A day after New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens sent an email to George Washington University associate professor David Karpf and the university’s provost to complain about Karpf’s tweet calling Stephens a metaphorical bedbug, Provost Forrest Maltzman responded by inviting Stephens to speak on campus.
“As you know, as an academic, Professor Karpf speaks for himself and does not take direction from me,” Maltzman wrote on Tuesday. “His opinions are his own. Our commitment to academic freedom and free speech are integral to GW’s mission. I see on Twitter that you invited him to your home. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our campus to speak about civil discourse in the digital age.”
After Karpf tweeted out Stephens’ email challenging Karpf to call him a bedbug to his face, the New York Times writer deactivated his Twitter account, saying on Tuesday morning that “Twitter is a sewer” and apologizing for “any part I’ve played in making it worse.”