Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-14-13

Lee Pitts
Morrow Bay, Calif.

If you needed another sign that America has gone off its rocker there’s the clown in Missouri who wore a mask of President Obama at the state fair rodeo.

When the announcer asked if anyone wanted to see the clown run over by a bull a cheer went up. The clown was clowning around, trying to make people laugh, which pretty much fits the job description of a clown, but after a video of the event went viral on You Tube the media got involved and blew the incident all out of proportion. Which fits the job description of today’s media. Before you know it the politically incorrect clown had been permanently banned from ever appearing at a Missouri state fair rodeo, the president of the Missouri Rodeo Association resigned, and the Missouri chapter of the NAACP called it a “hate crime” and demanded a federal investigation of the incident.

The feds can’t even keep up with all the scandals in Washington DC these days and the NAACP wants them to investigate a clown? A word to the wise, all you rodeo clowns better declare all your income because I see an IRS audit in your future!

I saw this story on the evening news which was followed by a football game where fans in the stands held up huge masks of football player’s faces and yet, as far as I know, no one has demanded a federal investigation of Denver Bronco fans.

Congressmen on both sides of the aisle fell over each other trying to condemn the incident and were worried about the effect the masked clown may have had on any children at the rodeo. I suppose this means that any child who wears an Obama mask on Halloween, as many did last year, will be placed on the terrorist list and have their candy taken away. Another politician called the mask the “Ugly face of intolerance and ignorance” and compared it to “an effigy at a Ku Klux Clan rally.” A White House spokesman said it was “Not one of Missouri’s finer moments” and Missouri’s governor apologized. A political science professor said of the clown’s act, “It goes beyond the pale.” Which is an interesting choice of words if white folks want to take offense.

Henceforth any contractor or subcontractor to the Missouri State Fair from here on out will have to undergo sensitivity training. Wow, if folks had been this touchy when Nixon was President our country would have had a nervous breakdown.

The backlash came from Representative Steve Stockman of Texas who said that liberals are thin-skinned and totalitarian and invited the clown down to Texas to perform for rodeo fans there. Because his name is “Stockman” all people wearing a cowboy hat and trying to get on an airplane in the future will be bulldogged to the ground by aggressive TSA officials and frisked like they were a feeble 89-year-old lady.

This incident shows something that as a humor columnist I have known for a long time: it’s getting harder to be funny when people are just looking for an excuse to be offended. With all this political correctness, America has lost its sense of humor. We’re a nation of sourpusses and have forgotten how to laugh at ourselves.

Our vocabulary has shrunk as more words are off-limits. You can’t make jokes about overweight Americans (fat), follicularly challenged folks (bald), or nontraditional shoppers (looters). I remember a few years ago when the Los Angeles Times told its writers to avoid words like deaf, handicapped and Canucks, unless it’s the hockey team. The word alien was also off-limits when talking about our seasonal guests who happen to be Mexican, which is also off-limits even though they are from Mexico, just as Americans are from America. Now they are “persons of Latin descent.”

It seems that the only people who are exempt from all this bologna are persons of Hollywood descent and politicians, excuse me, patriots serving our country in a bureaucratic position. These are the same clowns who live in Washington DC and root for a football team called the Redskins. ❖

Lee Pitts

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