Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighs in on New York Times columnist Bret Stephens lashing out over 'bedbug' comment

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out New York Times columnist Bret Stephens in a tweet Tuesday after he complained to a university provost that a college professor called 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."
  • Ocasio-Cortez's response is the latest contribution to the social media backlash Stephens has faced since complaining to the professor's boss, which trended under the hashtag #BretBug.

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.

17 PHOTOS
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the State of the Union 2019
See Gallery
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the State of the Union 2019
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), dressed in white in tribute to the women's suffrage movement, arrives for the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, speaks with colleagues during a State of the Union address by U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. President Donald Trump cast his fight against illegal migration to the U.S. as a moral struggle, and charged in his second State of the Union address that partisan investigations threaten economic progress under his administration. Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat of New York, from left, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat of New York, and Representative Judy Chu, a Democrat of California, speak prior to a State of the Union address by U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. President Donald Trump cast his fight against illegal migration to the U.S. as a moral struggle, and charged in his second State of the Union address that partisan investigations threaten economic progress under his administration. Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) smiles, dressed in white in tribute to the women's suffrage movement, as she arrives for the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. - Omar wears a pin of Jakelin Caal, the Guatemalan migrant girl who died in US custody after illegally crossing the border with her father. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, smiles as U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, delivers a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. President Donald Trump cast his fight against illegal migration to the U.S. as a moral struggle, and charged in his second State of the Union address that partisan investigations threaten economic progress under his administration. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks with other women wearing white ahead of the State of the Union address before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Democratic women wore white as a reference to the suffragette movement. This year marks the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) high-fives other congresswomen after President Donald J. Trump acknowledged newly elected female members of congress during the State of the Union address before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) ahead of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump's second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 05: First row from left, Reps. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., are seen in the House Chamber as President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 05: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., right, high fives Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., as Democratic members celebrate in the House Chamber as President Donald Trump recognized their achievement of electing a record number of women to Congress, during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 5: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., right, walks with her State of the Union guest Ana Maria Archila to the House chamber for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) watches President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. A group of female Democratic lawmakers chose to wear white to the speech in solidarity with women and a nod to the suffragette movement. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) watches President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. A group of female Democratic lawmakers chose to wear white to the speech in solidarity with women and a nod to the suffragette movement. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other female lawmakers cheer during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. A group of female Democratic lawmakers chose to wear white to the speech in solidarity with women and a nod to the suffragette movement. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a group photo of House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center, who plan to wear 'suffragette white' to the State of the Union address to show solidarity for women's agendas on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 05: First row from left, Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Alma Adams, D-N.C., pose for a group photo of House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center, who plan to wear 'suffragette white' to the State of the Union address to show solidarity for women's agendas on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., right, greets Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., after a group photo of House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center who will wear 'suffragette white' to the State of the Union address to show solidarity for women's agendas on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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."

Ocasio-Cortez and other female lawmakers have received credible threats on social media for some of their remarks made on bipartisan issues. Two police officers in Louisiana were fired last month for a Facebook post that suggested that the congresswoman should be shot.

"This vile idiot needs a round........and I don't mean the kind she used to serve," a former Louisiana police officer wrote in a Facebook post about Ocasio-Cortez, referring to a round of gunfire and calling on her previous career as a bartender.

Newspaper columnist Connie Schultz echoed the sentiment in a tweet, 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.

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."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.