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
August 21, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT

Here's more evidence that the Big Three broadcast newscasts are failing to act as Obama administration watchdogs. Today the federal Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan arm of the legislative branch, released a report finding that the Obama/Hagel Department of Defense broke federal law with the manner in which it negotiated the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap earlier this year. Such a revelation should be worthy of coverage on a broadcast network evening newscasts, but all three of those networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ignored the report on their August 21 editions. 

But there was plenty of time for fluffy pet stories on the same broadcasts. ABC's World News wrapped up tonight with a story about a musician who composes easy-listening music for dogs. Meanwhile, CBS Evening News substitute anchor Bob Schieffer informed viewers of some pet-friendly college campuses, and Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News both ran a video clip of dogs splashing about in a swimming pool and aired a photo of a cloud photographed over New York City which looks a lot like a dog [See screenshot below page break].

August 21, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

One week after MSNBC.com staff writer Zachary Roth hinted  that Ferguson, Missouri's April municipal elections are racially discriminatory, MSNBC host Joy Reid took that argument out for a spin on the Thursday, August 21 edition of her eponymous Reid Report program with guests MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor and Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D). Oddly enough, Ms. Reid laid some blame on the "city's strange politics" resulting from the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as that generally left-leaning movement created the sort of non-partisan, off-year municipal elections that the St. Louis suburb uses. [LISTEN to MP3 audio clip here; video update forthcoming]

For her part, guest Goldie Taylor churned out the usual MSNBC talking points about voter ID laws and  "voter suppression", etc., even though moments earlier Reid pointed out that African-American voter turnout in 2012 in Ferguson had been 54 percent, which suggests that lack of interest in municipal politics -- as compared to presidential politics -- was chiefly to blame for the paltry 6 percent African-American voter turnout in the 2013 city elections in Ferguson. What's more, contrary to Taylor's suggestion, the Show-Me State does NOT require voters to show a photo ID. It's categorized by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures as a "ID requested; photo not required" state. Here's what is required as far as identification goes, according to the Missouric Secretary of State's website:

August 20, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

"I don't know why he used the word 'justice.' It's not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it," an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama's statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

"This is our country versus this group that's declared war on us. What's justice mean in this con-- I don't know why the word's used, like we're going to go to the World Court with this?!" Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted "no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it's in our soul!" [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video below the page break]

August 20, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

Here's a somewhat racial angle to the Ferguson, Mo., saga that you probably won't see MSNBC pick up on. The Daily Beast's Tim Mak today reported on "Ferguson's Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores."

"Asian-Americans own a number of the stores lining West Florissant Avenue, where more than 20 businesses have suffered damage in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing," Mak noted, adding that "At least five of these stores are Asian-American-owned, according to local sources and business records. Just 0.5 percent of Ferguson is of Asian descent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data." While he made clear that local Asian-American business owners "don’t think looters targeted them because of their race" that it's undisputable that they have suffered store damage and economic loss because of the looting and violence:

August 19, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

Say you're minding your business hanging out at a coffee shop and some punk kid swipes your smartphone out of your hand. You chase him down, catch him -- unfortunately only after he handed off the phone to a much swifter accomplice who got away -- physically detain him and press charges after the police arrive. Good for you, right? Not if you're a white woman and the perp is a black youth, at least not to Gawker.com's Jordan Sargent.

Sargent took it upon himself to list "All the Things Not to Do When You Capture Your Own Child Mugger," inspired by the rage he felt reading the story of one Clara Vondrich in the New York Post. Having excerpted from the Post's coverage, Sargent went on a tear chiding Ms. Vondrich as a heartless sociopath, chiding her for, among other things, calling the perpetrator fat. Here's an excerpt [emphasis mine; h/t fellow NewsBuster Clay Waters]:

August 18, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

Move over, War on Women, there's a new war in town. On the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, contributor Michelle Bernard warned there is a "war on black men" in the United States, as evidence both by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and persistent criticism of President Barack Obama from Republicans.

What's more, Bernard insisted, there would be a "genocide" of young black men unless the problem were seriously addressed to her satisfaction. Suffice it to say, Hardball host Chris Matthews at no point called out Ms. Bernard for her heated rhetoric. [see relevant transcript below the page break; MP3 audio here; video update forthcoming]

August 18, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT

Wesley Lowery was catapulted from relative obscurity to household-name status last week, at least for obsessive viewers of the MSNBC network, thanks to his arrest and brief detention by authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, last week. So perhaps it's not all too surprising that the Washington Post reporter -- whose beat usually is "Congress and national politics" -- used his Twitter account this afternoon to make some decidedly non-objective, leftward-lurching tweets about President Obama's Monday afternoon Eastern news conference.

"Obama currently discussing our two wars: in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo," Lowery quipped shortly the beginning of the news conference. Minutes later he tweeted about how the president announced that Attorney General Eric Holder was heading to Ferguson. Apparently bemused by a reply to that tweet, Lowery later retweeted a quip from Glenn Fleishman, "He’d better get there before curfew, I guess." Other prominent African-American journalists who frequently appear on MSNBC used Twitter to register frustration with President Obama, hitting him from the Left. Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson tweeted:

August 15, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

The Washington Post is at it again in today's Metro section, boosting Gov. Martin O'Malley's protege Anthony Brown, this time by smearing conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan.

Staff writer John Wagner essentially allowed his 32-paragraph article, "Hogan emphasizes pocketbook issues," to function as a platform for the state's Democratic Party to rehash their tired "war on women" meme. "Foes want to focus on hopeful's social views, saying they're extreme" noted the subhead to Wagner's piece. Sure enough, Wagner focused almost exclusively on the complaints of those foes rather than on economic issues of import to Marylanders:

August 14, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

Smartphones and social media are enabling African-Americans all over the country to join in on peaceful, digital protests of the fatal shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown, CBS's Jim Axelrod reported on the August 14 Evening News. Axelrod turned to one such Twitter user, "Andre Fields... a 27-year-old political aide" from New York. But while Axelrod presented Fields as measured and interested in "both sides" of the story being heard, a look at this Twitter stream reveals some disturbing tweets.

"If rioting and looting is what it's gonna take for them to get their voices recognized then I say keep at it," Fields (@_JustDreTho) tweeted at 10:31 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, August 12. Hours earlier, Fields tweeted a quote from the late Martin Luther King Jr., "Riots are the language of the unheard." Of course the whole conceit of Axelrod's story is that the previously unheard and marginalized ARE being heard, and seen, through the peaceful and ubiquitous means of social media [see the segment's transcript, screen capture, embedded tweets and video below page break]

August 14, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

Examining how the Missouri town of "Ferguson’s lack of diversity goes way beyond its cops," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth examined numerous factors that had led to the city's elected officials being predominantly comprised of white folks while the city itself is roughly two-thirds African-American.

Roth explained that turnout in city elections are dreadfully low, often in the teens but dipping as low as 8.9 percent just two years ago. But of course this being the perpetually race-obsessed Lean Forward network, Roth found something sinister in the time and manner of the city's elections:

August 12, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT

Given a national platform on tonight's All In with Chris Hayes, Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (Mo.) charged that the shooting death of  teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer was an "execution-style" killing. [WATCH video and READ the relevant transcript following page break]

At no point, however, did host Chris Hayes object to such rhetoric and protest that the facts have not been established in an impartial investigation. Producers and Mr. Hayes should well have known, however, that Ms. Nasheed might make such a heated charge on air. In an August 10 tweet she condemned Brown's shooting as an "execution-style murder" (see embedded tweet below the page break):

August 7, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT

It looks like Shannon Bream of Fox News lost a friendly bet with Brent Bozell, the president and founder of the Media Research Center, NewsBusters's parent company.

On last night's Kelly File, the fill-in anchor argued that the liberal broadcast networks would have to devote time to covering John Walsh if he bowed out of his Senate race due to his plagiarism scandal. Bozell insisted otherwise and placed a dinner wager on the table [Watch that video in the embed below, fast forward to 2:48 into the video]. Well, this afternoon Montana Democratic U.S. Senator John Walsh did indeed announce he was dropping out of the race, and, alas, neither ABC's World News nor CBS's Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News even made a passing reference to the development.

August 7, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet digest this afternoon noted how Sen. John Walsh (D-Montana) is dropping his election bid thanks to a plagiarism scandal. Walsh was appointed in February to fill the seat vacated by Max Baucus (D) and faced a special election in November to fill out the balance of Baucus's term. had been seeking election to a full six-year term of his own.

Yet nowhere in the brief item did editors find space to note that Walsh is a Democrat. You can see the screen capture below the page break. Here's the item excerpted in full:

August 6, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

He just won't let it go. MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned once again to his hare-brained idea that the president should sue Congress, joined tonight  by another dynamic duo of hard-core lefties in cheering on the idea: the perpetually sanctimoniously smug comedian John Fugelsang and MSNBC daytime anchor Joy Reid. The Hardball host is ostensibly unafraid of conflict, but thus far he has failed to bring on a conservative sparring partner in his "sue Congress" segments.

But not only is Matthews stubbornly surrounding himself with those who share his absurd opinion, he's throwing out statements that are either patently false or grossly misleading. For example, in opening Matthews charged:

August 6, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

It's not scientific by any means, and there is the possibility that an influx of non-regular MSNBC.com readers have contributed to this result, but all the same, a new reader-reaction poll on MSNBC.com has a surprisingly overwhelming pro-gun rights response.

In a poll at the bottom of Michele Richinick's story, "A children’s book to teach kids about gun rights," MSNBC.com asks "Do you think people should be allowed to carry guns in public?" Eighty-eight percent of respondents selected the answer, "Yes! The Second Amendment guarantees it." and an additional 4 percent staked out a middle-ground position, "Only for self defense." Only 8 percent answered "No, it's too dangerous." [see screen capture below page break]

August 5, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

Monday's "Let Me Finish" tirade was no once-off exercise in spitballing for Chris Matthews. The host of MSNBC's Hardball picked up Tuesday night where he left off, his calling on President Obama to sue Congress for "failure to provide services." And, once again, Matthews made a few factual errors, such as suggesting that the Senate had not confirmed Obama's pick for ambassador to the Russian Federation. 

This time around he was joined by liberal scribes Joan Walsh of Salon and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post who promptly checked their intellectual honesty at the door and seized on the opportunity as an excuse to bash congressional Republicans for obstructionism. Below the page break you'll find the relevant transcript (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):

August 4, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

For Barack Obama's 53rd birthday, Chris Matthews gave the gift of an incredibly stupid idea. In his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for August 4, the MSNBC Hardball host urged the president to "get yourself a bright lawyer" and work up a lawsuit against Congress for "failure to provide services." 

Yes, "normally that would strike me or you as absurd, but now that we're in the suing season, it deserves a tad of consideration," Matthews insisted, likening Congress to a DMV clerk who straight up refuses to do his job and grant you your license renewal after you've waited in line forever. You can read the transcript in full below the page break, followed by my analysis (MP3 audio here; video follows page break):

July 31, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

Edward Snowden's one-year grant of temporary asylum by the Russian Federation ran out today, and Vladimir Putin's administration came through for the American turncoat, granting him permission to stay in the country indefinitely.

Brian Williams of the NBC Nightly News reported the development about ten minutes into the July 31 edition of the evening newscast. You can read the relevant transcript below the page break. 

July 31, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT

"Ten hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Bill Clinton allegedly told a group of businessmen in Australia that he had a chance to kill Osama Bin Laden, but passed because it would have meant killing hundreds of innocent civilians," msnbc.com's Alex Seitz-Wald reported today, directing readers to a feature from Sky News containing the relevant audio.

Of course no one, including Mr. Clinton, had any idea that in the ensuing hours more than 3,000 people would lose their lives at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists executing bin Laden's vision of bringing terror to the American homeland, but all the same, it's a fascinating discovery worthy of news coverage. Yet of the Big Three evening news programs for July 31, only NBC's Nightly News devoted any attention to the story, although to be fair to CBS, the network's Jake Miller filed a story on CBSNews.com shortly after 4:30 p.m. Eastern today. Here's an excerpt:

July 30, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT

This afternoon on MSNBC's The Cycle co-host Ari Melber conducted a live interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and libertarian-conservative Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) about their bipartisan Redeem Act proposal -- Redeem standing for Record Expungement Designed to ENhance EMployment.

Unfortunately for viewers, Melber insisted on playing the Lean Forward's favorite hand, flopping out the race card twice: by suggesting Sen. Paul once opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the second by pressing Sen. Booker to accept the left-wing premise that the nation's drug laws were intentionally racist by design [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; video follows page break].