A clown who wore a mask of President Barack Obama at a Missouri State Fair rodeo and encouraged a bull to run him down as the crowd cheered was banned Monday from any future state fairs.
The incident Saturday night was denounced by leading Democrats and Republicans and fair officials as disrespectful to the president.
The Missouri State Fair Commission voted Monday to “permanently ban this rodeo clown from ever participating or performing” at the annual state fair, according to a news release.
“The Missouri State Fair apologizes for the unconscionable stunt,” the commission said.
The White House isn’t saying much about a State Fair event in which a rodeo clown riled up the crowd as a bull chased a masked man imitating President Barack Obama.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says he had no reaction from Obama. But he says that personally, as a native of Missouri, “It was certainly not one of the finer moments in our state.”
The fallout from a Missouri rodeo clown’s mockery of President Obama continued as the Missouri State Fair said it will force all clowns to undergo sensitivity training and the head of the state rodeo-clown organization resigned…
Mark Ficken, president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association and the announcer at the event, resigned from the group over the state fair, his lawyer told The Associated Press on Tuesday. According to attorney Albert Watkins, Mr. Ficken resigned because the association has not expelled from its membership another clown, who made most of the Obama comments, and his client would not accept criticism on those terms.
“When he found out that the association had no plans to remove the rogue clown from its membership ranks, [Mr. Ficken] felt that the better part of valor — given what was said — was to resign from the association,” Mr. Watkins said.
On Tuesday, the Missouri State National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a statement asking for federal involvement in the case of a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask and then asked the crowd if they’d like to see Obama run down by a bull. “The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our President are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department,” said State President Mary Ratliff. “Incidents involving individuals acting out with extreme violent behavior in movie theaters, schools, churches, political appearances, and outdoor events in general speaks volume to the irresponsible behavior of all the parties involved with the incendiary events at the Missouri State Fair.”
Republican Rep. Steve Stockman invited the Missouri rodeo clown who donned a President Barack Obama mask at the state fair to perform at a rodeo in his Texas district.
On Wednesday, Stockman issued a press release supporting the rodeo clown and his right to free speech, saying the “liberal reaction is straight out of Alinsky,” a reference to liberal community organizer Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals.”
“Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” Stockman said in his release. “Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into re-education classes for mocking a liberal leader is another. Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear.”
Over the years, I’ve meticulously chronicled progressive haters and their rank hypocrisy. It’s time for yet another refresher course as the libs go nuts over a rodeo clown.
Without further ado, drawn from my blog archives, here are 10 images/signs/agitprop items mocking George W. Bush that were far, far worse than any of the silly Obama gags causing prog conniptions…
Note: These were not just fringe pieces. Some appeared in art galleries and at major film festivals. Left-wing assassination chic means never having to say you’re sorry.
Message to the rodeo-phobes: Lighten up, buttercups.
As far as the use of violent imagery and the president is concerned, the Bush years saw imagery much more serious than a bump from a bull. For example, the 2006 film “Death of a President” was a faux-documentary that told the story of a fictional Bush assassination, including a graphic depiction of the Bush character being shot in the chest. After its premiere at the Toronto film festival, where it won the International Critics Prize, “Death of a President” was handled by a major American distributor, Newmarket Films, and was reviewed, seriously and on its own terms, by the Washington Post, New York Times and other major press outlets. The film’s makers were not banned for life from the movie industry or anything else; the director has since made several films that have shown at festivals around the world and is now working on a documentary on David Bowie.
In the 2004 novella “Checkpoint,” author Nicholson Baker depicted a conversation between two men planning to assassinate Bush. “He’s one dead armadillo,” says one character, speaking of the president. The Washington Post was impressed by the book’s “fanciful flourishes and fierce, furious fits of anger.” Baker was not banned from anything and is still writing and being published today.
In June 2006, Alan Hevesi, then the comptroller of the state of New York, delivered a college commencement address in which he paid tribute to Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer by calling him “the man who, how do I phrase this diplomatically, who will put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.” Hevesi later apologized, explaining that he merely intended to praise Schumer’s courage and toughness. Hevesi was not banned from office; he was, in fact, re-elected as comptroller later in 2006. (He didn’t stay much longer, resigning when he was indicted on corruption charges.)
Going through these various incidents is not intended to suggest that the people involved should have been banned from their professions. It’s perfectly fine that Burnett and Maher and the others still have their jobs. It’s just to ask: Why should the Missouri rodeo clown be banned for life? Couldn’t his employers have demanded an apology instead?
This is the reason many people don’t like ObamaCare. It’s also part of why people wind up making fun of the president at state fairs. (On that, everyone should breathe deep and remember, as the noted political philosopher Orson Welles once put it: “It’s the business of the American people to take the mickey out of the president.” It’s not only what we do, it’s what we should do. Welles was speaking on a talk show; it was the 1970s; he was talking about people making fun of some Republican president, Nixon or Ford. So what? They can take it. And they’re not kings. Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, “So what?” Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it? He would never do it. He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?
Bet the Obama rodeo clown ends up at CPAC next year.
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) August 14, 2013
Via the Daily Rushbo.