[Ed. – Look, it’s no defense of the crassness in some of our culture now to point out that most well-known pundits grow a thicker skin about these things. Heck, most lesser-known pundits do the same. It’s unbelievable what conservative women, especially, have slung at them regularly on social media. (One option, as a conservative, would have been wearing the “infestation of bedbugs” metaphor as a badge of honor.)]
Bret Stephens, a columnist for the New York Times, deactivated his Twitter account after being mocked for taking offense to a man who called him a “bedbug.”
Stephens, 45, who has championed free speech, was enraged by a tweet by George Washington University professor David Karpf, who compared an infestation of bedbugs at the New York Times office to the conservative columnist.
“The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens,” Karpf jibed.
Karpf said Stephens emailed him, copying his boss, the university provost. In the email, Stephens said that “someone” alerted him to the tweet. He invited Karpf 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.”