Glenn Beck comes to Lizz Winstead's defense over Oklahoma tornado jokes
photo by Mindy Tucker for City Pages
Yesterday afternoon, as news of the tragic tornado in Oklahoma was breaking, Lizz Winstead fired off a string of tweets that injected the situation with her brand of political spin.
"This tornado is in Oklahoma," she wrote at 3:30 p.m., "so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives." (She has since deleted the tweet, at the request, she says, of Oklahoma residents).
She followed with this a few minutes later:
How long has Obama known about this Tornado?-- Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 20, 2013
Backlash came fast and furious. But at first, Winstead stuck by the jokes.
- COVER: The life of Lizz Winstead: The Daily Show creator returns home to Minnesota
- Slideshow: Comedian Lizz Winstead: Behind the scenes
- Lizz Winstead celebrates her 30th anniversary in comedy Saturday
- Lizz Winstead wants to marry Chris Kluwe
At 3:40 p.m., a man who identified himself as an "Oklahoman" tweeted at Winstead that her comments might result in an unfollow. She replied with the rationale behind her tweets:
@swashamokc 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-- Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 20, 2013
As the scale of the twister's damage emerged, though, Winstead changed course.
Just before 6 p.m., she tweeted her first apology:
Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry. #LetMeHaveIt-- Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 20, 2013
She's a Minnesotan, she continued. She should know better:
@catpooper Worse thing is I am from MN! I know this!! Bad joke. Bad Timing. Just bad.-- Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 20, 2013
More backtracking continued (" I was an idiot "), and an hour later, she was fully behind the cause:
Im recommending Make a donation now. Text REDCROSS to 90999. If any Oklahomans have a charity that they love, hit me up I'll tweet it out.-- Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) May 21, 2013
But the mea culpas didn't satisfy the Twitterverse. As tweeters continued to pile on , back-up came from the most surprising of allies.
Little love has ever been lost between Winstead, a staunch lefty, and Glenn Beck, the conservative political commentator who reigned at FOX News until 2011, and who now hosts the Glenn Beck Radio Program. Back in 2010, Winstead cracked on the radio about a fantasy that involved Beck and an electric dog collar that would deliver a shock if he deviated from the facts ("Force him to wear it," she said).
But after 9 last night, Beck called off his conservative dogs and stepped to Winstead's defense, tweeting:
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-- Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 21, 2013
Winstead once told us that she uses Twitter as a tool to test new jokes, and her followers as a kind of focus group. This one, we're guessing, won't make it into her standup routine. But whatever joke she comes up with about finding Beck in her corner? That we're looking forward to hearing.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Minneapolis & St. Paul and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.