NYT columnist Bret Stephens tried to get a professor fired for calling him a ‘bedbug’

2019 MTV VMAs

As we’ve discussed before, we used to have an site-subscription to the New York Times. CB cancelled that sh-t during one of the NYT’s “Nazis are just like us, they like cats and pasta!” trend pieces. Which is to say, I’ve never read one thing by NYT columnist Bret Stephens. I trust that he’s an a–hole. He’s apparently one of the “conservative voices” on the NYT’s op page. Just from a few minutes of online research, I see that he said some skeptical words about Trump once, and that he’s a climate-change-denier and that he hates Millennials. Add one more thing to your Random Knowledge memory banks: he’s the kind of person who obsessively searches his name on Twitter, freaks out when someone makes a silly joke at his expense, and then contacts the jokester’s employer to get the guy fired. For real. This was the joke that started everything:

Which is funny! And it’s just a silly NYT joke, which is funny because the New York Times is a clown show already. But then this happened:

Dr. Karpf also tweeted a copy of the email!!

So that’s why “Bret Stephens” has been trending on Twitter for much of the past 16 hours or so. Because Bret Stephens is a clown who doesn’t like bedbug jokes. Honestly, I’d love it if someone I joked about (on Twitter) tried to contact Celebitchy to complain. She would laugh her ass off.

People keep clowning on Bret Stephens. WHO IS NOT A BEDBUG, HOW DARE YOU.

Photos courtesy of Meet the Press.

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46 Responses to “NYT columnist Bret Stephens tried to get a professor fired for calling him a ‘bedbug’”

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  1. Maria says:

    I have only had one experience with bed bugs and it was enough to traumatize me, I’d sue if anyone called me that too, LOL. (Shudder, shiver)

    • AbbeyRoad says:

      ACCURATE. I’m enjoying the humor of this but I can’t investigate further than this website because I still–

      It happened in 2011 and this weekend I was cleaning and found something that looked like one (but wasn’t) and my stomach LURCHED.

      • Maria says:

        Oh God seriously!! I’ve had heart attacks over tiny bits of brown leaves I tracked in thinking they were bugs!

    • Amelie says:

      I got very paranoid about bed bugs living in NYC, my old company offices had them TWICE which only kicked my paranoia into overdrive. However I didn’t meet the bloodsuckers face to face until last year at a hotel in Paris during a business trip. I can’t tell you the horror of realizing the tiny bugs crawling on my bedspread were bed bugs!! Omg it was awful and I had bites on my neck and arms that took FOREVER to fade. The hotel switched me to a different room but the damage was done. I managed not to bring any home with me since I realized what had happened while I was at the hotel so I took preventive measures when I got home. But it took me a long time to accept they hadn’t followed me home. Any strange marks on my sheets, any red looking bites on me set me off. Just recently I moved out of an apartment I was positive I caught one again, had weird red streaks on my sheets, and two enormous looking bites showed up on my arm. The exterminator assured me I didn’t have them but it caused me so much stress right before I moved. Just the word bed bug sets me off in a panic… once you’ve dealt with them you never want to go back there!

      (Also I checked the hotel’s reviews months later on Tripadvisor… guests were still complaining about the bed bugs months later!)

    • Amber says:

      I had a hair-raising close call with bedbugs in a hostel in Venice. Saw one crawl on my pillow the first night, got up, slept on the couch that night. My night on the couch left me with bites all over my hands and feet anyway, so then I moved outside. It was October and obviously you can’t sleep very well on a brick balcony but I was just terrified. I’m still afraid of them. I was so scared I would carry them home, but thankfully I didn’t.

  2. AB says:

    Once you strip away its natural defenses, the White male ego is really quite fragile.

    • Erinn says:


      And what kind of retort is “come tell it to my wife”? Is your wife going to fight us? Would meeting what I assume he’s saying is a wonderful wife somehow make someone think better of him? Way to use the wife and kids as a shield though, really shows some maturity there. xD

      • whatWHAT? says:

        plus, I don’t get his offer/threat.

        he’s all “come say it to my face!” and then says he’ll be “courteous” no matter what.

      • AB says:

        AND the fact that this insult was actually so respectful that Bret felt safe enough to invite the man over to his home is next level! While women and POC in journalism are literally trying not to be killed by extremists in this hostile climate. I can’t.

      • MC2 says:

        What AB said! It must be nice to get angry over being called a bedbug and not hateful speech to try & commit genocide on your people. And they call other people snowflakes- the irony is not lost.

      • lucy2 says:

        Yes AB! If he were a woman or person of color, he’d be dealing with death threats and God knows what else ALL THE TIME. Not one little harmless joke that no one saw until he threw a temper tantrum over it.

        I petition to change it from the Streisand Effect to the Bret Stephens Effect.

  3. savu says:

    “new standard” HAHAAHAHAHAHA. Has he ever been on twitter? Or seen what alt-right twitter does and says?

    • whatWHAT? says:

      seriously. the current WH occupant has said WAY WORSE than this.

      or perhaps he’s forgotten all of the lynching imagery that happened during the Obama admin, and the “Michelle is a man” crap as well.

      oh, Bret…such fragility. poor thing. you stupid f*cking bedbug.

      • savu says:

        Like… Bedbug is a super tame insult and hilarious joke based on his tweet 😂

      • Megan says:

        People who don’t understand social media should avoid it altogether. Did Stephens seriously think his email wouldn’t end up on twitter?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Exactly. This was so tame and mild, he’s making himself look far worse than a “bedbug” by complaining so passionately.

  4. Dani says:

    SAY IT TO MY FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Heylee says:

    This is hilarious on so many levels because the original tweet left so much room for a positive/ witty response. Not all insults could be so easily batted down… “like any good NYC bedbug I am both prolific and hard to get rid of”

    On a different note. Please share what news site Y’all read to replace the NYT?!? Seriously asking.

    • Kaiser says:

      We have a Celebitchy subscription to the Washington Post & Vanity Fair

    • Floofy says:

      I switched to the Washington Post, and while I think the content is smarter and more international I do feel a little odd spending so much of all my money at Bezos-owned businesses. The WP crosswords are easier too, which is a bonus for me 😛

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Heylee, you’ve shown yourself to be far wittier than a NYT writer, so you’ve totally won this game!

    • whisperntwk says:

      The Guardian is pretty excellent – even seems to break US news before others (I dumped the Times too, but subscribe to the Guardian, WaPo, and the New Yorker).

  6. Lori says:

    Maybe he trying to get an apartment and dont want the word bedbug coming up on a google search?

  7. Tiffany says:

    WHO ???!!!!!

  8. BlueSky says:

    #Peak white privilege

  9. Jensies says:

    Man, what white male privilege to get all up in arms over a mild insult. Women hear worse than this on their walk to work. Additionally, there are still children in cages, and yet this is where he chooses to use his voice. Cool.

  10. Cleo17 says:

    What a snowflake!

  11. Ann says:

    I only know of him because he’s been on Real Time multiple times. I thought he was pretty moderate. Now that he’s had this nonsense Maher will probably have him on in a month and will defend him because he’s fallen victim to the evil SJWs. Should be fun…

  12. Kitten says:

    LOL I can’t stop laughing at how absurdly delicate these people are.
    Like, how do you even get through life being this precious all the time?

    • ClaireB says:

      I think it just tells you exactly how easy middle- and upper-class white males have it, when they think they have to draw a line in the sand over petty name calling on Twitter.

    • Christin says:

      Those who like to routinely dish out opinions, insults, etc., are often the thinnest skinned.

    • MC2 says:

      And this part “someone pointed out your tweet to me….” Lol! You pointed it out to your more offended self & then raged in the mirror. It’s like that idea that couples can go insane together only it’s just you & you.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Seriously. Does he handle all disagreeing opinions like this? That must be exhausting and incredibly time consuming. I pity the fool. 😉

    • Liz version 700 says:

      I spent way too much time laughing about this last night. The Twitter reaction snark did not disappoint. And today he was touring MSNBC defending his tantrum?!?! Poor snowflake. Try being a woman or person of color for 24 hours Bretbug you could not handle it.

  13. Zan says:

    This scenario showcased Twitter at its finest. All evening, I laughed so hard at the ingenious and hilarious snark.

  14. Nic919 says:

    He now seems to have deleted his twitter account. What a baby. Women are called far worse on twitter and get death threats but he can’t handle being compared to a bedbug. And including the guy’s employer is the worst.

  15. Mumbles says:

    Google this bedbug and you will find many instances of him defending conservatives like Tucker Carlson of saying the worst things about people. I saw him on the news this morning. He can’t even own up to the fact that he included the guy’s boss in the dialogue. There’s only one reason he did that.

    This is a nice example of the Streisand Effect, where the attempt to control something onlins just results in it getting more out of control.

    People are going to be calling him Bedbug for a long time now. Well done.

  16. Jess says:

    This is Twitter at its finest. I laughed for half an hour last night at everyone clowning on him. ESP beceuase he’s mocked safe spaces and talked about free speech includes the right to be offensive. But typical right winger – free speech is only for people like him. And as Roxanne Gay and others pointed out, the names women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community get called on a daily basis is far worse. But it is clowns like him that keep me from subscribing to the NYT. I’m all for the WaPo and the Guardian!

  17. MC2 says:

    The Streisand Effect at it’s finest! I am rolling in laughter.

  18. bitchyarchitect says:

    what a f**king snowfglake. Really? you can’t handle being called a bed bug?

  19. Ally says:

    This guy has Trumpian levels of thinking he can say whatever, but no one’s ever allowed to say anything about him. Also only old white dudes like him can be sensitive snowflakes.

    For example, just a few weeks ago he wrote this passage about immigrants: “They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t.” He also used the phrase “disease of the Arab mind“ in a column.

    If he doesn’t like dehumanizing language, he should stop using it in his column. Which the NYT should stop publishing. Which they won’t because the guy in charge, Dean Baquet, is a clueless blockhead as seen in the leaked minutes from their recent meeting after another NYT poobah tried to get a Twitter critic fired from their job. My favourite part is where Baquet keeps refusing to understand the point people are making but mentions that they’re keeping track of mean tweets that NYT reporters just like!

    Freedom of speech and the press, everybody!

  20. Jerusha says:

    He has cleaned out his twitter account. Nothing but “Tweets aren’t loading now. Tap to retry.”

  21. ojulia123 says:

    This post has me literally weeping with laughter. Holy sh*t.

    ETA: He has a history of getting very butthurt over stuff like this. Look up writer Samer Kalaf’s email exchange with him. It’s amazing.