Maureen Dowd: Uninformed, or Just a tinge Anti-Semitic
Either Maureen Dowd, or some snarky editor at the NYT, gave her column the title Pharisees on the Potomac. Her point was to recount the hypocrisy of the Republican leadership. If you look up Pharisee in the OED, you will find that the second definition legitimates this usage, but then again, look at the second definition of a Jew "...a grasping extortionate person." Does that allow the NYT to have an editoral entitled "Medoff Jewed lots of Jews in Florida"? The only difference is how educated the NYT staff might be.
One assumes, and hopes that this is a literacy problem and nothing more for Ms. Dowd, and whomever edits her column. Still, the larger issue is the fact that this word is part of the English language and is not considered an epithet or defamatory.
One may not defame a people in the NYT, but their Sages and their Ancestors are fair game.