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
July 23, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT

Yesterday Accokeek, Md.-based firearms manufacturer Beretta USA announced that it would shut down its plant in Maryland and move all manufacturing operations to Gallatin, Tennessee. Beretta cited the state's hostile anti-gun politics as a reason for the move, although the Italian company will keep its white-collar executive jobs in the Old Line State.

This is a gubernatorial election year in Maryland and the Washington Post-endorsed Democratic nominee for governor, Anthony Brown, lives in Prince George's County, which will lose 160 jobs thanks to the plant's relocation. So surely the Post's coverage of the move included some attention to Mr. Brown and his thoughts on the matter, right? Not a chance. Nowhere in Michael Rosenwald's 12-paragraph page B3 story -- yup, it was buried three pages deep in the Metro section -- was either Brown or Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan asked for comment.

July 22, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

In the midst of a panel discussion this evening freaking out over the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking a blow to the ObamaCare, MSNBC's Chris Matthews invoked a favored 14-year-old bogeyman of the Left, the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore. "Don't tell me you're shocked by the fact there's a partisan ruling," the Hardball host screeched to fellow MSNBCer Joy Reid. "We had President George W. Bush because of a partisan ruling by the Supreme Court. Isn't that a fact?!" 

Actually, Chris, no, that isn't a fact. For one, a  "recount" conducted by USA Today showed that, using the recount methodology that Vice President Gore had called for, Mr. Bush still would have won Florida's electoral votes and with it the presidency AND tripled his winning margin in the process. Only the strictest recount standard MAY have resulted in a Gore victory, but only of three votes and Mr. Gore did not argue for that standard to be deployed in the recount. From USA Today (emphasis mine):

July 22, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT

"Well, then they're stupid out there if they fall for this!"

That's how an angry Chris Matthews erupted at Dallas Morning News columnist Wayne Slater as he suggested that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's sending 1,000 National Guardsmen to the  border with Mexico would "play" well with Republican voters -- and potential 2016 caucus goers -- in western Iowa. "They're stupid, why would anybody fall for this claptrap?" Matthews blustered, adding, "what is the purpose of [an illegal immigrant child] seeing a guy with a rifle wearing fatigues?" 

July 21, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT

During the Bush era, the Left were wont to remind us that "dissent is patriotic" and being intensely critical of the president was a hallmark of a vibrant democracy, especially on matters of foreign policy and national defense. But in the Obama Era, especially in a crucial midterm election year, well, not so much.

On the July 21 Hardball, guest host Steve Kornacki brought on Mother Jones magazine writer David Corn and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart to grouse about how Republicans who have been critical of President Obama's handling of Russia vis-a-vis the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Moscow-backed political unrest in Ukraine. "There was a time when politics stopped at the water's edge. That disappeared, apparently, on January 20, 2009," Capehart whined in a segment entitled "Blame Obama First."

July 18, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

Worrying that "the Democratic contest looks like it will be a foggy, repetitive march toward Hillary Clinton" and that there needs to be a primary challenger from Hillary Clinton's left to "energize the Democratic Party’s liberal base," CBS political director John Dickerson pounded out a July 17 piece at Slate.com urging the Bay State's senior senator,  "Run, Elizabeth, Run!" "Stop thinking and start running," urges a caption under a photograph of a pensive-looking Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) 

Sure, Warren most likely wouldn't win, but "she would till the ground, putting grit and the smell of earth in the contest" Dickerson insisted. Attempting to mask his partisan rooting interest as purely a political junkie's thought exercise at how to make the 2016 contest more robust and exciting, Dickerson compared Warren to the role Newt Gingrich played in the 2008 primary contest and later argued that conservatives should cheer Warren entering the race because she would help "expose" the socialist bent of the donkey party or "bruise Clinton" sufficiently to give the GOP a stronger chance at retaking the Oval Office (emphasis mine):

July 17, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

Of the Big Three evenings newscasts for Thursday, July 17, only ABC's World News failed to mention that President Obama was attending two fundraisers in New York City as previously planned despite the day's events: a downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner in Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into the Gaza Strip.

CBS's Major Garrett mentioned in passing the president flying to New York for a fundraiser and a "political event," while NBC White House correspondent Chris Jansing noted her exchange with White House officials about the planned fundraiser and if the president would proceed with his attendance. The relevant transcript follows the page break (emphasis mine):

July 17, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

Texas State Senator and MSNBC heroine Wendy Davis is not doing that hot in the fundraising race as she pursues her shot for governor of the Lone Star state, the Daily Beast reported today.

"As if things weren’t going badly enough for Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate got caught inflating her campaign’s finances this week by counting a Willie Nelson concert as a contribution," reporter Ben Jacobs noted in the lead paragraph of his July 17 story, "Wendy Davis's Fundraising Fiasco." You can read the full story here, but here's an excerpt to give you a taste (emphasis mine):

July 16, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton was positively compared to not one but two beloved Republican presidents -- Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan -- in a July 16 Hardball segment praising the former secretary of state's interview with Jon Stewart and thinking through how the former secretary of state should make her pitch to the American people in the time between now and November 2016.

Huffington Post Media Group director Howard Fineman invoked Ike first (listen to the MP3 audio here):

July 16, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

During a segment attacking conservative Republicans who have been critical of the Obama administration's handling of the border crisis, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an amusing Al Sharpton-like teleprompter moment, repeatedly trying, and failing, to pronounce "dengue fever." It's curious that Matthews, who once served in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, seems unfamiliar with the term, given how prevalent the disease is in many sub-Saharan African countries -- although not Swaziland itself.

The flub occurred as Matthews read for his guests -- California Democratic Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Juan Vargas -- a portion of a letter that Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) sent to the Atlanta-based federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about his "concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control." Watch the clip below the page break.

July 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

On page A7 of the July 16 paper, Washington Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin hacked out 12 paragraphs of goo over President Obama's Tuesday visit to the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va., where he "[made] a case for pouring more federal funds in U.S. infrastructure" and also got behind the wheel of "a self-driving car stationed at a simulator." "Man, this is so exciting.... I haven't been on the road in a long time," Eilperin quoted the president, who added a 1980s pop-culture reference. "It was sort of like 'Knight Rider,' Eilperin quoted Obama, noting  that it "[prompted] laughter from a crowd of nearly 200 of the center's employees."

One person not chuckling, however, was John Foust. He's the Fairfax County Democrat running for Congress in the district where the facility is located. The Weekly Standard notes that the Democrat was curiously absent from the presidential visit, eschewing the opportunity for a photo op with the president in a district Obama carried twice (but which is represented currently by Republican Barbara Comstock  retiring Republican Congressman Frank Wolf):

July 15, 2014, 9:03 PM EDT

As my colleagues have been documenting throughout the day, both NBC and MSNBC have had their share of biased segments against Israel on their Tuesday programs.

So it was rather refreshing to see Hardball host Chris Matthews defend the United States's staunchest -- and only truly democratic -- Middle Eastern ally in his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for the July 15 program. You can read the transcript below the page break (MP3 audio here, video follows page break; emphasis mine):

July 14, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

Although more subdued compared to his June 18 anti-Dick Cheney diatribe, MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned on his Monday, July 14 program once again to his unhealthy, creepy obsession with the former vice president. The relevant news hook was what Matthews derided as a "Cheney family offensive," referring to a Politico Playbook lunch event held earlier in the day in Washington, D.C., featuring Cheney, wife Lynne, and daughter Liz.

"Cheney, who was the number one force pushing was on the American people, said he's sticking to his tragic position of 2003," Matthews groused before playing a clip of Cheney saying he "believed it in then" and "looking back on it now, it was the right thing to do." "What did anyone expect, is what I have to say," Matthews huffed, adding, "Is it news that Dick Cheney [chay-nee] is Dick Cheney [chee-nee]?"

July 11, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

The folks at msnbc.com are absolutely confounded that a new Texas voter ID law does NOT permit the usage of out-of-state driver's licenses to establish one's identity for voting. 

"Even an out-of-state driver's license is not an acceptable form of ID under the law," whines a caption for an item on the network's Facebook page, promoting an article by Zachary Roth about a federal lawsuit challenging the Lone Star State's law. I found this on my Facebook page earlier this afternoon. As you can see in the screen capture below the page break, the network actually paid money to promote this particular post as sponsored content. 

July 10, 2014, 9:12 PM EDT

Of the Big Three network newscasts for this evening, only CBS's Evening News covered how Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) threatened lawsuit against President Obama came a step closer to fruition today.

The relevant transcript follows the page break:

July 10, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

There were three developments in the IRS-targets-the-Tea Party scandal in the past two days, all individually meriting coverage on their own right but, taken together as a package are most definitely newsworthy. Despite this, neither ABC's World News nor the CBS Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News spared even a second of coverage to them on their July 10 broadcasts.

By contrast, time was made to cover stories like country artist Garth Brooks's return to the industry (ABC), the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues (CBS), and a baby boom in Washington, D.C., nine months after the government shutdown (NBC). Both NBC and ABC briefly mentioned the Emmy Awards nominations and all three broadcasts had time to note the passing of modeling agency executive Eileen Ford. 

July 9, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT

Miracles do happen. 

On his July 9 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually pressed abortion-rights absolutist Stephanie Schriock about the implications of her support for Democratic legislation to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. But Matthews put the EMILY's List president on the spot by asking if her position amounted to telling religious employers that they simply have to swallow their religious scruples in order to not run afoul of the law. Bullying religious Americans over their sincere beliefs is hardly a picture one wants painted of one's self, so Schriock sought to avoid the questions and double down on talking points. Here's the relevant transcript (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break; emphases mine):

July 9, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

Yesterday 39 representatives from various journalist trade groups, coordinated by the Society of Professional Journalists, shot off an open letter to President Obama criticizing the "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies" that has occurred on his watch. [h/t Washington Examiner]

"The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring 'a new era of openness' to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about," the missive lamented, going on to detail a few examples before "ask[ing] that you issue a clear directive telling federal employees they’re not only free to answer questions from reporters and the public, but actually encouraged to do so" and, moreover to:

July 8, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT

As my colleague Clay Waters noted, the New York Times finally caught up with the Washington Free Beacon's month-old scoop about an audiotape recording of Hillary Clinton chuckling as she recalled her successful 1975 defense of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl. Perhaps because there was no longer any plausible deniability about the existence of the story, MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight devoted a segment to the controversy, bringing on Bernard Center founder Michelle Bernard and Salon's Joan Walsh to discuss the matter. While all three agreed that the controversy would in no way sink Mrs. Clinton's 2016 prospects, Walsh was particularly vociferous in her defense of Clinton, while Matthews and Bernard were critical of the former first lady. At one point, a testy Walsh charged Bernard with twisting the facts of the story.

"Look, Chris, it's not a fun tape to listen to, I'm not going to try to sugarcoat it," Walsh began, but this was simply a case of Mrs. Clinton doing her job. The accused rapist was simply fortunate to have in Mrs. Clinton a "good" defense attorney. But, "[i]s it laughable that you got a rapist off for raping a 12-year-old? Why is she laughing?" Matthews demanded of Walsh, who countered (emphasis mine):

July 7, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "in July of 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the 26th Amendment into law, making 18 the [minimum] age to vote." The Hardball host made this pronouncement as he introduced a segment attacking new legislation in North Carolina which liberal activists charge violates that Amendment.

But of course, it's patently false that Nixon signed the amendment "into law." Indeed, no president signs any ratified amendment into law. Ratified amendments take effect immediately either "when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof," depending on which manner the Congress proposed when introducing the amendment. What Nixon did on July 5, 1971 was witness the certification by the administration of the General Services Administration that the requisite three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures had ratified the Amendment. From Nixon's remarks that day, via the American Presidency Project (emphasis mine; YouTube video below page break):

July 7, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

The economy is going gangbusters but Americans are not psyched about it like they should be because President Obama isn't doing a great sales job. That and Republican businessmen are sitting around in their boardrooms conspiring how they can "talk down" the economy and make us all think it sucks.

That, in a nutshell, is how Hardball host Chris Matthews explained away President Obama's poor approval on the economy with the public on his July 7 program. After hailing the sunny optimism of Democratic presidents past like FDR and JFK and noting that Republican President Ronald Reagan evinced the same optimism with his 1984 reelection campaign's "Morning in America" TV spots, Matthews asked guest and former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) [listen to MP3 audio here; video follows page break]: