Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Joe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice.

The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education all by itself. Even if Biden didn’t need it, I would highly recommend it.

The Obama administration’s treatment of Israel is a helluva lot more offensive and anti-Semitic than Biden’s current demonstration of his ignorance and insensitivity, and I would prefer that Biden be held to answer for that rather than this. But the grievance merchants of institutional Jewish life have already exacted their pound of flesh, so to speak.

Joe Biden is a repeat offender in giving rise to ethnic offense. If Biden were a Republican, he would probably have been driven from office by now. That he is a Democrat is of course his saving grace, again so to speak.

Here is the beauty part. New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro opened himself up to the rather powerful inference that he is clueless in something like Bidenesque proportions with his tweet below. This whole “shylocks” thing was over his head.

I’m not sure why Twitchy isn’t on the case. Barbaro’s tweet has generated some funny responses that are accessible here.

Via the Washington Free Beacon.

UPDATE: This just in (also with funny responses):

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