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Bret Stephens Freaks Out After Being Called A 'Bedbug' On Twitter

The New York Times columnist e-mailed his complaint to the man's boss.
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Twitter was beside itself last night when it was learned that the thin-skinned conservative (is there any other kind?) columnist for the New York Times had cc'd his e-mails to David Karpf to the provost at George Washington University as well.

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Stephens said there was a history of totalitarian regimes calling their enemies insects to justify his e-mailing Dr. Karpf's boss with his silliness. Stephens deactivated his twitter account but seems entirely unrepentant. Stephens also said, with a straight face, that he intended no harm by e-mailing Karpf's boss.

Stephens should have been fired long ago for other transgressions (climate change is a hoax, black people are stupid, college kids are snowflakes, etc), but he also should never have been hired by the New York Times in the first place. Just a walking embarrassment.

Source: Washington Post

The tweet seemed harmless enough to David Karpf. The associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University took a story that bedbugs had infested the New York Times newsroom as an occasion to dig at his least favorite Times writer, the conservative columnist Bret Stephens.

“The bedbugs are a metaphor,” Karpf wrote on Monday. “The bedbugs are Bret Stephens."

The tweet got nine total likes and zero retweets, Karpf said. So the professor was surprised when an email from Stephens himself popped in a few hours later.

Then, he noticed his provost at GWU was copied on the email. And Stephens was furious.

“I’m often amazed about the things supposedly decent people are prepared to say about other people — people they’ve never met — on Twitter. I think you’ve set a new standard,” Stephens wrote. “I would welcome the opportunity for you to come to my home, meet my wife and kids, talk to us for a few minutes, and then call me a ‘bedbug’ to my face. That would take some genuine courage and intellectual integrity on your part.”

The exchange quickly went viral after Karpf posted Stephens’ full email to Twitter, leading to waves of backlash against a columnist whose contrarian takes on climate change and race have prompted canceled subscriptions and pointed questions for his editors in the past.


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Here is the offensive e-mail. Please feel free to retweet at your leisure.

And the reaction.

Perhaps realizing the error of his ways (though I doubt it), Stephens deactivated his twitter account. most likely in an effort to try avoiding being fired.

Twitter by now is entirely sick of this asshole and let him have it, both barrels.

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