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
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>

November 12, 2009, 3:21 PM EST

<p>Richard Esposito, Mary-Rose Abraham and Rhonda Schwartz of ABC's &quot;The Blotter&quot; have a fresh post up on about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's ties to jihadi groups. It's a fascinating read.</p><p><a href=" target="_blank">Esposito and his colleagues report that</a>:</p>

November 12, 2009, 11:28 AM EST

<p>While Lou Dobbs has always been an independent populist with some conservative bearings on certain issues -- illegal immigration chief among them -- conservatives should heed the old Reagan maxim when it comes to the former CNNer's populist conservatism: Trust, but verify.</p><p>After all, back in December 2006, fresh after the election which saw the return of Democratic control to the House of Representatives, Dobbs voiced support for Democratic universal health care proposals on a CNN special entitled &quot;War on the Middle Class&quot;:</p><blockquote><p>[T]his country has a responsibility to all the people in this room and Americans, all but the very poor and the very rich, are the ones being hammered because there is no program for the middle-class.</p></blockquote><p>Julia Seymour <a href="" target="_blank">documented the story at the time over at the Business &amp; Media Institute Web site</a>. You can find the full story below the page break:</p> <blockquote>

November 11, 2009, 6:10 PM EST

<p>Imagine if you will, that during the prior presidential administration two EPA employees put up a video on YouTube that criticized environmental and energy policies supported by Republicans in Congress and President Bush, only to be told by EPA officials that they need to take down the video. </p><p>Given the media's consternation about the Bush administration's alleged efforts to squelch proponents of the theory of manmade global warming, such a story would likely be front page news in many newspapers, including the Washington Post.</p><p>But in this instance, the administration in question is Obama's, and the EPA employees are going at the president from his left flank, arguing the so called &quot;cap-and-trade&quot; plan would &quot;lock in climate degradation.&quot;</p><p>Despite this, the Washington Post placed David Fahrenthold's November 11 story, <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;EPA tells workers to tone down YouTube clip about climate bill&quot;</a> on page A8:</p><blockquote>

November 11, 2009, 1:14 PM EST

If abortion clinics serve up abortions, do anti-abortion clinics perform anti-abortions?

I couldn't help but muse that as I read the Washington Post's Metro section below-the-fold front-pager "Disclaimer proposed for anti-abortion clinics."

The November 11 story by Michael Laris explained that "Montgomery County [Md.] officials" are considering a "regulation" that "would require pregnancy centers run by abortion opponents to give women a disclaimer so they don't mistake the centers for medical clinics and so they understand the source of the information given to them."

Laris painted these officials -- seven of the county's nine [all of them Democrats] county council members -- as proponents of "consumer protection."So somehow dissuading a woman from having an abortion is an affront to consumer protection?

The Post staffer went on to quote the regulation's author, Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large), who insisted her bill was "just a disclosure regulation." Yet Laris failed to give readers details about Trachtenberg's affiliation with pro-abortion rights lobbies like the National Organization for Women (NOW) and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

November 11, 2009, 11:03 AM EST

<p><a href="/issues-events-groups/media-bias-debate/name-party" target="_blank"><img src="" vspace="3" width="200" align="right" border="0" height="143" hspace="3" /></a>It's time once again for our favorite media parlor game, <a href="/issues-events-groups/media-bias-debate/name-party" target="_blank">&quot;Name That Party!&quot;</a></p><p>The theft trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) began yesterday, but in covering the story, the Baltimore Sun failed to note Dixon's Democratic party affiliation. </p><p>The <a href=" target="_blank">Washington Post, syndicating the story</a>, also failed to note Dixon's affiliation in their caption to an Associated Press photo of the mayor which reads, &quot;Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is accused of buying personal items using gift cards donated to her office.&quot;</p><p>The unsigned story by the Sun notes that Dixon is alleged to have practically stolen from her city's poorest residents for her own personal gain:</p><blockquote>

November 10, 2009, 6:33 PM EST

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value=";c1=0x2536AA&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src=";c1=0x2536AA&... type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>&quot;The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill,&quot; MSNBC's Chris Matthews flatly declared on the November 10 &quot;Hardball.&quot;  Matthews fumed with disgust as Politico's Jonathan Allen told him that Catholic bishops lobbied Democrats to pass the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care reform bill last week. <p>&quot;I understand the [pro-life] argument&quot; that the bishops brought to the table, Matthews added, but huffed that they should not &quot;show up&quot; on the Hill.</p><p>After the commercial break, Matthews took to the air again to clarify that it was not in fact bishops but staffers with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who lobbied the Democrats. Such a distinction, he insisted, was important.</p><p>The relevant transcript follows [MP3 audio <a href=" target="_blank">available here</a>]:</p><blockquote>

November 10, 2009, 3:31 PM EST

<p><a href=" target="_blank"><img src=" vspace="3" width="164" align="right" border="0" height="239" hspace="3" /></a>Earlier today I had the pleasure of attending the weekly <a href="" target="_blank">blogger's briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation</a>. Conservative activist and public relations consultant Craig Shirley was the featured guest, and he spoke about his new book <a href=" target="_blank">&quot;Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America.&quot;</a></p><p>Shirley noted the remarkable parallels between the Republican Party that Reagan and the conservative movement revitalized in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the situation facing conservatives today. </p><p>Then as now liberal Democrats claimed the presidency and liberal ideology seemed ascendant following the tenure of Republican presidents who expanded the size and scope of government (Nixon) and/or were inept (Ford). Now as in the late 1970s, it is conservatives standing outside the establishment who can be the revitalizing and reforming force for the GOP and more importantly the country. </p><p>During a roughly 30-minute Q&amp;A session, Shirley answered a series of questions from bloggers in attendance, and shared among other things the following observations:</p>

November 10, 2009, 10:56 AM EST

<p>I believe in miracles. They happen everyday. </p><p>Like Reuters, of all news outlets, acknowledging the role that religious faith played in the dissident movements in East Germany leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.</p><p>Sarah Pulliam Bailey picked up on that in a November 9 <a href="" target="_blank">post at Get Religion</a> yesterday:</p><blockquote><p>With Bon Jovi, Angela Merkel and Mikhail Gorbachev likely to <a href=" onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/');">steal the spotlight</a> at the Berlin wall 20th anniversary celebration, Reuters’ Tom Heneghan <a href=" onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/');">says</a> Protestant leaders feel overlooked:</p><blockquote>