Missouri State Fair officials and politicians on Sunday condemned the performance of a rodeo clown who donned a mask resembling President Obama during a bull riding competition, the Kansas City Star reports.
The action in Sedalia from Saturday was recounted on Facebook by a rodeo attendee, according to Daily Kos:
Last night, Lily and I took a student from Taiwan to the rodeo at the Missouri State Fair. Just prior to the start of the bull riding event, one of the clowns came out dressed in [an Obama mask]. The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull. The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather. One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy. Finally, a bull came close enough to him that he had to move, so he jumped up and ran away to the delight of the onlookers hooting and hollering from the stands. We then left quickly and quietly. Lily’s student is an inquisitive boy and asks a lot of questions about what he sees, and though he had never been to a rodeo he asked nothing about it, nor anything about America this time. We rode the sixty miles home in silence. In a way I’m glad. I had no answers for him.
A DailyKos writer responded with the following: “Silence is not an appropriate response to this ‘entertainment’ on grounds owned by all Missourians. I can’t write anymore at how disgusting this is. All I want is some heads to roll.”
Fair organizers released a statement, which did not contest the details reported on social media. “The performance by one of the rodeo clowns at Saturday’s event was inappropriate and disrespectful, and does not reflect the opinions or standards of the Missouri State Fair,” the statement read. “We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark.”
Condemnation came from both sides of the aisle, the Star reports.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill called the stunt shameful and unacceptable, noting that the fair receives taxpayer dollars and is supposed to celebrate the state.
“But the young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourse — that somehow it’s ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt and joke about harming the president of our great nation,” McCaskill’s statement said.
Gov. Jay Nixon’s press secretary, Scott Holste, said in a statement, “The governor agrees that the performance was disrespectful and offensive, and does not reflect the values of Missourians or the State Fair.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said the clown’s performance reflected poorly on the state. “The [fair] celebrates Missouri and our people,” Kinder tweeted. “I condemn the actions disrespectful to [the president of the United States] the other night. We are better than this.”
Here’s the two-part video of at least some of the “Obama” clown stunt:
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)