New York Times political reporter Michael Barbaro took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his confusion over a recent controversy in which Vice President Joe Biden employed the anti-Semitic term "shylock" in a speech.
"Raise your hand if you were not familiar with the word ‘Shylock’ before it became a controversy in past 24 hours?" Barbaro tweeted to his followers, prompting much ridicule.
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Raise your hand if you were not familiar with the word "Shylock" before it became a controversy in past 24 hours?
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) September 17, 2014
Biden employed the historically offensive and anti-Semitic word in a speech Tuesday. He was forced to apologize early Wednesday after he came under criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and others.
Barbaro, purportedly a trained journalist and political expert, had apparently never heard the word before or come across it in literature. Twitter users immediately ridiculed the reporter for his ignorance. "And you admit that?" tweeted author Ben Cohen.
@mikiebarb And you admit that?
— Ben Cohen (@BenCohenOpinion) September 17, 2014
"And now we know that whatever schools you went to to become a ‘journalist’ were shit," added the routinely acerbic Twitter user RBPundit.
— RB (@RBPundit) September 17, 2014
The Washington Free Beacon has mailed to Barbaro care of the New York Times a copy of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice for his further edification.