The Jury Talks Back


Bret “Bedbug” Stephens Totally Doesn’t Try to Get Critic Fired

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:22 am

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 Post continues:

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

Thanks to Stephens’s decision to copy Karpf’s provost, the email went viral. Karpf’s original tweet now has many, more than nine likes. Karpf is now a 15-minute minor Twitter celebrity and having some fun. And Stephens? He has deactivated his Twitter account, blaming Twitter for bringing out the worst in people. And he and has gone on TV to explain that he totally wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble.

“I had no intention whatsoever to get him in any kind of professional trouble but … managers should be aware of the way in which their people interact with the rest of the world.” You know, so those people get in professional trouble.

This guy deserves all the mockery coming his way. And a lot is coming his way, most of it retweeted by Karpf.

And then there is this tweet, which is literally Kafkaesque:

Ah, paying attention to idiotic social media statements from members of the New York Times. Just another attack on the free press!


  1. Am I missing the punchline? Why was his email out of place? Because he cc’d his boss? Because that is common place these days when a college employee is replying to an outside party concerning issues dealing with them on social media, as it is a common curtesy to give your boss a heads up of what is going on before it blows up and you find yourself behind the eight ball explaining why you and the college are being dragged through the Twitter swamp.

    Comment by Sean — 8/27/2019 @ 8:12 am

  2. Am I missing the punchline? Why was his email out of place? Because he cc’d his boss?


    Comment by Patterico — 8/28/2019 @ 7:31 am

  3. Then that is an asinine reason for this to be a news story. I can’t tell you how many deans, VPs, and campus administrators have asked faculty to CC them on issues like this. Just last week in a division meeting we were told that anyone communicating via social media has to inform the administration if there is a possibility of the school being dragged into a controversy regarding faculty.

    Comment by Sean — 8/28/2019 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Okay, I can’t read today so disregard all of my comments, I got their jobs mixed up thinking it was the professor CC’ing HIS boss about being called bedbugs. That’s what I get about not caring who these people are. I still find the entire story ridiculous.

    Comment by Sean — 8/28/2019 @ 12:55 pm

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