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
April 30, 2010, 5:47 PM EDT
Updated with audio and video (18:25 EDT)

Picking up on a story from Louisiana about a bill to allow concealed carry for firearms in houses of worship, MSNBC's Tamron Hall asked viewers of the network's live coverage shortly before 3 p.m. EDT today if the legislation was "Crossing the Line."

True to the segment's formula, only one side of the controversy was represented in the form of a guest to discuss the matter, in this case, an opponent of the bill, State Rep. Barbara Norton (D). [full interview audio here; click play button on embed at right for video]

While Hall did ask Norton to react to a quote by bill sponsor State Rep. Henry Burns (R), she failed to ask Norton why she believed it was proper for the state to issue a top-down one-size-fits-all gun ban for houses of worship, as dictated by current law.

After all, as New Orleans Times-Picayune capital bureau staffer Ed Anderson reported yesterday, the bill does not require churches to allow parishioners to carry concealed and parishioners must be notified by church officers prior to any move to adopt a security force or allow concealed carry by worshipers:

April 30, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

"After a recent NEWSWEEK article angered many young abortion-rights activists, we gathered a roundtable to discuss the future of the movement," the magazine noted on its Web site today.

The recent article in question was Sarah Kliff's April 16 Web-published article "Remember Roe!", in which the writer lamented the "lack of passion" among millennial generation pro-choicers. 

Apparently Kliff's conclusions raised a bit of a stink amongst pro-choice activists, so Newsweek set about to appease the pro-choice movement by hosting and then posting the results of an online pow-wow of pro-choicers:

April 30, 2010, 11:33 AM EDT

Last August, Maryland state delegate Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County), nephew of the state's junior U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D), proposed marriage to his girlfriend. But unlike normal folks who might propose via the jumbotron at the ball park or by having a waiter slip the diamond ring in a champagne flute, Del. Cardin decided to get the local cops to help arrest his woman's heart -- by staging a "boat raid" complete with a police helicopter.

Cardin later apologized and cut a check for costs associated with that stunt, but in a follow-up story in today's Baltimore Sun, staff writer Peter Hermann's article tackled the question, "Did state delegate pay enough for helicopter stunt?"

Unfortunately for the reader, nowhere in Hermann's 18-paragraph story was Cardin's party affiliation disclosed, even though Cardin is up for reelection this fall. Meanwhile, the young state delegate's stunt has hurt the career of a Baltimore police sergeant that foolishly complied with the delegate's request:

April 29, 2010, 2:37 PM EDT

Gov. Charlie Crist "goes it alone in his bid for Senate," the Miami Herald noted in its headline today for a story about the Florida governor's plan to ditch his floundering attempt to secure the GOP Senate nomination in favor of an independent run.

The story by Herald staffers Steve Bousquet, Adam C. Smith and Beth Reinhard painted Crist in a sympathetic light as a misunderstood statesman who's become a "pariah" to his party and has thus been "forced to run an unconventional race" (emphases mine):

Gov. Charlie Crist, a pariah in the Republican Party that has been vital to his success, will launch a risky political career Thursday as a ``people's candidate'' for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation.

Crist began telling campaign donors of his decision Wednesday, which he will announce at 5 p.m. at Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg, surrounded by family members, friends, local supporters and an army of media personnel. It will be an extraordinary event in Florida's colorful political history, as a one-term governor who blew a 30-point lead in the Republican Senate primary is forced to run an unconventional race.

April 29, 2010, 11:39 AM EDT

It's no secret that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was a major obstacle to a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, but Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin at least buried that fact in today's 18-paragraph page A6 story on the Obama administration approving the first offshore wind farm in the United States.

In the lead paragraph, Eilperin hailed the announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as "a move that could pave the way for significant offshore wind development elsewhere in the nation."

Yet Eilperin waited until the 14th paragraph to note that the project, "split the Democratic Party" when it was proposed in 2001 because Kennedy, "whose family compound overlooks the sound, fought it, with criticism of its aesthetics and its effects on fishing and boating."

Of course Eilperin devoted a significant part of her article to relaying the objections of other opponents of the Cape Wind project, liberal activists who tossed out the predictable boilerplate liberal invective against Big Business...:

April 28, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, a sympathetic Monica Novotny interviewed anti-obesity activist Meme Roth about a new law in Santa Clara County, California, banning the distribution of free toys in kids meals at fast food restaurants.

That's right, the food police have a warrant out for Ronald McDonald.

But rather than include a voice of dissent to challenge Roth on the government-expanding, free enterprise-attacking nature of the law, Novotny tried to tinker around the edges, wondering if it might be better to encourage restaurants to put free toys in healthier kids meal options. [full interview embedded at right, click here for MP3 audio]

Roth dismissed that notion as a "bribe" to get kids to adopt healthier eating habits, although she also absurdly argued that:

April 27, 2010, 6:14 PM EDT

Daniel Coughlin photo by Susan Walsh of the Associated Press | NewsBusters.orgAs Father Daniel Coughlin marks 10 years of ministry as the chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Washington Post found an occasion to suggest to readers that Republicans who now praise the priest's service as the first-ever Catholic to hold the post have overcome a prejudice against the Catholic Church.

"In the beginning, there was partisanship," staff writer Ben Pershing began his April 27 article with a clever homage to the opening line of Genesis, but flash forward to last week and behold, "lawmakers from both parties streamed onto the House floor to honor [Coughlin's] of service."

Pershing explained to readers that back in 2000, another Catholic priest, Timothy J. O'Brien, "had more support on the [bipartisan chaplain search] committee" than Presbyterian minister Charles Wright, the candidate whom then-House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) picked to replace outgoing House chaplain, Rev. James Ford, a Lutheran.

"Democrats suggested that Hastert's choice might reflect an anti-Catholic bias among Republicans," Pershing noted, adding that a "furious" Hastert then "urged Wright to withdraw" and then named Father Coughlin, a priest who had not been among the finalists, as the new House chaplain.

But Pershing left out a more plausible and decidedly less sinister explanation for why Hastert picked Wright in the first place, something that Post staffer Bill Broadway noted in his February 19, 2000 article, "Holy War in the House" (excerpt below via Nexis, emphasis mine):

April 23, 2010, 5:56 PM EDT

That damned closed primary system and its penchant for drawing conservatives to the polls!

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter fixed blame for John McCain's newfound conservative streak and abandonment of the "maverick" status that drove the media gaga back in 2000 -- when he was a challenger on George Bush's left on taxes and campaign finance reform -- on the strong Senate primary challenge the senator is receiving from his right in former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

In an April 23 The Gaggle blog post, Alter scolded McCain for being "willing to deport all of his principles" but found a way to lay the blame on the electoral system in Arizona:

April 21, 2010, 6:02 PM EDT

Last month I noted Newsweek's Liz White's complaint about the term "ObamaCare" being used as shorthand for the Democratic health care legislation. White griped that the term was "ominous-sounding" and favored by the legislation's conservative opponents as reasons why mainstream media outlets should eschew the term.

Now a full 27 days later, White is back at it with her complaint about the term "ObamaCare." This time, she's citing none other than liberal Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to back her up:

On Tuesday night's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Stewart discussed a new book, A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes, with its author, John O’Hara. O’Hara drops the O word—"Obamacare"—several minutes into the discussion about whether the tea-party movement is or is not antigovernment.

Stewart immediately jumps on O’Hara’s slip, calling him out on using the “derogatory” phrase and firing back by referring to O’Hara’s book as a “tea-bagger book.” O’Hara stammers for a few seconds and tries to defend his word choice, but concedes to calling it the health-reform bill instead. (It’s a law, by the way.)

Last month, I took on this same issue. Should the bill be called Obamacare, or is that phrase, as Stewart puts it, derogatory by nature? 

April 21, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

A Sarasota, Florida, doctor recently lost his medical license on the basis of an error he made in 2006 in an abortion procedure where he mistakenly took the life of the healthier fraternal twin of a boy diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome.

In covering the story, most media outlets have noted that Dr. Matthew Kachinas aborted "the wrong baby." 

Baptist theologian and radio program host Dr. Albert Mohler took the airwaves on his April 19 program to discuss both the case in question and the media's coverage thereof.

Here's what he said about the latter at the opening of Monday's program:

Last week I saw a news story that simply stopped me in my tracks, and I wrote about it at AlbertMohler.com, an article entitled, "Aborting the 'Wrong' Baby?" There's a question mark at the end of that question. It has to do with a news story that came out of Florida.

Dr. Matthew Kachinas had been stripped of his medical license last week by a Florida medical review board for -- and this is how the media discussed it -- for aborting the wrong baby.

April 20, 2010, 5:35 PM EDT
While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.

Last week it was liberal Post columnist Dana Milbank snarking about how the nuclear summit was closed off to press scrutiny. Today it's Politico's Ben Smith, who shared with readers in a snarkily-headlined post "Most transparent White House ever," how (emphasis mine):

Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.

A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."

April 20, 2010, 1:06 PM EDT

"How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don't think abortion rights need defending?"

That's the question posed by the subheader to Sarah Kliff's article for the April 26 dead-tree edition of Newsweek entitled, "Remember Roe!"

You may recall Kliff as the Newsweek staffer who complained that the House of Representatives has an "anti-abortion rights majority."

In her April 26 piece, the Newsweek staff writer cranks up the melodrama volume knob to 11, lamenting that Democrats are not the reliable vehicle for the pro-abortion lobby that they were 30 years ago (emphasis mine):

April 19, 2010, 5:24 PM EDT
The political inclinations of Hollywood actors, when they're publicly disclosed, are almost always reliably left-of-center. As such, it's quite refreshing to learn of another conservative or libertarian in Tinseltown, especially when the celebrity in question is actively working to advance an understanding of constitutional principles and opposing big government.

Janine Turner ("Northern Exposure", "Friday Night Lights") is one such conservative actress. Inspired by the TEA Party movement, Ms. Turner started an organization called Constituting America.

Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling interviewed Turner on Friday's "Your World with Neil Cavuto." Turner discussed her "90 in 90" initiative which launches tomorrow on her foundation's Web site, ConstitutingAmerica.org.

You can watch the full interview by clicking the play button on the embed at right or listen to the audio by clicking here for the MP3.

April 19, 2010, 1:34 PM EDT

The "Eric Massa saga [is] just heating up," promises the headline for Jonathan Allen's April 19 Politico story about the latest development in the swift demise of the tickle-happy freshman Democrat:

For nearly a year, the allegations of scandalous activity in former Rep. Eric Massa’s office were kept quiet — by the congressman, by male aides who accuse him of sexually harassing them and by other congressional staff.

But with two aides coming forward last week to announce that they had filed harassment claims against the New York Democrat, charges and countercharges are exploding into full public view, ensuring that the Massa saga will not simply go away.

Instead, it will raise old questions about whether Congress is able to effectively police its own members and staff, and the degree to which staff members are responsible for — or even capable of — reining in lawmakers who are accused of abusing their power.

Of course, while I've no doubt that more sordid details of the scandal will drip out into the public consciousness between now and Election Day, I'm not anticipating that the mainstream media, at least the broadcast networks, are that interested in making hay of this matter, which doubtless may reflect poorly on the Democratic Party's management of the House of Representatives.

After all, as we have noted previously, there's a marked difference in how the initial coverage of Massa allegations differ from the media's drumbeat of the Mark Foley scandal. As NewsBusters editor-at-large Brent Baker noted in a March 5 blog post:

April 16, 2010, 4:34 PM EDT
"Ninety percent of the electronic media in this country is owned, operated, programmed and controlled by conservatives," MSNBC's Ed Schultz told the audience of a recent National Action Network panel discussion.

And just how did this happen?

According to Schultz, conservatives, "made a concerted effort during and before the Reagan years that they were going to get the microphone."

The Fairness Doctrine-supporting liberal talker went on to argue that conservative talk radio and Fox News are successful not because they appeal to what a broad swath of America is already thinking, but because it programs the thinking of the right from the top-down:

April 16, 2010, 12:17 PM EDT

Bonnie Erbe file photo from PBS.org | NewsBusters.orgDarn! She's on to us pro-lifers!

PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe has discovered the real eeeevil secret of the pro-life movement, which she unveiled in an April 15 post at the Thomas Jefferson Street blog on USNews.com (emphasis mine):

What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.

Erbe -- who argued last April that abortion was a good decision to make in a recession -- apparently felt compelled to lay out her conspiracy theory as a response to "Gov. Pawlenty's Offensive 'Abortion Recovery Month.'"

April 15, 2010, 12:29 PM EDT

Combining bleeding heart bluster with soak-the-rich envy, Newsweek's Ben Adler savaged liberal billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an April 14 The Gaggle blog post for his green-lighting city homeless shelters to levy a monthly rent on residents who hold down jobs:

Don't complain about your taxes today, they are surely less than the 44 percent of one's income that homeless New Yorkers are about to start paying.

New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is worth an estimated $17.5 billion, has announced that it is going to charge homeless people for staying in city housing shelters.

Adler went on to briefly cite the New York Daily News before snarking that "[a]nyone who has spent a minute in a homeless shelter knows better than to buy the preposterous idea that people who could afford an apartment would rather stay there."

Of course that's an unfair assessment of the argument for charging rent of homeless shelter residents who have jobs. From the Daily News article Adler himself cited (emphasis mine):

April 14, 2010, 11:53 AM EDT

In Howard Fineman's mind, the real "sordid" story behind the now infamous RNC/Voyeur Club kerfuffle is not the inappropriateness of the venue or the expensing of the outing on the donors' dime, but the whole system of raising money from large-dollar private donors in the first place.

The Newsweek writer complained in the April 19 print edition:

Talk about bondage. It feels like we are in thrall to cash and the pursuit of it as never before. I know senators in both parties who spend every spare minute in the soul-shrinking exercise of dialing for dollars. Donors are just as trapped. Once they're on a list, they're on every list. 

Fineman went on to add a new boilerplate complaint from the Left as well as to mourn the demise of the media's favorite Republican "campaign finance reformer":

April 13, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

Given the media's penchant for furthering populist anti-business rhetoric, especially when it comes to beleaguered industries like the airlines, I must confess it was a bit refreshing to see a mainstream journalist skeptical of a legislative push to stick it to the commercial aviation sector.

In her April 13 Swampland blog post, "Bashing the Airlines -- Always a Safe Political Bet," Time's Kate Pickert pointed out the illogical and populist silliness of a new bill before Congress aimed at punishing airliners that would charge passengers for carry-on bags (emphasis mine):

With family on the West Coast, I fly a lot and can attest that there is something to carry on about regarding carry ons. To ensure you'll find a place to put your bag once on board, you now have to stalk the gate – standing closer and closer to the ticket taker waiting for your “zone” to be called. Board the plane even slightly late and there's a good chance the overhead compartments will already be stuffed by the time you arrive on board with your bulging “small” suitcase.

Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to react, recently announcing they will charge passengers for carry on bags. Blasphemy! Cue the politics.