Stuart Shepard, Rocky Mountain News put Colorado on Olbermann’s map

I didn’t want to write about Stuart Shepard. Focus on the Family’s video commentator is so clearly enamored with himself that he doesn’t need any extra attention, including when he stars in a moronic video asking whether it would be “wrong” to pray for Noah and the Ark-like rain to drown Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech, and presumably everyone who was there to hear it. But then Shepard got zinged by Keith Olbermann as a “Worst Person in the World” — as did the Rocky Mountain News. And so now I write about Stuart Shepard.

But first, let’s consider the Rocky Mountain News gaffe. Last week the daily newspaper published a web piece, and under the claim, “Things you might not know about Barack Obama,” inaccurately claimed that the Democratic presidential candidate has joint United States and Kenyan citizenship. The presumption, of course, is that Obama is not “American enough” to be president.

Eventually — way after the crap hit the fan — the Rocky corrected the record, including well after the watchdog group Colorado Media Matters scrutinized the newspaper’s reporting and MSNBC’s Olbermann crowned the paper with one of his “Worst Person in the World” awards.

On Saturday, Rocky Publisher and Editor John Temple published a how-it-all-happened column and apology, but, as Westword blogger Michael Roberts subsequently has pointed out, the explanation is more than a bit holey.

As Temple might say, “What a mess!”

Meanwhile, back to Shepard — and I’ll be blessedly brief. Allegedly at the request of several offended employees, Focus pulled the video in which Shepard waves an umbrella around and smugly asks whether it would be “wrong” to pray for rain on Obama in epic proportions. Then he got his own Olbermann “Worst Person in the World” designation. Then he turned around and produced a second video in which he bragged about the whole thing.

He called it “Mea Culpa.”

Let’s hope that translates to “Let’s all pray that Stuart Shepard’s 15 minutes of fame is over.”

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