the typical American. But life on the far right is an entirely different realm, and in that realm one can present that very viewpoint -- or at least try to -- and still be taken seriously.

Over the past ten years, the conservative end of the Punditboro has been hijacked by a lunatic right-wing fringe composed of literally dozens of bizarre characters with uncivilized, indecent, and reprehensible opinions. Readers no doubt are familiar with the “movement’s” so-called leading lights, but may not yet have taken notice of one Debbie Schlussel.

Schlussel’s biography at, in which we suspect she had at least some hand, notes that she is an attorney, as well as president and founder of Schlussel Entertainment Group. She possesses “unique expertise” on, among other subjects, radical Islam and professional sports.

Schlussel is also “a longtime member of Mensa (the high IQ society)” Wow! She was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Wow! And she apparently had several internships when she was in college and high school. Wow! (General rule: Look not kindly upon grown adults who add high-school-era accomplishments to their biographies.)

This week, Schlussel, the radical Islam expertess, is up in arms, so to speak, over the WNBA, or, more specifically the alleged lack of sex appeal of the league’s players. Now, what, exactly, this has to do with the validity of the league itself, or gives cause to the compulsion to attack it with such demented venom, she doesn’t make clear.

Needless to say, if you’re expecting a thoughtful discourse on women and athletics, look elsewhere. Schlussel’s rant can be summed up in this way: they’re ugly, tall, masculine, and some of them are lesbians, to boot.

Biker bitch

Schlussel’s harsh descriptions of the women in the WNBA might lead a reader to assume that Schlussel is, herself, quite a babe.

Wrong! When you have a minute, take a gander at Schlussel’s photograph.

Now, tell us Schlussel doesn’t epitomize that classic look, that timeless style known as “the biker bitch.”

Yes, Schlussel may try to clean herself up with excessive make-up, tacky blonde streaks, and a cheesy mixed-color three-dollar Wal-Mart synthetic top, but she’s not fooling us.

Schlussel -- not unlike Lucianne Goldberg in this respect -- looks like one of those raspy-voiced bar hags, her face drained of whatever life it may have once had by years of chain-smoking and shots of liquor, neat.

Schlussel is so ugly we can’t help but wonder whether having been passed around for so long among so many bikers, even they lost interest.

In fact, the article under discussion here -- “WNBA: Sports’ Bearded Lady Sideshow Re-infests” -- reads like an agitated tantrum produced during the last tweaking moments of a three-day speed binge, amphetamines being a substance with which the Hell’s Angels and their women long have been intimately familiar. (The article's title doesn't even make sense!)

Schlussel’s diatribe has all the familiar, shopworn, thoroughly unsurprising elements one would expect from a biker bitch who shares her girls’-night-out dollar drafts with the likes of Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and Matt Drudge.

Herewith a few snippets of Schlussel’s stupidity:

“But whether or not you want to watch, that Waste of National Broadcast Airtime, the WNBA, is baaaack for yet another season, it’s sickest-I mean, sixth.

“What’s the sound of one-hand clapping? Confucius say: It’s the same sound as no-one watching these-sports’ silly bearded-lady sideshows.

“These women (I think they’re women) can’t run, can’t shoot, can’t slam-dunk, can’t even semi-dunk or dunk at all.

“Even the regular season players are most unmemorable, but for their names. First names like LaQuanda, LaNeishea, Shalonda, and Shaunzinski. Shaunzinski? (Must be from the Irish-Polish contingent.)

“There’s also the WNBA’s obvious lesbian factor. What do you expect from a league that had as its spokesman/woman/whatever, none other than Rosie O’Donnell?”

There is at work here a level of hostility, rage, fear, desperation, and, yes, sickness, that we find difficult to fathom. Of greater interest is why this woman is taken seriously by anyone at all. We’ll let Schlussel’s facilitators, who apparently include Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly, and the National Rifle Association, explain that.

Or perhaps we’ll leave it to Debbie Schlussel’s Fan Club.

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