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 13, 2009, 10:47 AM EDT

Patricia Janiot of CNN en espanolVenezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is "attractive to any journalist" because he's "the epitome of the populist leader" with "plain tastes" and "overwhelming charisma," CNN en español senior anchor Patricia Janiot told journalist Cristian Savio in a recent interview conducted in Spanish.

Blogger and friend of NewsBusters Fausta Wertz has an English translation up at her blog.

Below is an excerpt:

March 12, 2009, 3:27 PM EDT

In case you were worried, former Time magazine staffer Jay Carney has "had very little trouble adapting" to his job as Vice President Biden's director of communications. From a recent interview with Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers published in the March 12 paper:

[Akers]: You left journalism after 20 years with Time. How is life on the other side?

Carney: It's great. I have had very little trouble adapting to this new role, which is completely different from what I was doing before.

Carney also insisted that while he was just sort of swept into the Obama administration during the post-election transition period, he never was a leg-thrilling puddle of drool like others in the media:

March 6, 2009, 12:28 PM EST

USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman sought to create a rift between Pope Benedict XVI and Italian clerics in a March 4 blog post, "'Virtually' signing off technology for Lent?"

The rage among some Italian dioceses is to call on Catholics to shut off the Internet connection, put down the I-pod and chill out on texting for the Lenten fast.

This may contradict the pope, who just recently extolled social networking to forge worldwide understanding and approved a Vatican channel on YouTube. (I wonder if they shut that down for Lent?)

Grossman apparently has trouble reconciling the Vatican's desire to engage social media outlets to reach out to young Catholics and evangelize potential converts with the pastoral counsel from priests and bishops that fasting from too much of a good thing -- such as text messaging -- may help sharpen one's spiritual devotion during the Lenten season:

March 4, 2009, 5:55 PM EST

Meredith Vieira cracked up "Today" show co-hosts Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker today as she tried, apparently, to make a joke about micro-blogging application Twitter.

The gaffe is somewhat reminiscent to her unintentional use of double entendre in a similar segment in late January.

Video below the fold.:

 

March 4, 2009, 1:39 PM EST

Robert Durell/LA Times file photo"Villaraigosa affair may not be one to remember," prophesied the July 7, 2007 headline in the L.A. Times. A year and a half later, the Associated Press danced around the Democratic Los Angeles mayor's adulterous liaison with a Spanish-language reporter assigned to the city hall beat.

From today's story on his March 3 re-election accessed at CBSNews.com (emphases mine), notice how the AP pulls its punches, euphemizing the adulterous affair in the 12th paragraph of the story:

The mayor of Los Angeles easily won re-election after a bumpy first term in the nation's second-largest city, fueling speculation that he will be among contenders next year to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the first Hispanic mayor in more than a century, was rewarded Tuesday with a second, four-year trip to City Hall despite an uneven first term that saw the breakup of his marriage and the defeat of his signature plan to reform city schools.

March 3, 2009, 5:09 PM EST

Sorry I got this off a few minutes late. Consider it an experiment in live-blogging for NB. Usually we just live-blog news conferences and the like, but I wanted to give this a go.

 

March 3, 2009, 5:04 PM EST

Taxpayer-subsidized journalist Bonnie Erbe has some advice for Democrats: use the 2010 Census and subsequent redistricting to your maximum advantage to gerrymander and "gender-mander" the Congress chock full of left-wing constituencies.

Writes the PBS "To the Contrary" host on a March 3 post at her Jefferson Street blog at US News & World Report (emphasis mine):

Depoliticize the Census? Surely they jest! Taking politics out of the Census is like taking milk out of the cow or coal out of Newcastle or diamonds out of Tiffany. Politics is the lifeblood of the Census—without politics, there is no Census.

The Census is part of the spoils of victory for whichever party controls the White House at the turn of each decade. Gerrymandering—using Census data to create voting districts that artificially lean toward one end of the political spectrum or the other—is as uniquely an American tradition as Thanksgiving. The thought of trying to depoliticize the census is, well, decidedly un-American.

March 3, 2009, 1:41 PM EST

British journalists are nonplussed, to say the least, that President Obama didn't schedule a full press conference for today's White House visit by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

USA Today's The Oval blog has the story:

Though there was never any announcement on this side of the Atlantic that there would be a full-blown joint news conference today when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stops by to meet with President Obama, some British journalists are rather cranky this morning about the fact that there won't be one. Some who flew over with Brown last night thought there would be an Obama-Brown newser, and were surprised to hear when they arrived that there wouldn't. They see it as a snub.

"Embarrassing," says Benedict Brogan of The Mail. Embarrassing, that is, for Brown.

"Mr Brown might lament," writes Toby Harnden of The Telegraph, "that despite the so-called 'special relationship' Britain is now getting the same treatment as the president of Uruguay but he need not despair. I'm told there's a chance he might get drinks with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening."

March 2, 2009, 2:07 PM EST

I'm hosting a live blog via CoverItLive.com. I'll be watching on MSNBC

Follow along in the embed below:

 

March 2, 2009, 12:45 PM EST

Blogger and former Washington Times staffer Robert Stacy McCain has an article over at The American Spectator's Web site that blows away the stereotype many in the MSM seem to have about Rush Limbaugh's audience being nothing more than "angry white men."

In "Taxi Driver Dittos, Rush", McCain relays a brief story of his interaction with a D.C. cabbie originally from Nigeria who loves Limbaugh.

Here's an excerpt:

Cabs lined up with engines idling outside Washington's historic Omni Shoreham Hotel about 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Drivers were waiting to sweep away thousands of guests who soon would depart the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but nobody was leaving yet, and so the drivers waited.

"When does Rush speak?" asked a stocky driver in a blue hooded sweatshirt.

"He just started speaking," I answered.

"Oh, man, I wish I could be there," the driver said. "He is great."

March 1, 2009, 2:32 PM EST

Liberal blogger and Media Matters employee* Oliver Willis channeled his inner Ted Turner last Wednesday, while writing for his eponymous Web site.

You see Willis took to his keyboard at 5:20 p.m. on February 25, Ash Wednesday, to hack out this 41-word snark about the liturgical ritual (h/t Damian G.):

As I write this, millions of people around the world have a charcoal cross scratched across their foreheads, and everybody who doesn’t have one on will walk past these people and act as if everything is normal.

Religion, you are weird.

February 25, 2009, 3:18 PM EST

Washington Times White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni has online conservatives a-Twitter with some overheard snippets of a Helen Thomas interview, including what may well be a racially-tinged joke about Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.).

Around noon today Bellantoni noted via Twitter:

breaking Helen Thomas tells filmcrew Bush worst POTUS in history, "too many people are dead" in Iraq sez Kennedy, Johnson best #whpresscorps

Coming from someone who constantly complains about how many soldiers President Bush "killed" by invading and occupying Iraq, it's odd that Thomas considers two Vietnam era presidents to be among the best presidents in American history.

A few moments later Bellantoni added a tweet that hinted at a racially insensitive crack Thomas may have made about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R):

February 24, 2009, 1:13 PM EST

On the front page of today's Style section, Washington Post staffer Jose Antonio Vargas promised readers a look at the "gay political blogosphere" in "Gay Bloggers' Voices Rise in Chorus of Growing Political Influence."

"Disparate Gay Bloggers Create a Virtual Village of Many Voices," the headline on the jump page noted:

On the Internet, no group -- however controversial or on the fringe -- is invisible. Everyone is but a Google search away. And the sheer diversity of blogs written by gays, lesbians and transgenders proves that, like all minority groups, the gay community is not monolithic. Though they may blog about the same topic -- say, Prop. 8 -- it doesn't mean they'll arrive at the same conclusion.

Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph profile does Vargas look into the generally conservative bloggers who maintain GayPatriot.net, a site that describes itself as "the Internet home for the American gay conservative." Indeed, Vargas spent the lion's share of his article focused on Pam Spaulding, a liberal  black lesbian blogger from North Carolina. Vargas sums up Spaulding's insights on Prop 8: "religious anti-gay whites" are equally responsible for the passage of the ballot referendum as socially conservative African-American voters.

Wow. Truly insightful.

By contrast, GayPatriot bloggers also opposed Proposition 8 yet take liberal gay activists to task for their shrill invective against proponents of the ballot initiative. Here's one such excerpt from a February 8 post by Daniel Blatt, who blogs as "GayPatriotWest" entitled, "Will Gay Groups Criticize Mean-Spirited Tactics of Angry Prop 8 Opponents?":

February 24, 2009, 12:08 PM EST

Folks watching President Obama's first address to Congress on CNN tonight will not see CatholicVote.com's latest ad (embedded at right) reportedly because network executives think the ad falsely attributes pro-life political views to the nation's chief executive.

As Christianity Today's Stan Guthrie reported on Friday:

Brian Burch of CatholicVote.com says CNN has rejected the group's "Imagine" ad for broadcast during the president's State of the Union address next Tuesday. Previously NBC rejected the video, which links the pro-choice Barack Obama with a strong pro-life message, for airing during the Super Bowl. Executives at both networks cited concerns with the content of the ad: NBC that it doesn't run issue ads during the Super Bowl, and CNN because the ad suggests that Obama is pro-life. In an e-mail today to supporters, Burch disputes CNN's conclusion:

February 23, 2009, 2:04 PM EST

Incredibly ridiculous.

There's no other way to describe the over-the-top political correctness that leads a major newspaper to issue a prophylactic apology for an unoffensive cartoon in the anticipation that someone somewhere will raise a fuss.

Yet that's what the Washington Post did yesterday in a correction posted on page A2 of the Sunday edition (via Jossip):

So Gene Weingarten from The Washington Post wrote an article called "Monkey Business" about men and women and their sexual fluidity, based on that New York Times trend piece from a couple weeks ago. But since the title of the article had the word "monkey" in it, and the accompanying picture was of a cartoon monkey, WaPo needed to clear up any misconceptions vis-a-vis The Post cartoon and our current president.

February 20, 2009, 11:39 AM EST

Updated below: Lucasfilm rep says Lucas backs Obama's economic policy, tax hikes on rich.

Noting that "the cornerstone of American capitalism is that you can make as much money as you want when you work for a company," filmmaker George Lucas told CNSNews.com*, adding that he thinks salary caps for corporate executives should be decided by corporate boards of directors, not politicians:

I think it would be a good thing for shareholders to unite and say, "We are not interested in paying our executives this much money." That would work. But it's not the government's job to do that. It's the stockholders' job, but of course, they don't seem to mind [high CEO salaries]. I'm not sure why. I wouldn't pay somebody that much money.

Lucas added that he earns his pay based on the success of his movies:

February 19, 2009, 12:30 PM EST

"Well, the saints might go marching into New Orleans, but the scientists are marching right on out. A group of more than two thousand biologists have decided NOT to hold their 2011 annual meeting in the Big Easy," "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric noted at the open of her  February 18 video blog entry.

Couric proceeded to turn a biologists convention's PR stunt into evidence that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) is an enemy of the "scientific community.":

The reason? Louisiana has a law that allows teachers to use supplemental materials in science class - things other than the state approved curriculum. Republican-up-and-comer Bobby Jindal signed it last summer after it passed the state legislature with overwhelming support. 

The scientific community says the law is nothing more than a free pass for the teaching of creationism, and that religion has no place in a biology class. 

In closing, Couric noted that the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) was moving its 2011 convention to Salt Lake City before joking:

February 18, 2009, 5:22 PM EST

While many Hollywood stars may have raised a champagne flute yesterday to mark President Obama's signing of the stimulus package, actor Kelsey Grammer was not among them. The actor best known for his roles in "Cheers" and "Frasier" told NewsBusters's sister organization CNSNews.com recently that he was a "free enterprise guy" who feared that CEO pay caps included in the corporate bailouts were a "sort of a deal with the devil."

CNSNews.com staffer Nicholas Ballasy caught up with Grammer recently at a ceremony marking the reopening of Ford's Theatre where the actor panned the package as rewarding "evildoers" who have wrecked the economy:

February 18, 2009, 1:33 PM EST

Bonnie Erbe pic via PBS Web siteIf the right to an abortion is really about about a woman's choice, then it logically follows that a fully-informed choice is a proper concern for public policy makers on the state level.

But don't tell that to pro-choice liberal journalist Bonnie Erbe. The US News & World Report contributing editor unleashed her fury at "Antiabortion Fanatics' New Invasive Attack: The Forced Ultrasound" in a February 12 blog post.

Oozing contempt from every pore, the PBS "To the Contrary" host slammed as "fanatics" conservative lawmakers in 11 states who "are considering bills that would offer or require ultrasounds before a woman gets an abortion."

Erbe insisted she was not mad at "average, conservative, pro-life voters," but those average joes are the very folks who elect the state legislators considering these laws. Indeed, it is often "average" pro-life conservatives who run for and win state legislative seats only to face fierce, well-organized and well-financed opposition to abortion reduction measures by radical pro-choice lobbies.

February 17, 2009, 12:08 PM EST

Did you know that elderly people are utterly hopeless sad sacks who can't adapt to change?

That's what readers of the Baltimore Sun were basically greeted with in a February 17 story -- "Some left out in switch from analog to digital signal" -- which dutifully found two elderly women who are unprepared for a partial TV-less existence since two Baltimore stations ditched their analog signals at midnight.

Baltimore Sun reporters David Zurawik and Sam Sessa told the sad tales of 68-year old Janice Stephenson and 84-year old Eula Riggle. Sandwiched between their tales of woe, Zurawik and Sessa quoted a college professor who blamed the federal government for the supposed catastrophe and a politician who complained about the voucher program and the quality of the converter boxes that have been installed for senior citizens.

Yet when it comes to the Sun's actual poster women for TV deprivation, Stephenson and Riggle, the former had planned to start a cable subscription -- she postponed it having heard of the nationwide DTV conversion deadline being pushed back to June -- and the latter bought a converter box, only to end up selling it to someone else.