Bret Stephens Defends Snitching on Professor on MSNBC: Calling Me a Bedbug is ‘Totalitarian’ Rhetoric


After announcing that he was quitting Twitter, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens appeared on MSNBC in order to complain on air about the man who called him a “bedbug.”

Stephens was on to talk about how he deactivated his account after blowing up at a George Washington University professor who made an insulting joke about him and the Times’ reported bedbug infestation. As Stephens mused that “Twitter brings out the worst in its users,” he went on to lament that calling him a “bedbug” is “dehumanizing and totally unacceptable no matter where it comes from.”

Stephens defended the email he sent to the professor, Dave Karpf, on which he CC’d the man’s boss, insisting it was “very civil” when he told him 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.” He also claimed “I had no intention whatsoever to get him in any kind of professional trouble,” even though he admitted to sending the same email to Karpf’s provost.

“All I would say is that using dehumanizing rhetoric like bedbugs or, you know, analogizing people to insects, is always wrong,” Stephens said. “There’s a bad history of being analogized to insects that goes back to a lot of totalitarian regimes in the past. I’ve been called worse. I wrote this guy a personal note. Now it’s out there for everyone to see.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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