Daily Show producer Lizz Winstead posted remarkably ill-timed and insensitive tweets Monday afternoon amid the horrific hurricane ripping through Oklahoma.
“This tornado is in Oklahoma, so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives,” she tweeted, taking the opportunity to poke fun at the recent IRS scandal that targeted right-wing Tea Party groups’ tax returns.
"How long has Obama known about this Tornado,” she continued to joke. “Tornado just bumped me from MSNBC. #Benghazi."
These comments were made before details for the hurricane had fully emerged and seemed innocent at first.
Though when one person pushed back on her comments, Winstead shot back, “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.”
As reports of the death toll extensive damage done to homes and communities in Oklahoma were revealed, the inappropriateness of her comments became self evident, and people began firing back comments on Twitter.
Winstead ultimately was forced to issue an apology and tweeted out: “Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry. #LetMeHaveIt.”
The world of political news humor invariably walks a fine line between humorous and offensive.
While the folks at the Daily Show carry an obvious bias favorable of Democrats and the sitting president, they are not afraid to take jabs at one of their own like they did earlier last week when more details surrounding the IRS and AP phone hack scandal emerged.
Winstead’s tweets were not intentionally ill-timed, but have still received criticism as she used a natural disaster to undermine and minimize the current scandals plaguing the Obama administration.
Conservatives have become the butt of many coastal-liberal elite jokes in the past five years — the comments from Winstead exemplify more of the same.
Birtherism and offensive comments by Republican politicians surrounding the legitimacy of rape only help to reinforce this stereotype.
But unlike the dragged out narrative behind the “Fast and Furious” scandal, the latest foul play extending from the executive branch seem to have more legs.
Using a natural disaster as a launch point to make a quick joke about conservatives being victimized by the government shows a lack of sensitivity on Winstead’s account.
But, at least she said she was sorry.