Free Speech for Rodeo Clowns Is a Thing of the Past


Photo of a vilified rodeo clown and radio announcer, Mark Ficken

The press and the public they rile up are irate over a rodeo clown – Tuffy Gessling – for mocking President Obama at a rodeo. The clown put on an Obama mask and attached a broom to his butt and as he came out, an announcer told the audience he was going to get run over by a bull.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the audience reacted with gusto and enjoyed the performance. It’s a rodeo and that’s what the audience is supposed to do.

A participant said it was like attending a Klu Klux Klan rally. That sounds paranoid to me but I wasn’t there. There are reports that someone went up to the clown and played with his lips. That’s a step too far certainly if true but the clown didn’t do it.

Rodeo announcer Mark Ficken resigned from his post as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association in the fallout from the controversy.

Ficken is the Superintendent of the Booneville School District and is barely hanging onto his job. The school district has hired an investigator to determine if he had a role in the routine. He says he didn’t.

What the clown did doesn’t sound as bad to me as the movies made by the left about the hoped-for assassination of George W. Bush, but that’s me and I wasn’t in the audience.

What we have to remember is that first of all, it’s a rodeo, secondly, he’s a clown. Third, it was a joke, not a Klu Klux Klan rally.

Rodeo clowns mocking presidents is nothing new. In 2011, a Morgan County rodeo mocked Obama. In a rodeo in 1994, a dummy with a George Bush mask stood beside the clown, propped up by a broomstick. The bull destroyed the dummy but no one objected. Apparently, this is something done at rodeos. It’s just a joke.

Unfortunately, every criticism of Obama is interpreted as racist. You just cannot insult the Obama family or any idea Obama has without being called a racist.

It is, however, perfectly acceptable to mock a black Conservative or Republican. Look at the abuse Lt. Col. Allen West took when he ran for office. They depicted him as a woman beater. CLICK HERE IF YOU’VE FORGOTTEN

The clown was banned from the rodeo for life, the superintendent is trying to hold onto his regular job, every clown who works for the rodeo has to go through sensitivity training because – OF COURSE – this is being interpreted as a racist attack.

The clown said he meant nothing racist, presidents have always been fair game.

The Missouri chapter of the NAACP wants the DOJ and the Secret Service to investigate.

In a statement reported by Breitbart, the NAACP’s state president, Mary Ratliff, wrote:

“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. 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.”

That’s a bizarre overreaction. We are going nuts in this country. This is an unimportant incident at an unimportant event and it’s become big news while people are dying in Egypt and we are running trillion-dollar deficits.

Ratliff also blamed the state for funding the rodeo fair in the first place. I don’t see it but that’s me. She wants the money to go to schools and other causes she supports. She fails to realize that a rodeo is part of their history and a fun family event.

How long before the NAACP asks the UN to investigate for Human Rights abuses by rodeo clowns in the USA? If the NAACP is trying to become irrelevant, they are well on their way.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the routine was “not one of the finer moments” for the state of Missouri.” Fortunately, the president hasn’t given a reaction but you can be sure that Earnest speaks for him.

Obama could stop this petty garbage any time he wants but he chooses not to. Why?

Missouri politicians Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder sanctimoniously weighed in and condemned the routine and the clown.

Personally, I went from thinking the clown’s routine was distasteful to feeling sorry for him. I feel sorrier for America because we no longer have free political speech.

Will any comedian joke about Obama again without making sure he has run it by his lawyer?

I should mention that the rodeo clown is now getting death threats.

These kinds of attacks are robbing us of free political speech.


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