Janet Napolitano's Sexuality "Sort of a National Security Issue," Says Blogger Debbie Schlussel

Conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel e-mailed New Times yesterday to shed light on the context of her recent Janet Napolitano-bashing article that included a humorous -- though crass -- illustration calling Arizona's governor "The Lesbionic Woman."

New Times published an article in this blog on Monday that reprinted the poster, and we questioned why Schlussel used it conjunction with an article that focused on Napolitano's politically correct use of the phrase "holiday tree."

Schlussel, a well-known pundit from Michigan who sometimes appears on national TV news programs, tells us that we missed her post on Friday that explained why Napolitano's "lesbianism is an issue."

Reading that post, it turns out that Schlussel seems to be worried someone might try to blackmail Napolitano, Obama's top pick for the job of Homeland Security department chief.

Schlussel writes in her November 21 article:

[Napolitano] is not an improvement over Michael "Serpenthead/Mr. Burns" Chertoff. Just more of the same, except for one thing: she's apparently a semi-closeted lesbian. And, unless she comes out completely in the open, it's sort of a national security issue. Don't ask, don't tell really isn't an option when her suspected homosexuality can be used against her, since she continues to deny it. Janet, I think the Women's Sports Foundation haircut and Dinah Shore Classic comfortable shoes kinda gave it away. (Gee, this really is a remake of Clinton-Camelot: Clinton had two ineffective lesbian lawyers, Janet Reno and Donna Shalala, and this is the first of likely several for Obama.)

"Not that there's anything wrong with that." (Schlussel's link)


Schlussel obviously enjoys a cheap chuckle now and then at the expense of gays and the "girlie-men" she frequently writes about. The "Lesbionic" idea came from a couple of comedy videos Schlussel found hilarious. But her comment about national security deserves some thought.


Schlussel's logic about a possible security risk would be more valid in the 1950s, when homosexuality was a true scandal. It's hard to see how anyone these days would care if Napolitano was outed as a lesbian. And if she's not a lesbian, of course, the idea of a security risk is moot.

But if she is, then Napolitano must be worried mightily about her public image to have kept the secret for so long.

The fact is, the only person who knows whether Napolitano sexual status is a national security issue is Napolitano herself.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern