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Now the President of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Assoc. Has Resigned Over the Obama Mask -- But Not for What You Might Think


"He's shaking like a small dog passing razor blades."

This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see Obama run down by a bull, according to a spectator. So then everybody screamed. ... They just went wild, said Perry Beam, who attended the rodeo at the State Fair in Sedalia on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. State Fair officials apologized calling the display inappropriate and disrespectful. (AP/Jameson Hsieh)

America observed a remarkable sequence of events following a rodeo clown's decision to wear a mask resembling the face of President Barack Obama over the weekend. Not only did the fair's officials, the governor, the lieutenant governor, and a U.S. Senator all condemn the decision, the rodeo clown was permanently banned from participating at the venue in the future.

Now, the president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, who also acted as the announcer during the event, has resigned, as well.  Not because he is complicit, his lawyer says, but as an act of protest that the clown is still a member of their organization.

This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. (Photo: AP)

From the Associated Press:

An attorney for rodeo announcer Mark Ficken said Tuesday that his resignation from the group is not an acknowledgment of wrongdoing on his part but rather a protest that the association has not banned the rodeo clown from its membership.


"When he found out that the association had no plans to remove the rogue clown from its membership ranks, (Ficken) felt that the better part of valor – given what was said – was to resign from the association," said his Ficken's attorney, Albert Watkins.

Neither the State Fair nor the rodeo association has identified the rodeo clown who made the comments about Obama. But a friend and relative both identified the clown as Tuffy Gessling.

"He was at our house the next day for Sunday dinner and told us that he thought people took it wrong – that it was supposed to be a joke," said his cousin, Chrissy Gessling, of Slater, Mo. [Emphasis added]

Local media reports that Ficken has come under enormous pressure in the days since the rodeo clown pulled the stunt.

"He's shaking like a small dog passing razor blades," Ficken's lawyer, Albert Watkins, told KSDK News.

Soon after the controversial performance, a Daily Kos author wrote: "All I want is some heads to roll," and Ficken says he has received hundreds of threatening emails and is concerned he will lose his job.

Others have been outraged over the entire situation, particularly as it expands to more and more public figures. Glenn Beck, for example, said that the president is not God or the Prophet Mohammed, and the people have a right to mock him.  He even hosted an entire "mock Obama day" on radio Tuesday over the controversy.


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