Frequently Asked Questions
From 2016: Susan answers your most burning questions.
Q. So you finally got fired from MLive, huh? Hahahaha!
A. Nope. MLive has announced it’s undergoing a substantial restructuring. Part of that was eliminating contracts with freelancers, like conservative columnist Ken Braun and me.
Q. I’ve been telling MLive to fire you for years (Commenter handle: RedEagleFreedom911). So glad they finally listened!!
A. Well, it didn’t happen that way, but you do you.
Q. You’ve got to be pretty pissed, right?
A. Nah. I’ve run my own publication, Inside Michigan Politics, and media company, Susan J. Demas Communications, for more than two years. Having complete ownership of my column is going to be fun. I also loved my time at MLive, which started publishing my column in 2008. I worked with so many talented journalists and I’m proud to have been one of the most well-read columnists there.
Q. OK, but you got fired a couple years ago, right?
A. Yes, but not from MLive.
Q. Huh? Your column ended. You had that sappy goodbye column. I know you got fired.
A. Yeah, I can see why you’d think that. I was asked by my employer at the time to end my MLive column or stop working for them. So I stopped writing the column. Then they fired me anyway. Then I started writing the column again. And then I bought Inside Michigan Politics.
Q. What’s Inside Michigan Politics?
A. Wow, thanks for asking! IMP has been the gold standard for political journalism in Michigan for almost three decades. It’s biweekly newsletter analyzing political and policy trends. It also happens to be the most nationally-cited political publication in the state. And now we even have a working website (which is all free).
Q. Wait, wasn’t IMP some sort of Republican publication? My understanding is that you are a flaming communist.
A. No, IMP plays it straight on political analysis –– who’s winning, who’s losing and why –– and always will on my watch. In a time with fewer reporters covering politics and government in Michigan, there’s a real need for a publication that tells you what’s really going on and what’s going to happen next. As for me, as the owner of two businesses, alas, I am clearly a capitalist, although I do have a soft spot for a good rendition of “The Internationale.”
Q. You’re a liberal columnist, though.
A. I’m just not that into labels, man, but sure. I don’t take column pitches and I don’t do talking points (something that gives my Democratic strategist husband sad face). I’m on record with my positions on just about every issue of the day (Obamacare, economic growth, income inequality, vaccinations, guns, abortion, LGBT rights, etc.). I’m also on record that I think the GOP has veered too far right, particularly since 2010. And I’m one of those annoying journalists who takes a hard look at whoever is in power. If you’d like references from Democrats who hate me, I’d suggest you start with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm confidante Wizardkitten, who still has me blocked on Twitter.
Q. Whatever, you’re not a journalist. You’re a liberal hack.
A. That’s cool, bro. Here’s some of my biography for you to ignore:
Susan J. Demas brings 15 years of experience in political journalism, completing a Knight Foundation fellowship in campaign finance and specializing in poll analysis. No other Michigan journalist has been named to The Washington Post's list of "Best Political Reporters," The Huffington Post's list of "Best Political Tweeters" and The Washington Post's list of "Best Political Bloggers." Susan has been a syndicated political columnist for the Detroit News, Lansing State Journal, Huffington Post and Real Clear Politics. Susan built up a successful freelance writing business over the last eight years, while working as a full-time editor and reporter, with clients including magazines, nonprofits and universities. Susan’s work has been featured in more than more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets including NBC News, Newsweek, Forbes, The Economist, NPR, the Australian Broadcast Corp., Politico, The Atlantic, Guardian U.K., Bloomberg News and Reuters.
Q. I’m sorry, but I don’t think journalists should have opinions.
A. That’s adorable. Everyone has opinions. I’m just upfront with mine. But you’ll probably soon get your wish, as reporters will be replaced by #ContentBots.™
Q. You seem pretty unlikable. Maybe you should smile more?
A. Yeah, I get that a lot, as do all women.
Q. Your blonde hair/sparkly tops/sweater puppies don’t seem very professional for a journalist.
A. I can understand how it’s disconcerting that I have both tits and a brain.
Q. Your column makes me violently ill. How can anyone read you?
A. Great question. Many years ago, there was this one dude who would read my columns religiously and yell at the screen most times. He and his friends called me “Teh Demas” and agreed that I was an “anti-labor bitch.” That guy is now my husband. He claims he only hates my columns about 25% of the time now, but I don’t really believe him.
Q. You can’t possibly be married. Who could stand you?
A. Good point. I’m pretty sure my kids like me, at least when I buy them stuff.
Q. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I really hate your column. Don’t you think it’s time for you to shut up?
A. Yeah, you’re not the first to say this. No one’s gotten me to shut up yet (and the list of those who have tried is ridiculously long). So, good luck.
Q. As I told you in my all-caps, 1,223-word email, I should be writing columns, not you. Why haven’t you listened?
A. Oh, that would be because I don’t care.
Q. I really hate your column. I’m still pretty sure you got fired again.
A. I mean, sure. Why not.