The co-creator of The Daily Show is apologizing for attempting to make topical political jokes related to the tragic destruction caused by the Oklahoma tornado.
Lizz Winstead, who co-created the Comedy Central late-night program with Madeleine Smithberg in 1996, took to Twitter on Monday afternoon after dozens of casualties had been reported and posted the following: "This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives."
Although she later deleted the tweet, two others still remain. In one, she compared the tornado to the ongoing scandal involving the IRS, asking, "How long has Obama known about this Tornado?" She followed that quip with the news that she had been bumped from her appearance on Martin Bashir's MSNBC show because of the tornado, adding the hashtag "#Benghazi" in jest.
Winstead later apologized for her poor judgment, tweeting, "Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry. #LetMeHaveIt." In addition to admitting that she was an "idiot" and her actions were worthy of criticism, Winstead also posted a variety of ways to donate to the Oklahoma relief efforts.
Of all people to come to her defense, conservative commentator Glenn Beck chimed in on Twitter: "Leave lizz winstead alone. Clearly bad joke. How many of us has made a joke we wished we could take back? She has to feel awful. #castfirststone"
While her joke was clearly in bad taste, she was actually poking fun at religious zealots like Pat Robertson, who has stated that certain areas of the country deserve natural disasters and terrorist attacks because of moral decay. At least Winstead was only joking and admitted, "Bad joke. Bad timing. Just bad."