Missouri State Fair Clown Tuffy Gessling Gets Huge Online Following After Obama Mask Stunt

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And some Twitter support:

Here's a statement the St. Charles GOP posted on Facebook:

Tasteless, yes.

Racist??

Give me a break! I love how liberals find racism around every corner. The mere fact that it gets dark at night is racist to some.

People have been lampooning public officials for years. I recall when my son was in martial arts, they had a Halloween party for the kids -- one of the older kids at the time, probably 13 or so, donned a George W. Bush mask and walked around dragging her knuckles and picking her "nose" as she paraded around proudly -- obviously a household thought process that came from her labor union member father.

I thought it was tasteless, too.

But where is Show Me Progress and Daily Kos ANY time Bill Maher takes to the airwaves? Or Chris Matthews?

These people are doing nothing to trying to draw attention to themselves.

Some of the comments on the Show Me Progress site are actually coming from public officials, one democrat state representative says, "I am both angered and disgusted by the blatant racism that was displayed at the Missouri State Fair. It is appalling that the Fair organizers would allow such a distasteful display. This is an embarrassment to the People of Missouri. I will not support future funding for an event that will condone racists acts and is so blatantly disrespectful to the President. Clearly racism is alive and well in State of Missouri. I never imagine that I would see this type of display in my state in 2013."

Another person posts, "I felt like I was at a Klan rally..."

Seriously, people?

How short your memories are ...

And from some of the outraged elected officials via our earlier coverage:

From State Rep. Caleb Rowden, another Republican:

From Tishaura Jones, St. Louis treasurer and former Democratic state rep:

From State Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Democrat:


U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill fired off this statement in response to the hoopla last night:

If what's being reported is true, then it's shameful and it's unacceptable. The State Fair is funded by taxpayer dollars, and is supposed to be a place where we can all bring our families and celebrate the state that we love. But the young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourse--that somehow it's ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt, and joke about harming the President of our great nation. Missouri is better than this, and I expect someone to be held accountable.

Lacy Clay:

I am amazed that in 2013, such hatred, intolerance and disrespect towards the President of the United States could take place at the Missouri State Fair.

Our fair is supposed to showcase the best of Missouri, instead, it showed an ugly face of intolerance and ignorance to the world.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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124 comments
pocketsponsor
pocketsponsor

Tuffy--I am a fan! I know you were only trying to entertain--I have and will give a FREE Bumper sticker that reads "I Am a Rodeo Clown" to all who sign a letter for the Missouri State Fair Commissioners to ask them to reconsider their decision. We need all the signatures we can get. Sign the letter please, and have your friends sign too...get a free bumper sticker at the same time. They get a free Bumper Sticker too! http://www.IAmaRodeoClown.org/

Gordon Green
Gordon Green

What you progressives really want is Lese Majeste. Where if anyone insults the dignity of YOUR party's officials you can have them whipped or incarcerated. When you are not in power then ridicule away!

Gordon Green
Gordon Green

When you can't make fun of the president without fear of govt reprisals you are living in tyranny. I would like one Obama supporter to explain why wearing a Bush mask at a rodeo is ok but doing the same to a black president is racist. Be careful in your answer, I'm black so ridiculing or disagreeing with me is racist...

Clay Henson
Clay Henson

This has been a act for many, many years and will continue to be one for many years to come. It's been done with all presidents and political figures for years. As a matter of fact this was done by a black rodeo clown with a Hillary Clinton mask, nothing was ever said about that. People took it for what is was, a funny joke. The only reason this was made into what it is, is because our president that is not doing a good job in my opinion is "Black". This skit was no different than any of the past one other than this time America has a black president. Poking fun at political figures and presidents gets done daily on main stream TV. Leno, letterman, Conan, the list goes one. Tessa, I am a gay white male that was born in rural Missouri and I am a cowboy. My parents own business's and are all college educated, I have people in my family that are polital figures and have been for years. I am loved and excepted for who I am by my family and community. To say that we are full of hate is far from the truth. OH and just a FYI My first love interest was black. I am getting the feeling that the improper breeding may have been done by your parents Tessa. Judge not less you be judged. Here is a link to a page to support Tuffy https://www.facebook.com/supporttuffygessling/posts/1376355675918540:0

Aleta Joellen
Aleta Joellen

8...8 stories. It's either this or that god awful ICP concert. RFT is really lacking in the interesting story department lately...

Erin McMahon
Erin McMahon

whole story and results of it are stupid...stupid

James Madison
James Madison

Like no one ever donned a GWBush mask and did something during his 8 years as president. Stupid? Yes, but hardly worldwide news.

Tim Nelson
Tim Nelson

Obama is disrespectful to the office all on his own. The Rodeo Association is just covering their own back sides when they should be backing their associates. I voted for Kinder but he needs to worry about more important things.

Sarah Penrod
Sarah Penrod

You say that like you're surprised, RFT. You've posted at least three stories about him in the past week.

david1775
david1775

First Amendment, anyone?


Maybe he should have dipped a crucifix into his own urine during his act. That would have reduced the media complaints quite a bit.

Brian Cunningham
Brian Cunningham

Next people won`t be able to put face paint on because it offends others who wear certain makeup. There is always something new or something for someone to complain about no one is happy in this damn world. There is always a complainer out there someplace.

Brian Cunningham
Brian Cunningham

It was just a mask I mean please if he wasn`t meant to wear it they shouldn`t have been making them in the first place to sell to people.

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

Many rural people are so full of hate for any race other than their own, but especially blacks, clearly, they are bred improperly.

Jay Smith
Jay Smith

Anyone who buys the "It was all in innocent fun" bullcrap is kidding themselves. This guy clearly went out there to make a statement and he knew damn well the "rodeo demographic" would eat it up. If a grown man can go out and show children that disrespecting the president of our country is not only acceptable but also make a "stick up his ass" reference in front of kids - then people need to look on the inside for the problem instead of blaming the pres. Real dumb.

Jay Ejh
Jay Ejh

Watch "The Obama Deception" on YouTube

Rick Firestein
Rick Firestein

TUFFY FOR PRESIDENT! anything is better than the current one!

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

Let's see: elevate a negative person that brings nothing to the table except negativity and some people cheer for him & praise him. Really? And people wonder what is wrong in America. #AmericansWhoHaveNoIntergrity

Clyde Rhoads
Clyde Rhoads

thank you media for giving this more attention than it already deserved...

Terry Burk
Terry Burk

You must have hit a nerve with the intolerant left Clyde. Good job speaking the truth.

John Nevettie
John Nevettie

Reed Hayes is a court qualified handwriting and document examiner whose business is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has nearly 40 years of handwriting related experience, and has worked as an international consultant and speaker. Never heard of him? Well, Hayes is the Certified Document Examiner (CDE) who produced the 40 page opinion referenced in the Mike Zullo affidavit that was submitted to the Alabama Supreme Court in the Obama eligibility case and his report concluded that the Obama birth certificate image, located at WhiteHouse.gov, is a “complete fabrication.”

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

At the very least he was disrespectful to the office of the President of the US.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Not surprised... the country is full of racists.

doncrozier
doncrozier

IMHO, the fact that this was done at a rodeo is not a problem. The fact that is was done at the Missouri State Fair, which uses taxpayer funding and which is supposed to be showing off the best of Missouri, is the problem. I would imagine that Tuffy can continue to do his routine, just not at the State Fair.

Bob Hind
Bob Hind

Agreed, but I'm not so sure the uneducated and ignorant are making that much more noise, rather the situation where " It's true because I say so" even though there is qualified evidence refuting whatever they're saying has become SO prevalent in our culture. I'm not sure the KKK is down and out either.

Steve Froemel
Steve Froemel

In 1994, there was a ‘George Bush’ rodeo clown dummy.. A dummy with a George Bush mask stood beside the clown, propped up by a broomstick.Then the bull saw the George Bush dummy. He tore into it, sending the rubber mask flying halfway across the sand as he turned toward the fence, sending cowboys scrambling up the fence rails, hooking one with his horn and tossing him off the fence Like · Reply · 1 · 15 minutes ago As far as disrespect and ridicule are concerned, in 2007, TV newswoman Erin Burnett, who then worked for MSNBC, repeatedly referred to Bush as a “monkey” during a report on an economic summit. Burnett, who later apologized, was not banned from television; she is now a prime-time anchor on CNN....JUST STATING THE FACTS....OR don't facts apply here...looks like a lynching to me...... Like · Reply · 8 minutes ago l In fact, it was documented back in 1994 that a dummy wearing a President George H.W. Bush mask, propped up by a broomstick, was employed as a decoy during a bull riding riding contest...so why NOW such a big deal???????????????

Nicholas Becker
Nicholas Becker

They made a mask of evry president...Why the fuck is Obama so special to be on hte outside...I mean the yused president masks to rob banks...

Jay Brandt
Jay Brandt

He may have a following of the ignorant, but he's been barred by the Rodeo Association...good enough...now he can find a proper job at Walmart.

Jay Brandt
Jay Brandt

It's yet another symptom of our culture which has sunk to the lowest common denominator with the rise of the Tea Party and the glorification of the uneducated and ignorant. In the past, at least since the demise of the KKK, the ignorant tended to stay relatively quiet and hidden...now they've been empowered to say and do anything, no matter how misinformed or hateful.

chas.manson
chas.manson

Charlie Chaplain once said that the common man will always get a laugh out of seeing the ruling class kicked in the butt.   That's all this was.  Nothing more, nothing less.  People are looking to create a racial issue where there is none.   If you are president, you are going to be made fun of by people who don't like you.  It has happened to every president I can recall, from Ford through Obama.  If the clown had done a black face thing I can understand the backlash, but he was wearing a mask you can walk in and buy at Johnny Brocks.  

vaffangool
vaffangool

Tuffy Gessling claims to have performed this act wearing the mask of previous Presidents--but with no photographic evidence forthcoming at this late date, it appears as though the clown discriminated between this President and those who preceded him.

As Jay  Smith says below, 

"Anyone who buys the 'It was all in innocent fun' bullcrap is kidding themselves. This guy clearly went out there to make a statement and he knew damn well the "rodeo demographic" would eat it up. If a grown man can go out and show children that disrespecting the president of our country is not only acceptable but also make a "stick up his ass" reference in front of kids - then people need to look on the inside for the problem instead of blaming the pres. Real dumb."

No better way to put it.

goingape
goingape

@Rick Firestein Perhaps you Republicans should put up an electable candidate.  You've failed to do so 2 elections in a row.  Spectacularly.  You'd better get a clue or independents will be regretfully voting for Hilary because she's the lesser of two evils (again), and preferable to your steaming pile of you know what candidate.

goingape
goingape

@Maggie Titus Caples No, I really don't think it's a shame.  He chose to air his political views in front of many children and families, at a tax-payer funded event.  A State Fair.  It was poor judgement on his part, and I suppose he has to live with the consequences.  Were he to do the same thing at a private rodeo or in front of friends and family, that's fine.  Not at our State Fair.

goingape
goingape

@John Nevettie And this matters how?  When this issue has been put to bed long ago?  Do you share a bed with Donald Trump, or are you just out of touch with reality, and prone to give credence to conspiracy theory, and wild accusations?

goingape
goingape

@doncrozier Right on the mark. Thank you for putting this in context.  I've been trying to do the same.  You want to burn the president in effigy, or have him run over by a bull that's fine.  It happens to every president.  I may not agree with it, but it's beyond my control. So it goes... But this was a tax-payer funded event.  A State Fair.  That's where people's arguments of treatment of past presidents, racism, masks, and the media hitting this too hard go out the window.  Not at my State Fair.  Not on my tax dollar.  Not in front of unsuspecting kids at said State Fair.

goingape
goingape

@Steve Froemel So this George Bush thing?  Was this by any chance at a tax-payer funded event?  Like a State Fair?  With all kinds of kids present, and parents that didn't bring them there for that kind of thing?  Just making sure you realize the difference.

goingape
goingape

@Nicholas Becker Yes, every president has a mask. And every president is burned in effigy at some point.  The point you're missing is that this was tax-payer funded event.  A State Fair.  With lots of kids, and parents that might not have wanted their kids subjected to this kind of bullshit.

mojobullet
mojobullet

Mr Manson, if you dont understand all of the facts, especially the fact that the announcer was asking the crowd if they wanted to see the President gored and ran over by a bull, which is stupid in itself, then you are just as morally inept as the people witnessing the event.  Just because you have racist, hateful feelings towards others who dont look like you, doesnt mean the rest of the general public feels the same way.

mogran
mogran

@goingape Remember Hillary and Benghazi or do you have a short memory

mogran
mogran

@goingape Phoney baloney...you don't like anything that disagrees with your messiah

lovelouwanna1
lovelouwanna1

@goingape its not a "wild accusation" when a renowned documents/handwriting expert declares it fraudulent. a bit dated, yes.

goingape
goingape

@mojobullet I don't really think racism enters into this: his comments, the mask, or the event.  What matters here is that this was a tax-payer funded event.  A State Fair.  You want to burn the president in effigy, or have him gored by a bull, do it at your private rodeo event, or in your backyard.  Not on my tax dollars.  I don't believe in this.  I hated George W. with a passion but I'm an American and I wouldn't have wanted to see him disrespected in this way.

mojobullet
mojobullet

@goingape @mojobullet goingape, I totally agree w/ everything that you said.  I was trying to say the same thing, but I guess that it didnt come out that way.

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