Ben Mathis-Lilley: How has it felt to be in the center of the media storm for the last day or so, particularly given that this is your area of study?
David Karpf: The two things that stand out are that it’s entertaining, and distracting. It does keep occurring to me the reason why this is actually pretty fun for me is that I’m a white guy with tenure, which means that—if he had sent this to me before I had a tenured job, that would have been a powerful and terrifying message, and I’m 100 percent sure that that’s what he expected it to do. When he writes a message where it says, “From Bret Stephens, New York Times,” from his New York Times account, it means that he’s trying to indicate that he’s above me in the social hierarchy. But I’m a professor of strategic political communication, and I have tenure, and I really didn’t do anything wrong. That makes the entire thing bizarre and fun. If I was pre-tenure or I was a woman and had to deal with harassment on Twitter all the time, then I imagine this would be a lot less fun.
Emphasis mine. Followed up by this tweet:
It probably is a bummer to be called a bedbug but people have written to me that they hope I get raped. Must be nice to get insulting comments and feel comfortable inviting the person to your home!— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) August 27, 2019