Ken Shepherd lives in New Carrollton, Md., with his wife, Laura, and children Mercy and Abraham. Ken graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts in Government & Politics and a citation in Public Leadership. 

Ken has worked full-time for the Media Research Center since May 2001 and prior to that was an MRC New Analysis Division intern from October 1998 to May 2001. 

In his spare time, Ken enjoys karaoke, tennis, reading, and discussing theology or politics.

Latest from Ken Shepherd
December 2, 2009, 1:06 PM EST

<p><a href=" target="_blank"><img src="" vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="174" hspace="3" /></a>Imagine if you will that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was accused of taking gift cards donated to her office for redistribution to needy constituents and using them instead for a personal spending spree.</p><p>The media firestorm would swirl uncontrollably, of course, and certainly you couldn't fault the media for reporting on the ensuing criminal trial.</p><p>Well, this sort of this has happened, only <a href=" target="_blank">to the Democratic mayor of Baltimore Sheila Dixon</a> who was convicted yesterday on a misdemeanor charge of embezzling, yet the coverage from the broadcast networks has been non-existent until the trial's conclusion. </p><p>A search of &quot;Sheila Dixon&quot; among ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts catalogued on Nexis from January 1, 2007 to December 2, 2009 yielded only three hits. None of the stories were about Dixon's trial, and one, an April 30, 2008 &quot;Nightline&quot; story on predatory mortgage lending, cast Dixon in a favorable light as a champion of citizens who have been exploited by mortgage lenders. </p>

December 1, 2009, 6:18 PM EST

<p>Have Associated Press's Seth Borenstein and Chris Matthews had a Vulcan mind-meld? Two weeks ago, you may recall, the MSNBC &quot;Hardball&quot; hosts wondered if the president was just <a href="/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/11/20/msnbc-s-matthews-finds-obama-s-weakness-he-s-too-darned-intellectual" target="_blank">&quot;too darned intellectual.&quot;</a> </p><p>Today, AP's Borenstein wondered, <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Is Obama another Mr. Spock?&quot;:</a></p><blockquote><p>WASHINGTON -- He shows a fascination with science, an all-too deliberate decision-making demeanor, an adherence to logic and some pretty, ahem, prominent ears.</p> <p>They all add up to a quite logical conclusion, at least for &quot;Star Trek&quot; fans: Barack Obama is Washington's Mr. Spock, the chief science officer for the ship of state.</p><p>&quot;I guess it's somewhat unusual for a politician to be so precise, logical, in his thought process,&quot; actor Leonard Nimoy, who has portrayed Spock for more than 40 years, told The Associated Press in an e-mail interview. &quot;The comparison to Spock is, in my opinion, a compliment to him and to the character.&quot;</p>

December 1, 2009, 4:07 PM EST

<p>The same CBS legal analyst who...: </p><ul><li>wrote that former Vice President Cheney <a href="/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/05/22/cbs-news-chief-legal-analyst-cheney-just-d-k" target="_blank">&quot;is just a dick&quot;</a></li><li><a href="/node/13830" target="_blank">labeled Chief Justice John Roberts</a> &quot;silly and condescending&quot; and Justice Alito a &quot;rigid starboard-facing ideologue&quot;</li><li>and blamed Karl Rove for the Valerie Plame leak <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2008/02/27/cbs-lawyer-ignores-facts-evidence-slam-rove" target="_blank">despite the fact that Richard Armitage admitted</a> that he was the inadvertent leaker of that information</li></ul><p> now ending his CourtWatch blog, all the while insisting that his writings over the years were mostly dry legalese and that those which were not, well, that's the fault of the people he was writing about, namely, the Bush adminstration.</p><p>CBS's Andrew Cohen in his <a href=" target="_blank">Nov. 30 &quot;Banging the Final Gavel&quot;</a> retrospective:</p><blockquote>

November 24, 2009, 11:59 AM EST

<p>Last night the Baltimore City Council became the first in the nation to pass a law that would require pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post in writing disclaimers noting that they do not provide abortion services or contraceptives nor refer women to persons or clinics who do.</p><p>Reporting the story in the November 24 paper, the <a href=" target="_blank">Baltimore Sun's Julie Scharper</a> quoted the bill's author and council president Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) heralding the passage of the bill as &quot;a step towards making sure that women have the information they need to make the right decision for their health and their future.&quot;  </p><p>Yet Scharper failed to point out to readers that Rawlings-Blake actually voted against an amendment that would also apply her standard to abortion clinics. Reported <a href="" target="_blank">George P. Matysek Jr. of The Catholic Review</a> on November 17:</p>

November 23, 2009, 12:52 PM EST

<p>Twelve days ago <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2009/11/11/name-party-baltimore-mayor-accused-using-gift-cards-designated-poor-he" target="_blank">I noted how</a> the Baltimore Sun failed to mention indicted Mayor Sheila Dixon's Democratic Party affiliation in a story about an embezzlement trial. The mayor stands accused of misappropriating gift cards intended for poor Baltimoreans. Instead of making sure the donated retail gift cards got into the hands of needy folks, Dixon is alleged to have used them for her own personal shopping spree. </p><p>Today, with the Dixon jury literally still out, the <a href=" target="_blank">Sun's Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz did mention Dixon's Democratic Party affiliation</a>, albeit in the very last sentence of their November 23 14-paragraph story published in the Metro section of the Washington Post*:</p><blockquote>

November 20, 2009, 3:08 PM EST

In what could easily be labeled the understatement of the week and probably of the entire month of November, the Washington Post today headlined a page A22 story today "GAO warns stimulus jobs data could contain inaccuracies."The print story is accompanied by a screenshot of, which the caption beneath it notes "is the government's stimulus-tracking Web site." Of course, the biggest inaccuracies recently observed on are non-existent congressional districts purported to have been "saved or created" jobs thanks to stimulus pork sent their way. Yet Post staffer Ed O'Keefe was careful to keep that juiciest tidbit out of his entire 10-paragraph November 19 story.As Michelle Groat of noted Wednesday:

November 19, 2009, 1:05 PM EST

<p>As part of an ongoing retrospective of the the first decade of the 21st century, Newsweek has ginned up a boatload of top 10 lists and assigned some Hollywood celebrities and Washington politicians to pen brief blurbs to accompany some of the entries. One such list, the top 10 &quot;History-Altering Decisions&quot; of 2000-2009 has at least two such entries that are worthy of addressing here: Actor/comedian Dennis Leary's &quot;Florida Uses Butterfly Ballots&quot; [ranked #6] and Sen. John Kerry's self-congratulatory &quot;Kerry Picks Obama to Give Keynote 2004 DNC Address&quot; [ranked #1].</p><p>Befitting Newsweek's biases, Leary and Kerry's entries point to Obama as an almost messianic figure, as though he were the literal object of history, or at least the last 10 years of American history. </p><p>First, Leary <a href=" target="_blank">opined about how one dramatic moment </a>can set in motion a chain of events can profoundly affect history, in effect comparing the assassin's bullet that ended John Kennedy's life with the butterfly ballots used in 2000 in some Democrat-friendly Florida counties:</p><blockquote>

November 18, 2009, 6:31 PM EST

<p>&quot;This week's abortion conversation is about politics. Let's not pretend it's about anything else,&quot; Newsweek's Lisa Miller huffed in <a href="" target="_blank">a November 18 post</a>, complaining about how the moral issues surrounding abortion are taking on a life of their own in the health care debate.</p><blockquote><p>We suffer, this week, from a moral myopia. Thanks to the passage in Congress of a health-reform bill, abortion is in the news again, but with the same old warriors brandishing their same old spears. </p></blockquote><p>But while Miller went on to list both pro-life and pro-choice &quot;old warriors,&quot; it's hard to believe her beef is with both sides of that fight equally. Miller laments that:</p><blockquote><p>Our entire health-care system (and the proposed reform) is rife with &quot;complex moral issues.&quot; To activate our consciences only in the realm of abortion relieves those consciences of too much responsibility.  <i></i></p></blockquote>

November 18, 2009, 3:21 PM EST

<p>Three days ago, I argued that <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2009/11/15/wapo-seeks-put-gop-gov-elect-mcdonnell-bind-over-pat-robertsons-remark" target="_blank">the Washington Post </a>was ginning up a new campaign to discredit Republican governor-elect Bob McDonnell, having failed to sink his candidacy  by its continual harping about his culturally conservative graduate's thesis at Pat Robertson's Regent University. </p><p>Today the Post confirmed my suspicions as its editorial board officially weighed in, proclaiming Robertson -- who made some controversial statements following the Fort Hood shootings about Islam -- to be <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Mr. McDonnell's albatross&quot;</a>:</p><blockquote><p>It's unfair to expect politicians to be held accountable for every asinine thing that a supporter happens to say. But in this case -- when the supporter is among Mr. McDonnell's most prominent associates, and the level of support is extremely high -- it's important to know that he is as disgusted by Mr. Robertson's casual bigotry as millions of his constituents are.  </p></blockquote><p>This begs the question how the Post handled the Obama/Rev. Wright controversy. My research indicates the Post was thrilled at Obama's March 2008 non-denunciation denunciation of Wright so much that the next month it all but declared it would never hound Obama ever again for anything stupid Wright should say. Let's look first at the <a href=" target="_blank">March 19, 2008 &quot;Moment of Truth&quot; editorial</a> (emphases mine):</p><blockquote>

November 18, 2009, 11:40 AM EST

<p>Headline wording choice can set the tone for liberal bias, and a November 18 Washington Post Style front-pager is a classic example.</p><p>Profiling Pentecostal preacher Bishop Harry Jackson, the Post titled staffer Wil Haygood's story <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Seeking to put asunder,&quot;</a> an obvious allusion to Jesus's declaration about the holy nature of matrimony (Matthew 19:4-6 KJV):</p><blockquote><p>And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. </p></blockquote><p>Of course, that scriptural passage succinctly illustrates Jackson's point: Christian doctrine regarding marriage is that &quot;from the beginning&quot; God's design was one man and one woman in a &quot;one flesh&quot; union, but the effect of the headline's allusion is the same. The paper is portraying Jackson as a man who aims to &quot;put asunder&quot; loving, committed gay couples who are &quot;married.&quot; </p>

November 17, 2009, 5:13 PM EST

<p>Posing the question, <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Will Gun Measure Threaten Amtrak [with] Terror Attacks,&quot;</a> Newsweek's Michael Isikoff informed readers of a legislative battle to allow passengers aboard Amtrak to transport unloaded firearms in their checked luggage.</p><p>Isikoff pitted supporters of gun rights, particularly the National Rifle Association (NRA) against &quot;security-minded&quot; legislators worried about gun use in terrorist attacks on the nation's railways:</p><blockquote><p>Just how much clout does the gun lobby have on Capitol Hill? This week may prove to be a crucial test: A House-Senate conference committee is about to take up a massive transportation-funding bill that is pitting advocates of gun rights against security-minded members worried about the threat of terrorist attacks on Amtrak trains. Tucked into the measure is a controversial National Rifle Association-backed amendment that would cut off $1.5 billion in subsidies to Amtrak unless the federally backed national passenger-train company reverses its post-9/11 security policies and permits train passengers to travel with handguns and other firearms as part of their checked luggage. </p>

November 17, 2009, 2:57 PM EST

<p>Here's a news story that should be interesting to watch as it develops further.</p><p>The New York Police Department executed a raid on the circulation offices of four New York newspapers earlier today. </p><p>The Associated Press reported the story <a href="" target="_blank">shortly after 1 p.m. EST</a> (h/t Alex Yuriev):</p><blockquote>By COLLEEN LONG <style>p {margin:12px 0px 0px 0px;}</style><div class="KonaBody"><p>NEW YORK (AP) - A law enforcement official says the New York Police Department raided circulation offices at some of the nation's largest newspapers as part of a union corruption probe.</p>

November 17, 2009, 1:31 PM EST

<p>Openly gay actor Ian McKellen recently told Details magazine that he proudly defaces Bibles left in hotel nightstands, ripping out pages containing verses which condemn homosexual behavior. USA Today's Leslie Miller picked up on this yesterday for the paper's <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Faith &amp; Reason&quot; blog</a>, after spying a blog post by colleague Barbara De Lollis in a November 16 post for her <a href=" target="_blank">Hotel Check-In blog </a>for USA Today.</p><p>For her part, De Lollis relayed the news item and wondered, &quot;Could word of McKellen's habit spark a movement?&quot; De Lollis went on to ask:</p><blockquote>

November 17, 2009, 11:41 AM EST

<p>His state voted Democratic in the 2008 presidential contest for the first time in 44 years, he's personally popular with voters, and he's currently the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Yet not once in her November 17 11-paragraph story did Washington Post's Rosalind Helderman raise the notion that Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) might share blame for his party's gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds getting thoroughly trounced in the voting booth 14 days earlier.</p><p>Helderman's story, <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says,&quot;</a> was based on Kaine's recent &quot;meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Post.&quot; Helderman's reporting makes clear, however, that the paper was only interested in dutifully relaying Kaine's spin on the 2009 gubernatorial election, not in challenging any of his claims. </p><p>Kaine told the Post that Deeds:</p><blockquote>

November 16, 2009, 4:26 PM EST

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value=";c1=0x335185&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src=";c1=0x335185&... type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>After airing what she described as a &quot;hard-hitting&quot; ad by the Center for Reproductive Rights which ominously warned, &quot;Don't let Congress ban abortion coverage millions of women already have,&quot; MSNBC's Dr. <a href="/people/nancy-snyderman" target="_blank">Nancy Snyderman</a> today lamented to Politico's Jeanne Cummings that with Sen. Ted Kennedy gone, Democrats lack a unifying figure who could defuse an abortion battle that could mar Democratic unity on health care reform.<p>Snyderman praised the late pro-choice politician as a &quot;man of his church and of his faith&quot; (MP3 <a href=" target="_blank">audio here</a>):</p><blockquote><p>Well, now the Catholic Church is lobbying hard to get House language into the Senate bill and then hopefully get it passed. Politico's assistant managing editor Jeanne Cummings wrote about this. And she joins me now. </p>

November 15, 2009, 4:18 PM EST

<p>It failed to make his master's thesis at the university Pat Robertson founded a campaign killer, but the Washington Post is still intent on finding ways to damage governor-elect Bob McDonnell even before he takes office. </p><p>In a Metro-section <a href=" target="_blank">front-pager today</a>, Post staffer Rosalind Helderman insisted that some recent remarks by Robertson about the nature of Islam following the Fort Hood shooting have &quot;put McDonnell in a bind&quot; and are forcing the Republican governor-elect &quot;to confront how he plans to handle his friendship with&quot; the &quot;long-time ally&quot; and &quot;highly controversial figure.&quot; </p><p>Just four paragraphs into her story, Helderman cast McDonnell as one who &quot;tried during the race to convince Virginians that he was a social conservative who could speak more broadly to issues that cross party lines.&quot; </p><p>Of course, McDonnell did just that, winning the Virginia governor's race by an 18-point margin (59-41 over Democrat Creigh Deeds) in a race where the economy, taxes and transportation were the key issues, so it's specious for Helderman to paint the governor-elect as though he were someone of whom moderate voters were skeptical. </p>

November 13, 2009, 6:22 PM EST

<p>The pesky thing about abortion for pro-choice stalwarts is that when it comes to the will of the people through their legislatures, they often lose more battles than when the voters in question are black-robed judges in a courtroom.</p><p>Just ask <a href="" target="_blank">Newsweek's Eleanor Clift</a>, who is bummed about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and its effect on the Democrats' hopes for a health care reform bill that puts in place a government-run health care &quot;option&quot; (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote><p>When health-care reform passed the House by <a href="" target="_blank">just two votes</a> late Saturday night, I assumed Speaker Nancy Pelosi had several more votes in her pocket from Blue Dogs who would be there if she needed them. After all, that's how Washington works. <b>I also figured I shouldn't get too worked up about the restrictive amendment </b>on abortion that was added at the last minute because it would be stripped from the legislation when it went to conference and was merged with the Senate bill.</p><p>It took just a little reporting for me <b>to discover how wrong my initial assessments were</b>.... <b>[D]itching the amendment advanced by pro-life Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is unlikely.</b></p>

November 13, 2009, 3:11 PM EST

<p>Veteran <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2009/07/01/pbss-bonnie-erbe-reiterates-her-palin-derangement" target="_blank">Sarah Palin hater</a> Bonnie Erbe is at it again, today <a href=" target="_blank">proclaiming the former Alaska governor is &quot;loony&quot;</a> for saying that she would open her dinner table at Thanksgiving to the father of her grandson:</p><blockquote><p>Say what, Sarah? This is the guy who refused to marry her daughter, Bristol, pregnant. This is the guy who has made a career (or tried to) by telling the Palin family secrets. And they are not pretty. </p></blockquote><p>Erbe then went on to quote some of Johnston's (unsubstantiated) claims, before rendering her verdict:</p><blockquote>

November 13, 2009, 11:33 AM EST

<p><img src=" align="right" border="0" height="169" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="302" />Taking to his Twitter account to take a swipe at flyover country, the New York-based editor of a print journalism trade publication all but stuck his tongue out at middle America while chanting &quot;nya nya nya nya boo boo.&quot; </p><p>Tweeted <a href="" target="_blank">Greg Mitchell</a> of &quot;Editor &amp; Publisher&quot; around 10:40 a.m. EST (h/t Dan Gainor):</p><blockquote><p><span class="status-body"><span class="entry-content">New Yorkers happy to host trial of 9/11 mastermind: Unlike wimps in heartland who tremble at thought of any minor Gitmo-ite coming to town.</span></span></p></blockquote>

November 13, 2009, 10:40 AM EST

<p>A petulant Washington Post columnist -- who two months ago insisted <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Reality Makes Gay Marriage Debate Obsolete&quot;</a> -- took to her computer yesterday to hack out a screed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, painting the Church as &quot;uncharitable and cruel&quot; reactionaries, playing &quot;political hardball with the District&quot; and literally throwing the homeless out into the cold November rain.</p><p>Petula Dvorak's November 13 column preached that <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Catholic officials shouldn't forsake D.C.'s poor in gay marriage fight,&quot;</a> painting the Church as the heavy for standing on conscience in reaction to new legislation that could force its charitable outreaches to hire gays and extend employee benefits to same-sex partners:</p><blockquote><p> In the gray rain -- where the only burst of color comes from the flash of an ambulance scooping up someone who is cold, sick and wet -- threatening to shut a door is the cruelest answer. </p>