The first of what should be many firings has taken place as a result of Saturday's disgusting stunt in which a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair put on an Obama mask and pretended to avoid being run over by a bull. Earlier this morning, the fair's board banned the clown who took part in the stunt from ever performing there again.
Neither the fair nor the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, which sponsored the event, have revealed the name of the clown.
But the fair, in a release today, said the Rodeo Cowboy Association "must hold all those responsible for this offensive stunt accountable." The fair also says if the association is to ever sponsor a rodeo again, it must first show proof that "all officials and subcontractors...have successfully participated in sensitivity training."
Read the full release here
. Apparently fair director Mark Wolfe had already emergency-banned the clown over the weekend--an action that was unanimously ratified by the board.
The Rodeo Cowboy Association issued a statement of its own condemning the stunt. It says that it is training its contracted acts (one of which was the clown) to ensure that there's not a next time for this again.
Meanwhile, the association's president, Mark Ficken, who was the PA announcer for this disgusting scene, is in full damage control mode. In a press release obtained by KOMU-TV in Columbia, Ficken claims he was blindsided by the clown's appearance, and fobs off responsibility for the stunt on the clown.
The clown, donning an Obama mask, was wearing a microphone at the time of his unscripted appearance. Ficken had no advance knowledge of the incident. 'He was as surprised as anyone with the appearance of an Obama-masked rodeo clown,' said Albert S. Watkins, legal counsel for Mr. Ficken. Ficken's sole reference to the clown was to say, 'Watch out for that bull Obama!'
'Unfortunately, in this day of internet piling on, once an outlet published an incorrect statement of facts, the erroneous attribution to my client of comments made by a rogue rodeo clown went viral. My client is now being inundated by responsive and retaliatory action, all of which is premised on a false recital of facts,' said Watkins. 'It is respectfully suggested that the media needs to cut out the bull and get the facts straight,' added Watkins.
That would be believable if not for a two-part video The Kansas City Star
managed to obtain of the stunt and the events immediately before it Watch part 1 here
and part 2 here
. Pay close attention to the voices on the PA system in both videos.
Ficken's day job is superintendent of the Boonville public schools--a day job he needs to be out of, stat. Sign this petition telling his bosses at the Boonville Board of Education to fire him.