Who's afraid of a bedbug? This guy...

3 minute read

August 28, 2019

Classic, old-style liberals used to say that they may disagree with what you say but would defend to the death your right to say it. Today’s liberals say, “I disagree with what you say, so you must DIE!”  Yet somehow, the same folks who routinely call the President a con man, racist, white supremacist, second-coming-of-Hitler think that they’re the ones who are going to save civility in public discourse.

Case in point: I told you yesterday about New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who took umbrage (“Umbrage, I say!”) at a George Washington University professor he’d never met making a mild joke on Twitter about Stephens being the bedbug they found in the Times offices.  He even cc’ed his over-the-top reaction to the professor’s boss, perhaps hoping to get him in trouble or cost him his job (it didn’t work: the university provost is probably used to dealing with immature and oversensitive people and gave him the diplomatic brush-off.) 

When word got out, Stephens discovered what real ridicule on Twitter looks like.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/nyt-columnist-bret-stephens-gets-brutally-mocked-over-his-bedbug-episode

He even got the ultimate Twitter spanking: a tweet from the POTUS featuring the “L” word (“loser!”):

https://www.foxnews.com/media/trump-nyt-bret-stephens

So Stephens took to friendly outlet MSNBC and condescendingly lectured us all that he was just trying to teach us a lesson about civility in public discourse.  He said, “Using dehumanizing rhetoric like bedbugs or analogizing people to insects is always wrong...We can do better. We should be the people on social media that we are in real life.” 

Well, Newsbusters.org decided to find out how well Stephens practices what he preaches. 

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/scott-whitlock/2019/08/27/ny-times-columnist-offended-bedbugs-crack-compared-conservatives

In various writings over just the past two years, they found that Stephens compared President Trump to the dictators of Argentina and Venezuela and to a drug addict; he compared Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to genocidal Cambodian leader Pol Pot; he accused people who criticize Colin Kaepernick of “quasi-fascism;” and he described Sen. Ted Cruz as being “like a serpent covered in Vaseline” and someone who would sell his family into slavery. If that’s the person he is on social media, I don’t think I’d want to meet him in real life. I guess we know now why the New York Times is so bent out of shape about conservatives digging into its writers’ old comments. 

On Tuesday, Stephens quit Twitter, which sounds like a good decision.  It also sounds like the first thing he’s actually done to contribute to civility in public discourse. 

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Comments 1-2 of 2

  • Sharon Loveall

    08/28/2019 05:57 PM

    The Democrats can dish it out but they can't take it. The only thing they know how to do today is incite, not enlight.

  • Kathy Waite

    08/28/2019 04:27 PM

    You'd think by now that they would know that just about any group can find anything they said publicly and use it. What I really don't understand is how fast this "derangement" has spread among liberals. My extended family can't really get together for just about any occasion, because I'm pretty certain a fight would break out. As far as I know, all my family, on both sides, were Democrats when I was a kid. I think I was one of the first to leave. Carter is the last Democrat I voted for. I got hit from every side. Now it's more evenly split, but some are really dyed in the wool, and think because our parents told us that Democrats were for the "little guy" we MUST vote for them. Things have changed!!