Bret Stephens pulls out of a public discussion because it was going to be … public. Makes one wonder what his TED talk could be like …. features everywhere! One hopes that the NY Times has resolved its multi-floor insect infestation.

New York Times columnist and vigorously selective defender of free speech Bret Stephens abruptly backed out of scheduled debate he agreed to with the university professor who mocked him as a “bedbug” on Twitter because the host wouldn’t close the event to the public.

Stephens infamously stepped on a series of rakes in response to Dave Karpf, a George Washington University media studies professor, off-handedly calling him a “bedbug” on Twitter:

According to Slate, the Times columnist had previously accepted the public invitation from GWU, which offered to host an open discussion about civil online discourse featuring himself and Karpf. The pair had agreed on October 28th as the date of the event.

But right before the final details of the event were completed, Stephens reportedly raised a series of concerns to the organizers, which ultimately led him to pull out of the debate.

“…. They talked with him, and what it came down to was, the only way he’d do the event is if the public wasn’t allowed to see it….”…

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