Missouri State Fair officials apologize for rodeo clown who wore Obama mask

August 12, 2013

(AP, courtesy of Jameson Hsieh)

Update 4:15 p.m.: The rodeo clown has been banned from participating in the state fair again.

Officials at the Missouri State Fair are apologizing after a rodeo clown this weekend donned an Obama mask and asked people if they want to see the president "run down by a bull."

Here's more from AP:

The antics led the state's second highest-ranking official, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, to denounce the performance in a tweet Sunday. He said it was "disrespectful" to the president.

"We are better than this," the Republican tweeted.

State Fair officials said the show in Sedalia was "inappropriate" and "does not reflect the opinions or standards" of the fair. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark," they said in a statement Sunday.

It wasn't clear if any action will be taken against the performers.

Perry Beam, who was among the spectators, said "everybody screamed" and "just went wild" as the announcer talked about having the bull run down the clown with the Obama mask.

"It was at that point I began to feel a sense of fear. It was that level of enthusiasm," Beam, a 48-year-old musician from Higginsville, said Sunday, referring to the reaction from the crowd that filled the fair's grandstand.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has also weighed in on the reports, calling the reported episode "shameful and it's unacceptable."

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), meanwhile, said: “I am amazed that in 2013, such hatred, intolerance and disrespect towards the President of the United States could take place at the Missouri State Fair. Our fair is supposed to showcase the best of Missouri, instead, it showed an ugly face of intolerance and ignorance to the world.”

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · August 12, 2013