'I Was an Idiot': 'Daily Show' Creator Apologizes for Insensitive Tornado Jokes
Comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead is feeling the wrath of the Internet after tweeting several politically charged jokes about the devastating tornado that decimated Moore, Okla., on Monday.
Winstead, 51, tweeted to her following of 75,000, "This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives." The joke was a reference to the IRS scandal. As angry readers tweeted their outrage, Winstead stood by her tweet.
To one follower who wrote, "As an Oklahoman, I don't think this was something that would result in my continuing to follow you," Winstead responded, "If Its not OK to YOU for me to combine news stories to point out hypocrisy AND Im not making fun of victims u shld Unfollow."
Winstead continued with two more tornado-themed jokes -- "How long has Obama known about this Tornado?" and "Tornado just bumped me from MSNBC. #Benghazi" -- as the first reports of fatalities out of Moore began to trickle in. Two hours later, the extent of the destruction and loss of life revealed, Winstead pulled the initial tweet and issued an apology.
"Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry, #LetMeHaveIt," she wrote to a now smaller group of subscribers.
Further mea culpas followed -- "It's worth giving me sh-t. I was an idiot," she wrote -- accompanied by a stream of links to help tornado victims.
Winstead co-created Comedy Central's The Daily Show in 1996 and was head writer for one season, during which time she appeared on the show as a correspondent. Since then, she has co-founded Air America Radio and served as co-host of Air America show Unfiltered, contributed to MSNBC's The Ed Show and published a book, Lizz Free or Die.