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AOC mocks NYT columnist Bret Stephens for response to ‘bedbug’ comment



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mocked New York Times columnist Bret Stephens in a tweet Tuesday after he lashed out at a college professor for calling him a “bedbug.”

“Imagine being on Twitter and having the worst thing you’re called in a given day is ‘bedbug,'” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “My own friends roast me harder than that.”

She added in a follow-up tweet, “(For real though, it is pretty concerning that this guy abused his position to try to get someone fired over something so insignificant – esp after creating a career defending vile language as a sacred freedom & deriding people organizing for basic human dignity as ‘snowflakes.’)”

David Karpf, a professor at George Washington University, tweeted a joke Monday about Stephens in response to a report that there was a bedbug found in the New York Times newsroom. He said that he did not tag the columnist nor does Stephens follow him.

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

Stephens then emailed Karpf and the provost of George Washington University, criticizing the professor’s joke and inviting him to sit down with his family to reconsider the comment.

Read more: New York Times columnist Bret Stephens deactivates his Twitter after attacking a professor for calling him a ‘bed bug’

“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,” Stephens wrote in the email, per a screenshot that Karpf tweeted. “That would take some genuine courage and intellectual integrity on your part. I promise to be courteous no matter what you have to say.”

“Maybe it will make you feel better about yourself,” Stephens continued in the email.

Ocasio-Cortez’s response is the latest contribution to the social media backlash that Stephens has faced since complaining to the professor’s boss, trending under the hashtag #BretBug.

Stephens deactivated his Twitter account on Tuesday, calling Twitter a “sewer” that “brings out the worst in humanity,” and apologized for “any part I’ve played in making it worse.”

Washington Post contributor Holly Figueroa O’Reilly weighed in on Stephens’ response to Karpf’s negative joke.

“Hi, Bret Stephens,” she tweeted Tuesday. “I’ll see your ‘bedbug’ and raise you about 100 ‘c—-‘ per day.”

Newspaper columnist Connie Schultz also commented on the situation, posing the question, “What must it be like to think being called a ‘bedbug’ in a tweet merits an email to that author’s boss?”

“If we women who are columnists shared some of our worst reader responses, we’d risk being banned from Twitter for making credible threats of violence,” she continued.

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