Carnival Barkers Upset At Being Compared To Donald Trump

Carnival Barkers across the nation want an apology:

When President Obama released his birth certificate on Wednesday morning, he may have thought he was closing the door on controversy. Instead, he ended up starting controversy anew — with America’s carnival barkers.

When discussing the lingering “birther” controversy, Obama remarked: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”

Many in the carnival community were not amused by the mention of their industry.

“I am extremely upset by the reference,” said Frank Zaitshik, who runs Wade Shows, a carnival business with over 100 amusement rides and attractions that entertains over 15 million people each year.

Zaitshik, a second generation carnival worker — a term he prefers to the word “carny,” which is used as a pejorative — has spent much of his life battling negative stereotypes about his industry.

“I think what Obama said is the same type of stereotype that has been placed on African Americans.” Zaitshik said. “You wouldn’t expect those comments from someone who is a minority and has faced prejudice.”

Ron Weber, editor of Carnival, a website dealing with the industry, thought the president should be more sensitive about singling out groups when making disparaging comments.

Frankly I’d be upset too if someone compared me to this guy.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    I know how they feel. I remember when Congress was said to be spending money like drunken sailors. At least drunken sailors were spending their own money and not someone else.

  2. michael reynolds says:


    You’re a racist goon who posts on Storm Front.

  3. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 21:53


    You’re a racist goon who posts on Storm Front.

    Not sure what that has to do with the subject at hand, but if it makes you feel better, go for it.

  4. wisdomonas says:

    I thought the president’s reference to “carnival barkers” was quite lucid enough, it was used figuratively not literally.