Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anti-Obama Rodeo Clown Flap is Reminiscent of Anti-Bush Pearl Jam Concert in 2003

    The Drudge Report headlined Monday night blared: "OBAMA CLOWN BANNED FROM FAIR."  Indeed, the now infamous rodeo clown who lampooned the president over the weekend at the Missouri State Fair has been banned for life from the fair, and the contractor who staged the event is under scrutiny as well.  Republican and Democrat politicians alike have roundly criticized the performance and disrespectful at best and racist at worst.  The AP reports:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Fair on Monday imposed a lifetime ban on a rodeo clown whose depiction of President Barack Obama getting charged by a bull was widely criticized by Democratic and Republican officials alike. 
The rodeo clown won't be allowed to participate or perform at the fair again. Fair officials say they're also reviewing whether to take any action against the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, the contractor responsible for Saturday's event.
    The clown, however, might take solace that his exile may not last forever given the case of Pearl Jam's former lead singer Eddie Vedder.  During a 2003 Pearl Jam concert, Vedder put on his own disrespectful display violently mocking then-sitting President George W. Bush.  The original article at the Rocky Mountain News is no longer on the newspaper's website, but excerpts of the story can be found elsewhere (Instapundit, for one):
Incensed fans walked out of Pearl Jam’s concert Tuesday after lead singer Eddie Vedder impaled a mask of President Bush on a microphone stand, then slammed it to the stage. 
Most of Vedder’s antiwar remarks earlier in the Pepsi Center show were greeted with mixed cheers and scattered boos. But dozens of angry fans walked out during the encore because of the macabre display with the Bush mask, which he wore for the song Bushleaguer, a Bush- taunting song from the band’s latest album, Riot Act. 
“When he was sharing his political views in a fairly benign manner – supporting our troops, opposing policy – that’s OK,” said Keith Zimmerman, of Denver. 
“When he takes what looks like the head of George Bush on a stick, then throws it to the stage and stomps on it, that’s just unacceptable. I love Pearl Jam, but that was just way over the edge. We literally got up and left.”
    Although some fans were apparently upset, other reports indicate most of the 12,000 in attendance didn't seem to mind Vedder's anti-Bush antics:
"There were close to 12,000 people at the April 1st Denver show," the statement reads. " It’s possible two dozen left during encore but it was not noticeable amongst the 11,976 who were loudly applauding and enjoying the evening’s music. It just made a better headline to report otherwise."
    Another apparent fan who wasn't that upset (at least not a decade later) was Barack Obama.  During the president's 2012 reelection campaign, Vedder put on a concert for 85 supporters of the president at $20,000 per ticket, raising about $1.7 million for the campaign:
Eddie Vedder, once lead singer of Pearl Jam, can still pack a house. Even with a ukulele. 
At $20,000 per ticket, Vedder helped President Barack Obama find 85 supporters today for a Tampa fundraiser, where he broke out the Hawaiian stringed instrument for some songs. 
“Yup, it’s made in Hawaii,” he said. “It has a little birth certificate.” 
Obama dropped into the quiet Tampa fundraiser after getting grilled at a Univision town hall-styled forum in the Miami area.
    There was no report that Vedder used the Bush mask in his performance for the Obama campaign.  Perhaps the Missouri rodeo clown can learn a lesson from the apparently older and wiser Vedder.  Oh, and it might help if he could demonstrate the ability to raise $1.7 million for a presidential campaign.  Say, 2024?

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