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Obama-mask clown gets lifetime Missouri fair ban. Just, or too harsh?

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Jameson Hsieh/AP

(Read caption) This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown at the Missouri State Fair wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama. Video went viral of the crowd cheering an announcement that the Obama clown might be 'run down by a bull,' and fair officials banned the clown for life.

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Missouri State Fair officials have banned for life the rodeo clown who wore a President Obama mask while facing bulls at the event over the weekend.

The clown in question engaged in an “unconscionable stunt” and will never perform at the Show Me state venue again, the Missouri State Fair Commission said Monday, in a statement. Fair officials are also reviewing their contract with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, the contractor responsible for hiring and overseeing bull ring clowns.

The performance was “inappropriate and not in keeping with the Fair’s standards," said the statement.

The fair did not reveal the clown’s identity.

During a bull riding contest on Sunday, the clown appeared wearing a rubber mask of the president with an upside down broomstick trailing from his backside, as if it were a tail. The audience was asked, over a public address system, if it wanted to see Mr. Obama “run down by a bull.” Many people present clapped and cheered, according to one witness, Perry Beam.

“It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally,” said Mr. Beam.

Others defended the act as within the mainstream of rodeo ring entertainment. The clown was meant to be imitating a dummy, another witness, Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association member David Berry, told the Associated Press. Bull ring clowns often dress as sitting presidents, Mr. Berry said.

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