Rodeo clown wears Obama mask at Missouri State Fair; criticism follows
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A Chinese woman wears a U.S. President Barack Obama face mask at a temple fair in Beijing January 27, 2009.SEDALIA, Mo., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The announcer at a Missouri State Fair rodeo can be heard on a video revving up the crowd by asking if it wants to see President Obama be charged by a bull.

A rodeo clown who wore a mask bearing a resemblance to President Obama during a bull-riding competition during the weekend drew criticism from both political parties, fair officials and cowboy associations.

"As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don't you move," the announcer said as music thumped in the background, later saying, "He's gonna get ya, Obama; he's going to get ya."

Missouri State Fair officials apologized Sunday, calling the show was "inappropriate," in a statement posted on Facebook. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark."

"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," fair officials posted. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark."

Show Me Progress, an organization advocating the progressive movement, reported a Facebook account of the incident in which the Facebook poster said he took a Taiwanese student to the rodeo Saturday in Sedalia, Mo.

"The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull," the post said. "The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather."

One fair-goer posted on her Twitter page, "Everybody was screaming," saying the rodeo event in which the masked clown participated seemed "like some kind of Klan rally."

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder called the performance "disrespectful" in a tweet posted Sunday.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the state fair is "supposed to be a place where we can all bring our families and celebrate the state that we love," The Hill reported.

"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 said.

The Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, one of the bull riding competition's organizers, also apologized and said the event wasn't meant to be "a political platform."


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