Following New York Times columnist Bret Stephens’ freakout over being called a “bedbug” on Twitter by a George Washington University professor — and Stephens’ subsequent attempt to inform the professor’s employer of the enormity of that transgression — GWU did something we’ve been sorely missing in this present darkness known as the cancel culture:
They reacted rationally and stood up for their guy.
“I think Bret Stephens should find a better hobby than staying up late searching for his name on social media” Dr. Karpf just told me.
“If he would like to do an event at GW about civility and media in the digital age, I would be happy to organize it with him.”
GW follows thru: https://t.co/9vSNiDPStn
— Anders Hagstrom (@Hagstrom_Anders) August 27, 2019
The nod toward the First Amendment is a particularly nice touch in this age of campus thought and speech police turning people in like they’re the Stasi in East Germany before The Wall came down. And the offer to Stephens to engage in a speech about civil discourse is, I believe, a serious one.
Stephens might also, now that he’s left Twitter, find the time to reflect on the fact that many conservatives are defending him from the mob online that trashed him for what is undoubtedly a huge mistake for a man who has devoted so many column inches to the scourge of the cancel culture.
And perhaps also — but this is likely a selfish ask because I’m just highly curious — he might spend some time trying to identify why being called a “bedbug” set him off so. I know he believes bedbugs — or, more specifically, calling people bedbugs — might be linked to fascism (he really said that), but he’s probably almost completely alone in that assessment.
However he chooses to use it, it’s good Mr. Stephens has this time to reflect. And he should take GW up on their offer.