"Daily Show" Co-Creator Learns the Hard Way that Political Jokes Are Not Appreciated During Tragic Events
People who hang out on the Twitters will understand that the best time to be on the microblogging service is when major events are happening, because your wife stopped watching “Doctor Who” after the 11th Doctor and you need someone with whom to commiserate after that ending; or because you want your opinions of that Oscar speech validated; or because you need that injection of information during a tragic event, even if the dose is mostly half-truths and conjecture. We also understand that the best time to make jokes is during these events because there are a ton of people on, and they understand your frame of reference.
The exception, of course, is during a tragedy. Typically, the best thing to do on Twitter during something like the Boston Marathon bombing or last night’s Oklahoma tornado is shut your damn pie hole and keep your jokes to yourself. Lizz Winstead — the co-creator of “The Daily Show” — is another in a long line of high-profile people who learned that lesson the hard way, after she made a tacky joke at the conservatives’ expense.
“This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives,” she tweeted, which honestly isn’t even funny (although her other tornado related tweets were: “How long has Obama known about this Tornado?” and “Tornado just bumped me from MSNBC. #Benghazi”).
To be fair, the tweet arrived before the destruction was well known, and she deleted it soon thereafter, apologizing her fool heart out (via TV Guide)
“Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry. #LetMeHaveIt” she tweeted. Winstead continued to try and make amends, telling her critics that “it’s worth giving me sh—. I was an idiot” and calling her tweet, “Bad joke. Bad timing. Just bad.” Winstead then proceeded to tweet multiple ways to donate to tornado relief.
Obviously it was poor judgement on her part, and she at least recognized that and handled it well, but it once again demonstrates that tragedy — or even the likelihood of tragedy — is a terrible time to drop jokes on Twitter.