After a South Carolina Republican operative was caught tweeting that an escaped zoo gorilla was an ancestor of Michelle Obama, he attempted to defend himself by saying it was only a joke. To which Michelle Cottle wrote: duh. But why do you think that helps you? Noting it was a joke just means you made a racist joke. That's still a bad thing.
Meanwhile, in Israel, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is under fire after calling an undercover officer a "dirty Arab". The officer doesn't appear to be Arab, the remark was apparently a crack at his appearance. Aharonovitch's apology was at least a little less equivocal than his SC peer, but he still said it was "in a moment of jest". Well, sure, but that just means you jest in a racist manner.
Oh, and I'd be far more inclined to believe such statements "did not reflect your worldview" if you weren't a member of Yisrael Beiteinu.