Better to mock Obama than celebrities

August 19, 2013, 4:32 PM GMT+0

Americans are generally more tolerant of people attacking the President than celebrities, though on the whole most Americans still reject acts which are disrespectful.

At the Missouri State Fair last week, a rodeo clown donned a mask of President Obama while an announcer asked the crowd whether they wanted to see Obama get run down by a bull. While the White House has not responded to the display, politicians from both parties in Missouri have criticized the rodeo clown, who has been banned from ever working at the state fair again.

The latest YouGov research shows that most Americans resolutely condemn acts like the rodeo clown's 'joke', with 84% saying that it is unacceptable to simulate violence against the President and only 6% saying that it is acceptable to do so. Overall, Americans only tend to think it is acceptable to call the President a liar, call him stupid or refuse to meet him. When asked about celebrities, Americans only think it is acceptable to call them liars or refuse to meet them.

Significantly, the public say that it is more acceptable to take a range of disrespectful actions targeted at the President than at a celebrity. Americans are only likely to say that it is more acceptable to refuse to meet a celebrity than the President. They are far more likely, on the other hand, to say that it is acceptable to make fun of the President's appearance or to compare the President to Hitler than it is to do the same to a celebrity.

Much of this difference in attitudes to the president and celebrities can be accounted for by Republicans, who are much more likely to view it as acceptable to do certain actions towards the President than Democrats. The largest difference concerns calling the President a liar and the smallest difference is over whether it is acceptable to throw a shoe at the President.

Full results can be found here.

Image: Getty.

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