Of all the very strange things the New York Times has published since October 1, 2016, perhaps the strangest is the Bret Stephens column comparing George Washington University Professor Dave Karpf to Joseph Goebbels.

Why did Stephens do this? Because Karpf had tweeted “the bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens” in reply to New York Times assistant editor Stuart A. Thompson's tweet that there were bedbugs in the New York Times newsroom.

In response to things like this, I find the Washington Post's Alexandra Petri usually responds at the appropriate level. And she does so here:

Alexandra Petri: I Am a Bedbug and Would Like to Be Kept Out of This Mess: "My name has been soiled and made dirty like a place I would love to relax at with my blood meal. Please, I would like to be kept out of this mess. I know that, as a bedbug, this is not a phrase you would expect to hear vibrate forth through my rostrum, but hear me out. I am just trying to live my life. Instead, I have been thrust into a story I never asked to be part of. This is not my fight, and I don’t know any of the people involved. Please, stop using me to insult people. I don’t know these people. I don’t know anything other than that some of them emit kairomones and I need to make use of them for a blood meal to escape my final nymphal stage. That’s it. So stop invoking my name! Fight your own battles. I understand very well that I am not welcome in your society. This is the double standard. I have spent a long time developing a thick, chitinous skin, covered with bristles and hairs. But that does not mean that words do not sting, too...

#noted #journamalism #2019-10-31