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
March 24, 2010, 12:35 PM EDT

"Let's just get it out of the way right off that bat that Al Qaeda madmen don't actually want to blast through bridges, skyscrapers, and subways in righteous protest of the First Amendment," an exasperated Katie Paul began her March 23 tirade about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

"It's mind-boggling that politicians still consider this nonsense an effective enough talking point as to employ it in their keynote speeches to national audiences--until, that is, you realize they usually only bring it up when they're after something else," the Newsweek reporter added in her The Gaggle blog post, going on to argue Netanyahu's AIPAC speech was just red meat tossed out to a pro-Israel audience to bolster his closed-door meeting with President Obama over the Middle East peace process.

To be fair, it is true that politicians can and do simplify complex matters into sound bites that don't do justice to the issues at hand, but in this case, Paul is far too dismissive of the argument that al Qaeda's real complaint is not just with particular foreign policies of the United States and/or Israel but with the whole Western concept of secular, pluralistic liberal democracy. 

Indeed, Paul doesn't have to take any politician's word for it, she need only look at al Qaeda's own pronouncements. From a February 4, 2005 Congressional Research Service document entitlted "Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology" (emphases mine):

March 23, 2010, 4:07 PM EDT

<p>For as much as we on the Right have lambasted the liberal media for religious metaphors when it comes to Barack Obama, you'd think they'd eventually learn their lesson. </p><p>But apparently they just can't help themselves, particularly now that ObamaCare has passed and they see America entering into a progressive Promised Land.</p><p>Here's Howard Fineman from a <a href=" target="_blank">March 23 Newsweek Gaggle blog post</a> published after the signing ceremony:</p><blockquote>

March 23, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT
Chris Matthews could have a future in comedy if only his funniest moments weren't unintentional.

Here's today's knee-slapper: The Washington Post is not ideologically liberal in its editorials [MP3 audio available here].

Matthews made that pronouncement today during live coverage shortly after the conclusion of the ObamaCare signing ceremony. The "Hardball" host's comment followed MSNBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie's observation that ObamaCare is a "Rorschach test" that Democrats and Republicans will respond to along ideological lines in the run-up to the midterm elections in November:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Jonathan Capehart on that, because he has to write editorials for the Washington Post, which is kind of hard to read ideologically these days.

[laughter off camera]

March 22, 2010, 4:38 PM EDT

While its March 22 front page was exulting over House Democrats "scor[ing] a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation's health-care system," the Washington Post's Style section ginned up a human interest story for another cause dear to many liberals: immigration "reform."

 "Caught up in hope, but snared in a raid," blared staffer David Montgomery's headline. "Rally for immigration reform falls under shadow of arrests," the subheader for the 72-paragraph article lamented.

Arrests like those of Oved Vigil, Edwin Mazariegos and Esvin Blanco, who, Montgomery informed viewers in his lead paragraph, were VIPs at yesterday's March for America rally. The Post added its own VIP touch with a large photograph of the trio on page C9 (shown above at right), where the three young men stand posed with an American flag draped over their shoulders. The accompanying caption titled the photo "SHOWING THEIR COLORS" and quoted a rally speaker insisting, "We are not criminals.... We are workers here to push this country forward!"

Montgomery later went on to describe one immigrant who escaped detection at a workplace raid by hiding at the restaurant's walk-in refrigerator. The Post staffer closed the story by presenting the unnamed individual, still on the lam, as a decent guy in search of an honest living:

March 22, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

On Friday, NewsBusters editor-at-large Brent Baker noted that the Freedom Alliance was strongly refuting allegations by blogger and radio host Debbie Schlussel that the veterans charity organization founded by Oliver North and actively promoted by radio host Sean Hannity was a "huge scam."

Upon an "exhaustive investigation," Tim Mak of concluded in a March 19 post that there is "enough evidence to substantially rebut each of Schlussel’s claims."

You can find that piece here.

What's more, nearly an hour and a half before Mak provided readers with his analysis, veteran conservative journalist and American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.,  personally penned a retraction to an earlier Spectator blog post entitled "Hannity's Big Rip-Off," in which writer John Tabin linked to Schlussel's incendiary allegations and concluded that "Hannity has a lot of explaining to do":

March 19, 2010, 4:22 PM EDT
Democrats will be pointing to this preliminary CBO score as if it is engraved on stone tablets. Republicans will proclaim their respect for the CBO and proceed to argue that its estimates should not be taken too seriously in this instance. This may come as a surprise, but I think the Republican argument is closer to correct. To crow, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that the package is "a triumph for the American people in terms of deficit reduction" is premature at best, delusional at worst.

That's none other than Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus -- no conservative acolyte she -- in an op-ed today entitled in the print edition, "Score one for skepticism."

As Marcus went on to explain, the central flaw in taking the CBO numbers as the gospel truth is that (emphasis mine):

March 18, 2010, 3:59 PM EDT

Yesterday the Associated Press and Newsweek latched onto a pro-ObamaCare letter circulated by a left-wing group and signed by 59 nuns. Today, liberal Washington Post columnist and practicing Catholic E.J. Dionne took to the op-ed page to encourage House Democrats to "listen to the nuns."

Dionne ably expressed the sentiments of perhaps many a liberal journalist giddy over the news:

House members voting on health care will be representing primarily their positions as Americans and as agents of their constituents, though many will also be influenced by their faith. Those with a special affection for the Roman Catholic Church have an extra reason for voting in favor of the health bill.

By passing it, they would save the bishops from the moral opprobrium that would rightly fall upon them if they succeeded in killing the best chance we have to extend health coverage to 30 million Americans. I suspect that many bishops would be quietly grateful. In their hearts, they know the nuns are right.

But today, National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez noted another group of nuns that probably won't get as much, if any, media coverage precisely because they stand with the nation's Catholic bishops with their concerns about inadequate protection for the unborn in the legislation before Congress.

March 17, 2010, 5:49 PM EDT

"Hot on the heels of Kucinich's declaration of support for health-care reform, the Associated Press is reporting that Catholic nuns are urging Democratic lawmakers to support health-care reform," Newsweek's Katie Connolly informed readers of the magazine's The Gaggle blog this morning.

"This is a major break with the church's bishops, who have strongly opposed the legislation on the grounds that some federal subsidies may end up funding abortions," Connolly gushed, later closing her blog post with the conclusion that "[a]t the very least, the letter damages the validity of [pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart] Stupak's argument."

Both Connolly's post and the underlying AP story failed to delve into this, but the letter in question was not simply cobbled together by apolitical nuns. It was pushed out to the media by a group with a left-wing agenda, reports

March 17, 2010, 1:50 PM EDT

The Washington Post today called on Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-Md.) to push for and Maryland legislators to pass a plastic bag tax patterned after the District of Columbia's 5-cent-per-bag levy.

The Post couched the need for the tax in terms of safeguarding the health of the Chesapeake Bay -- much as the D.C. bag tax is purportedly earmarked for cleanup of the Anacostia River.

But curiously enough, plastic bags used to protect newspapers from the elements are exempt from taxation, both under the District law and in the Maryland legislation in question, a fact the Post didn't note in its editorial.

March 17, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT

Time magazine's Karen Tumulty this morning noted hypocrisy by the #2 Democratic official in the House of Representatives on the so-called "deem and pass" rule being pursued in order to "deem" ObamaCare as passed without actually calling a formal vote on it.

"[H]ypocrisy is a well-established parliamentary procedure," Tumulty noted in her March 17 Swampland blog post before contrasting the Hoyer of 2010 to the in-the-minority-party Hoyer of 2003 who decried "deem and pass" as "demeaning of democracy" and cautioned that its prior use should not excuse the practice in the future (emphases mine):

2010: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on the idea of passing health care with a self-executing rule:

The House Democratic leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, also defended the maneuver on Tuesday. “It is consistent with the rules,” Mr. Hoyer said. “It is consistent with former practice.”

2003: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer complaining about the Republicans' use of self-executing rules:

March 16, 2010, 5:13 PM EDT

I wrote too soon apparently.

Hours after I noted how Joe Klein suggested that Americans who support Israel might be unpatriotic for disagreeing with the Obama administration, the Time writer made his claim more explicitly in a Swampland blog post entitled "Israel First?" (emphasis mine):

The America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has done a very unwise thing: It has issued a statement criticizing the Obama Administration, rather than Israel, for its reaction to the Netanyahu government's recent announcement of more illegal settlement blocks in East Jerusalem--an announcement that was made during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week, an act of extreme rudeness on top of its unquestioned illegality.

This is quite remarkable. I may be wrong--and commenters are welcome to correct me--but I can't remember another ethnic or religious lobbying group publicly siding with a foreign country against the President of the United States...especially when the country in question is engaging in behavior that the international community believes is illegal.

March 15, 2010, 5:46 PM EDT

Time cover for June 21, 1971 edition"Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Jesus?" asked Time's Amy Sullivan in a Sunday March 14 Swampland blog post:

When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching. (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...)

So to whom did Sullivan turn for complaints about Beck's characterization? Some theologically conservative Catholic theologian? A conservative Protestant theologian like Baptist seminary president Al Mohler or Presbyterian theologian R.C. Sproul?

Nope. She highlighted two stalwarts of social gospel-oriented liberal Christianity:

March 15, 2010, 3:33 PM EDT

Last week the Obama administration worked itself up into high dudgeon over a decision by the Israeli government to green light a housing project in an east Jerusalem neighberhood. While its true the decision came down at an indelicate time -- right in the middle of Vice President Joe Biden's visit -- the actual substance of the decision was perfectly legal and in contravention of no prior agreement with the United States related to the peace process.

But that makes no difference to Time's Joe Klein (shown in file photo above), whom NewsBusters has repeatedly documented for his harsh treatment of Israel and considerably softer treatment of Iran.

Last night on the magazine's Swampland blog, Klein counseled the Obama administration that an apology issued by Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the timing of the decision was "unacceptable."

Klein -- who last March insisted that President Obama should take to the bully pulpit to lecture Israel on its 'moral standing' -- concluded his post by subtly questioning the patriotism of American members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC:

March 12, 2010, 5:23 PM EST

"Sponsors of those [sic] Stars on Ice figure skating tour apparently think that Olympian Johnny Weir is too flamboyant for their show.  Weir reportedly prohibited from participating because he is not, quote, 'family friendly,'" MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan complained shortly before 5 p.m. on his MSNBC program today, citing a report by a blog published by GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation].

Ratigan griped that despite Weir's athletic credentials and well-known support of his family -- he's financing his brother's college education and supporting his father, who is unable to work due to a disability -- that the sponsors of the show, including Smucker's, "apparently... don't view supporting your family as family-friendly."

Ratigan then noted an online petition circulating to include Weir in the tour, but failed to include any reply from Stars on Ice, although just a few minutes before Ratigan went on the air, at least one news source had noted that Stars on Ice denied GLAAD's allegation.

Gay/lesbian publication's Chris Geidner published the following to the Web at 4:38 p.m. EST, about 13 minutes before Ratigan went on air to further GLAAD's complaint on air (emphases mine):

March 11, 2010, 4:24 PM EST

Is it "crossing the line" to ban salt from use in restaurant kitchens? That's what MSNBC's Tamron Hall asked of her viewers shortly before 3 p.m. on March 11.

To discuss the issue, she interviewed New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D) on his proposed legislation calling for a ban of salt use in Empire State restaurant kitchens. Each violation would carry a $1,000 fine.

Hall failed to balance out Ortiz by giving equal time for an opponent of the proposed legislation, although she did ask Ortiz, "What about the businesses that would suffer under this rule of no salt?"

In answer to Hall's question, Ortiz erroneously insisted that his legislation would further consumer choice, when in fact his bill is an outright ban that doesn't countenance customer preference, declaring in no uncertain terms that:

March 10, 2010, 6:11 PM EST
Leading off his "Political Sideshow" segment halfway through the March 10 "Hardball," MSNBC's Chris Matthews mocked freshman Sen. Scott Brown (D-Mass.) for his reported book deal [audio available here]:

We learned today that Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who's been a senator for just 35 days, has a book deal! According to the Wall Street Journal, Brown's expected to write about his upbringing, his early career, and how he beat Martha Coakley to win his Senate seat.

Maybe he could call it, "It's Not About the Truck."  Just a thought, but, didn't people used to write their memoirs after their careers? This guy's been in office, what, a month?

Of course, this comes almost two years to the day after Matthews effusively praised Barack Obama's memoir, "Dreams From My Father" -- originally published in 1995 when Obama was gearing up to run for the Illinois State Senate -- on the March 13, 2008 "Hardball":

March 10, 2010, 4:18 PM EST

The sour economy has forced many Americans to tighten belts, and everyday Americans expect the same from their government. But that's practically unconscionable to the Washington Post as witnessed by its March 10 article, "Va.budget plan would shrink general spending to 2006 levels."*

Here's how Post staffers Rosalind Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle launched into their lament of the pending budget cutbacks:

RICHMOND -- Virginia will do less for its residents, and expect local governments and private charities to do more, under a new state budget likely to have an impact for years to come. 

With Virginia facing what lawmakers say is the grimmest financial picture in memory, the House of Delegates and Senate adopted budgets last week that would shrink general spending to about $15 billion, or no more than was spent four years ago. In other words, Virginia would spend about the same amount on services as it did when there were 100,000 fewer residents and many fewer were in economic distress. 

What followed was a typical laundry list of scenarios the writers insisted "could" happen, including "[c]riminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney appear[ing] in court without one." Of course, seeing as the Constitution requires that indigent defendants be provided a public defender, it's quite odd for the Post to conclude any judge "could" let a trial proceed with a defendant unrepresented for lack of counsel. At any rate, National Review's Kevin Williamson has an excellent takedown of the article and its numerous liberal assumptions, which I've excerpted below (emphases mine):

March 9, 2010, 5:44 PM EST

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has caused students across the Old Dominion to "rise up for gay rights,"* reporters Daniel de Vise and Rosalind Helderman insisted on the March 9 Metro section front page of the Washington Post.

Helderman and de Vise failed to consider the liberal leanings of the protesters, tagging the demonstrators in the lead paragraph as mere "campus activists" who are steamed over the state AG's "letter advising public universities to retreat from their policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orienation." A few paragraphs later, Helderman and de Vise suggested that an "erosion in gay rights at state universities" would have detrimental effects on attracting and retaining students and faculty.

The problem is, Cuccinelli's legal opinion does not mandate a "retreat" from discrimination, he just noted that under Virginia law, any change in non-discrimination policy wording must be authorized by legislation.

Counseled Cuccinelli:

March 9, 2010, 11:47 AM EST
Has Chris Matthews's brain been exiled to the Phantom Zone?

The "Hardball" host has a penchant for making loopy cinematic references, such as the time he compared Rush Limbaugh to the villain in the James Bond film "Live and Let Die."

Well, yesterday the MSNBC host made some odd, labored metaphor that found the former vice president being compared to Jor-El, the biological father of Superman (audio here; transcript via NB's Geoffrey Dickens):

March 5, 2010, 6:05 PM EST
The September 11 attacks apparently were merely "criminal acts of terrorism" to the mind of MSNBC host Chris Matthews. They were not acts of war. 

What's more, according to the "Hardball" host, "acts of war are not bad in themselves." [audio available here]

"We never said that in our country's history," Chris Matthews insisted on the March 5 "Hardball" program.

"Well, of course acts of war are bad, if they're committed against innocent American civilians," Republican strategist Ron Christie responded.

Matthews refused to concede the point, however: "That's right, that's called a criminal act of terrorism."