Someone just pointed out a tweet you wrote about me, calling me a “bedbug.” 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.
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.
“Someone just pointed out…” is a funny way to say “I searched my own name on Twitter” but okay…
He might have hoped that the email would finish the issue, but Karpf had other ideas and decided to share the message on his account.
Within a few hours, Karpf's original tweet had gone viral.
Some people pointed out how ridiculous it was for Stephens, a columnist who has fought against “safe spaces”, to be so easily wound-up by the insult.
Bret Stephens, a guy who professionally laments "PC culture" and "safe spaces" is upset someone jokingly called him… https://t.co/zW7Ko7SfkA
For context, it’s worth understanding that Stephens has been a controversial figure for a long time – due to his scepticism towards the threat of climate change, his criticism of Palestine and his support for the Iraq War.
After the ridicule got too much for him, the NYT columnist decided to delete his Twitter account and blamed the website for “bringing out the worst in humanity”.
And we’re not finished yet…
You might have thought Stephens would want to lie low for a bit now, get his thoughts together and come back when he’s calmed down – but instead, he decided to go on MSNBC this morning to talk about the controversy…
First, Stephens denied that he was attempting to get Karpf in trouble by including his boss in the email.
And then he went on to unbelievably claim that the bedbug joke was somehow akin to the language of “totalitarian regimes”.
On MSNBC, Bret Stephens characterizes Dr Dave Karpf referring to him as a metaphorical "bedbug" on Twitter as akin… https://t.co/juRd8VeQU7