It's who you know, and left-wing comedian (and former head writer for "The Daily Show") Lizz Winstead apparently has plenty of friends at the Times, judging by the flattering profiles she gets as the rest of America asks "Who's that?"
On a recent Sunday night, at the end of a news cycle that had seen the downfall of Eliot Spitzer, the government-brokered bailout of Bear Stearns and revelations of controversial remarks by allies of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, Ms. Winstead, the comedian and co-creator of "The Daily Show," was entertaining in her enviably roomy Astor Place apartment.
Dressed in a sweater, jeans and an apron, she was cooking a pasta dinner for the roughly 20 comedy writers and performers assembled there, while she simultaneously oversaw a writing session for "Shoot the Messenger," a live topical comedy show the group performs on Monday nights at the Green Room, a theater on Bleecker Street in the East Village.
Ms. Winstead makes no secret of her hope that the show, which has enjoyed a below-the-radar status since it began in July, could be a "living pilot" for a future television series; or a dry run for a larger, Off Broadway production; or that it might someday break even on sales of $12.50 tickets.
In the meantime the show allows her to ridicule whom she wants how she wants - a rare freedom, even for someone of her comedic pedigree.
Itzkoff glances over in a half-sentence Winstead's work with the ill-fated left-wing radio network Air America, and gave only indirect hints of her far-left POV, letting Roseanne Barr complimentWinstead's "very left-of-center view that also has a feminist core."
Back in April 2004, the Times made quite a big deal of her Air America slot in a fulsome profile, letting Winstead talk of "right-wing loonies and psychos," and segueing from her Scrabble habit to this fawning conclusion:
Five-dollar words aren't funny. Liberals sometimes are. Tune in if you don't believe her.
(Judging by Air