Just when you think Denver has shed its “cow town” label, something like this rears its ugly head. C.U. President Hank Brown was honored yesterday at a National Western Stock Show banquet at the Adams Mark Hotel. Brown was named this year’s “Citizen of the West” and the award is an annual tradition.

The banquet was marred by a crude and unfunny joke by presenter William Farr, a businessman from Greeley.

William R. Farr was pretending to read telegrams congratulating this year’s award recipient, University of Colorado President Hank Brown, when he pulled out a piece of paper and said, “I have a telegram from the White House.”Then he added, “They’re going to have to change the name of that building if Obama’s elected.”

Among those in the audience who gasped at the remark: Gov. Bill Ritter. Sen. Ken Salazar and Mayor John Hickenlooper were also present. Salazar called Farr’s remark “atrocious and uncalled for.” The Mayor settled for “inappropriate.”

Farr apologized after the banquet and said he mistakenly thought the remark was humorous.

[Farr] also said he regrets detracting from an evening intended to honor Brown, a longtime friend.

I’m wondering who picked Farr to present the award to Brown? Had the national press been in town to hear it, we’d all be tarnished by it. Memo to the DNC: Denver can’t afford mistakes like these come August. Please use professionals to select any non-political presenters — and provide them with some sensitivity training in advance.