Schlussel claimed Media Matters is “Nazi-funded”

In a May 1 weblog post, right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel speculated that a Canton, Michigan, resident who had allegedly suffered “extensive” injuries to his hand when a homemade “cherry bomb” he and his friends created accidentally exploded might be Pakistani. Asserting that "[s]ince Muslim terrorists are generally more clandestine -- and occasionally more clever," Schlussel said that the alleged cherry bomb maker and his friends in fact “might not be Muslim.” The only basis she cited for her speculation that they might be Pakistani was that, according to her, there is a “large Muslim Paki, er ... Pakistani population” in Canton. As Media Matters for America noted when Schlussel used the term in an April 16 blog post, “Paki” is a disparaging term for a person of Pakistani descent. Schlussel used the term “Paki” twice in the May 1 post, and said in her second use of the term: “I would be remiss in not pointing out the large Muslim Paki, er ... Pakistani population in Canton. After all, I wouldn't want to disappoint my friends from the deceptively-named, Nazi-funded Media Matters for America.”

In describing Media Matters as “Nazi-funded,” Schlussel linked to an April 18 blog post in which she falsely claimed that Media Matters was funded by philanthropist George Soros and smeared Soros as “a fake Holocaust survivor, who -- instead of 'surviving' the Holocuast [sic] -- helped the Nazis perpetrate it.” The only source Schlussel provided for these claims was David Horowitz and Richard Poe's thoroughly discredited book The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party (Nelson Current, 2006). As Media Matters has noted, several conservative media figures have distorted Soros' experience as a 14-year-old boy in Nazi-controlled Hungary to suggest that he collaborated with the Nazis.

On April 17, Media Matters for America noted Schlussel's April 16 weblog post (since removed) in which Schlussel “speculat[ed]” that the Virginia Tech shooter, who at that point had been identified as a man of Asian descent, might be a “Paki” Muslim and part of “a coordinated terrorist attack.” The Virginia Tech shooter was later identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a Korean immigrant. Schlussel replaced the original post with a note referencing “Nazi-infested Media Matters for America cretins.”

Schlussel's commentary extends beyond her weblog posts. The bio on her website describes her as also a columnist and a radio talk show host, and as Media Matters for America has documented, she has also appeared as a commentator on MSNBC.