SEDALIA, Mo. -- The Missouri State Fair Commission is apologizing for
the actions of a rodeo clown who donned a Barack Obama mask during a
performance at the fair in Sedalia.
Governor Jay Nixon, Lt.
Governor Peter Kinder and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill also weighed in
with harsh criticism of the performance, during which the rodeo
announcer asked the spectators if they wanted to see the president run
down by a bull.
Fairgoer Perry Beam of Higginsville, Missouri,
attended and snapped photos of the incident, which have spread rapidly
via political blogs statewide.
Beam claims the announcer "whipped
the audience into a lather" by repeatedly asking attendees if they
wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull." Beam says another clown ran
up and "started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went
In an interview with KSDK, Beam called it a "racist" display.
statement by the Fair Commission says: "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. We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that
Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark."
identified the announcer who made the statements many found offensive as
Mark Ficken. According to the Bonnville R-1 School District website
and a site called RodeoAttitude.com, Ficken is the superintendent of
On his Twitter feed, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said, "I
condemn the actions disrespectful to POTUS the other night. We are
better than this."
KSDK reached out to Mark Ficken for a comment, but he has not responded.