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Letter: Rodeo clown treated unfairly for poking fun at Obama

Published November 9, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

My husband is a bull rider, so I attend hundreds of rodeos a year. As rodeo lovers know, the rodeo clown's job is to entertain the audience. Well, at Missouri's state fair rodeo in August, Tuffy Gessling put on an Obama mask for an act. Rodeo clowns have been doing this for years with previous presidents, without anyone raising an eyebrow.

Tuffy told CNN that clowns have used the same act for years, poking fun at Bush, Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

Making fun of the president is as old as our country and as American as apple pie. What is un-American is how Tuffy has been treated. He told KCTV, "I've had one lady spit in my face, called me a dirty name, spit in my face and walk off, I've had somebody threaten to run me over. One of them wanted to burn the house down."

Not only is Tuffy banned from the Missouri State Fair, a lot of rodeos won't hire him.

Tuffy was not singling out Obama for being black, inept, or anything other than just being the president. He should not be hung in effigy at the altar of political correctness.

Kirsten Riley

Mapleton