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 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.

February 16, 2009, 5:06 PM EST

Earlier today, medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen accidentally insulted colleague Rick "I play it down the middle" Sanchez as "CNN's chief twit" for his frequent use of microblogging application Twitter.

As veteran users of the service know, "tweep" is the preferred term to refer to registered users of Twitter. Likewise, a posting to one's Twitter account is often referred to as a "tweet."

Speaking of which, you can follow NewsBusters , the Media Research Center, and yours truly on Twitter: @NewsBusters, @TheMRC, and @KenShepherd respectively.

February 16, 2009, 10:33 AM EST

Alexandra Pelosi in MRC file screencap from Jan. 22, 2007One need look no further than the NewsBusters archives on fashion critic Robin Givhan and TV critic Tom Shales to see that the Style section for the Washington Post is hardly immune from the liberal bias that plagues much of the paper's A-section.

But for a change we're happy to note when a Postie in the Style section casts a critical glance at something in the popular arts that unfairly skewers conservatives. Such is the case today with reporter Michael Leahy's withering critique of Alexandra Pelosi's [file photo at right] newest documentary, "Right America: Feeling Wronged -- Some Voices From the Campaign Trail":

It's drive-by journalism, to put it charitably, a string of stupefyingly brief hit-and-run interviews with a bunch of unidentified people who we know are going to say nothing that will surprise us. By then, we've already figured out they're going to be fried by Pelosi's camera. We know they're going to sound like yahoos, often goaded, always reduced to sound bites and caricatures.

Leahy, recalling his impressions of conservative voters from his own campaign reporting, continued by dismissing Pelosi's documentary as a cheap excuse "for a snarky laugh track" at the expense of center-right Americans (emphasis mine):

February 13, 2009, 1:03 PM EST

I knew he was a prolific text-messager, but I had no idea former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) was a whiz with computer software.

February 12, 2009, 1:12 PM EST

"So which is worse? Denying the Holocaust? Or condemning New Orleans?"

That's how Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear began her Feb. 11 The Seeker blog post, practically considering the Pope to be another politician who must watch out for how his PR blunders affect his poll numbers (emphasis mine):

Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI quelled concerns last week regarding the excommunication of a Holocaust denier, he caused another stir closer to home. He reportedly tapped a bishop who once described Hurricane Katrina as God’s punishment for sin and debauchery in New Orleans.

According to the Times of London, Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, an ultraconservative parish priest at Windischgarsten in Austria, published his theory of divine retribution in his parish newsletter four years ago.

February 12, 2009, 11:23 AM EST

Update (16:53): The February 4-6 briefings have since been added to the archive page.

A total of five daily press briefings, including one documenting a testy February 5 exchange (embedded at right) between Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and ABC's Jake Tapper,  are missing from the White House press briefings page (h/t e-mail tipster Abby Bender; see Feb. 12 screencap here).

As you may recall, we at NewsBusters noted how the White House initially failed to archive and prominently feature its press briefings on the official WhiteHouse.gov Web site.

[Related item: The take by the folks at WhiteHousePressCorps.org on the missing February briefings.]

February 11, 2009, 2:09 PM EST

Waiting for the press conference to start. I may also tweet some over at Twitter.I'll be particularly looking for any questions on Wall Street's reaction to Geithner's plan (382-point drop, market stagnant today) and how Gibbs would respond to it. Should be fun.I'm watching via Fox News.14:15: We're 15 minutes late. Par for the course with Gibbs. 14:16: Chris Cillizza of Washington Post tweeting @TheHyperFix: Is this like a concert? If we all start clapping, will Gibbs come out?14:18, Fox was at commercial break when Gibbs came out, switched to CNN. Sneaky, Mr. Gibbs. 14:19, Jennifer Loven of AP asking if Geithner didn't realize how bad the market reaction would be yesterdayGibbs says the plan wasn't designed for one-day market reax.

February 11, 2009, 1:19 PM EST

Hat-tipping gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, Time's Amy Sullivan (no relation) expressed impatience at the Obama administration for not moving yet on ending the ban on openly gay personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Sullivan is chagrined that a Kansas National Guardsman was reportedly discharged after Army brass discovered her MySpace page in which she declared she is a lesbian.

Here's the February 11 Swampland blog post in full, entitled, "They Didn't Ask, She Didn't Tell, and Yet...":