Ex-WLEX forecaster vilified on MSNBC

ssloan@herald-leader.comAugust 18, 2008 

WLEX-18's former chief meteorologist, Stuart Shepard, was named worst person in the world last week by MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann.

Shepard has worked for James Dobson's Focus on the Family evangelical group since leaving the NBC affiliate in 1999 shortly after being moved to mornings when Bill Meck was hired as chief meteorologist.

Shepard, the director of digital media for Focus on the Family's CitizenLink action group, asked people to pray for rain on Aug. 28 when Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama accepts his party's nomination at a Denver stadium.

”I'm talking umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you rain ... network-cameras-can't-see-the-podium rain,“ the former weatherman said in his Internet commentary.

”I'm still pro-life and I'm still in favor of marriage being only between one man and one woman, and I'd like the next president who will select justices for the U.S. Supreme Court to agree,“ Shepard continued.

Shepard has called his verbal rain dance ”boyish humor,“ Olbermann reported before flaming him.

”It's not boyish humor, pal,“ Olbermann said last week. ”There are droughts in North and South Carolina, parts of California, most of New Zealand, and this idiot who firmly believes he can induce rain by prayer is wasting it by asking his lord and savior to play a political prank. It's not boyish humor, and you're a selfish hypocrite.“

Regional Emmys awarded

The 44th annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy awards were presented this month in Cincinnati. Lexington stations received these Emmys:

KET: Historical documentary (Marsha Cooper Hellard, Charlee Heaton, Thomas Bickel, Mary Marshall Hester and Craig Cornwell) and program videographer (Frank Simkonis). The state department of fish and wildlife received Emmys for crime program and program host/moderator for programs that premiere on KET.

WKYT: News special (Pope Cudd).

WLEX: Sports program feature or segment (Amanda Hara) and live special event coverage (Jennifer Evans Smith).

WTVQ: General assignment report within 24 hours (Jon Smith and Greg Stotelmyer) and sports news single story or series (Tom Kenny and Charles Watson).

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