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
November 3, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

Tea Party members, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan wants you to know that he’s just like you.

Except of course that he’s not a pyromaniacal lunatic hell-bent on destroying America.

That’s how the MSNBC anchor leaned forward, no, make that leaped, into insanity during a November 3 segment with Nicolle Wallace. The former George W. Bush staffer told Ratigan that, like him, Tea Partiers who fueled last night's electoral shakeup were furious at the direction of the country the past few years.

November 2, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

Liberal Democrats in the past few weeks have been pounding the message that massive infusions of "secret" money into independently-run political advertising have a detrimental effect on Democrats democracy. The media have done their level best to amplify that complaint.

But is knowing the identity of political advertising donors really a huge issue to swing voters?

By and large, no, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

Of course that polling data didn't make it into today's front-page piece by Dan Balz  entitled "Democrats bracing for losses."

Instead it appeared in the print edition on page A6 in Chris Cillizza's "Trail Mix" feature, adapted from a November 1 "The Fix" blog post:

November 2, 2010, 11:13 AM EDT

Democrats have worked overtime attempting to paint Tea Party-backed candidates as politically extreme, personally nutty, or both. But  in most cases it doesn't appear to be working, and it's even backfired in Kentucky's Senate race, a Newsweek writer admitted yesterday.

November 1, 2010, 4:28 PM EDT

In early September, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was raked over the coals by her Democratic opponent Terry Goddard and by the mainstream media for a statement she had made about decapitated bodies found in the Arizona desert due to illegal immigration.

"It's a good bill. We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings," Brewer said in a debate. "Which beheadings in Arizona were you referring to?" a reporter asked. "Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer replied.

While there had been numerous gruesome discoveries of decapitated bodies in Mexico related to Mexican drug trade, at that point there had been evidence of such gang-related beheadings on Arizonan soil. The media made it up to be a mini-scandal at the time.

Fast forward a littler over a month to October 10, and the discovery of the decapitated body of one Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy in his suburban Phoenix apartment.

Since that time, the Associated Press reported a few days ago,  "One man suspected in the killing has been arrested, and a manhunt is under way for three others":

November 1, 2010, 3:10 PM EDT

Although the Rally to Restore Sanity definitely had a decidedly liberal tinge to it, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart did his level best to ensure his official message was that of "a pox on both your houses" to raised voices on the Right and Left in cable news media.

Of course the thin-skinned host of MSNBC's "Countdown"  won't have any of it, leaving liberal fans of both Stewart and Olbermann torn between the two.

For his part, equally thin-skinned and mercurial Joe Klein sided with Stewart in a Swampland blog post at Time.com today:

October 30, 2010, 11:31 PM EDT

As even the editors of the liberal Washington Post admitted today, the Maryland state constitution is a lengthy, arcane monstrosity ripe for replacement.

But today the paper urged its well-educated subscriber base in the Old Line State to reject a ballot question that, if approved, would authorize a state constitutional convention, delegates to which would be elected by the people of the state.

The chief reason: constitution writing apparently is too delicate a task to leave to ignorant laymen.

October 29, 2010, 3:08 PM EDT

Liberal Democrats love to couch increased government spending as "investments." It's smart political marketing, but it's a less-than-truthful spin on what government spending is or does. When's the last time you got a dividend check from your state government giving you your share of the "profit" from a road or bridge project?

But it's when journalists buy into that spin that we at NewsBusters really have a problem.

Take the Baltimore Sun, which today told readers that while rivals Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and former Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) are focused on the economy in their closing campaign pitches, "Ehrlich wants tax cuts; O'Malley wants more investment."

Noted Annie Linskey in a story filed on BaltimoreSun.com last night (emphasis mine):

October 28, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

Actor and former Obama White House staffer Kal Penn joined Alyssa Milano and a handful of other actors in a short video urging "Funny or Die" website visitors to take time to vote next Tuesday, comparing the time it would take to do so with "much worse ways to spend 10 minutes," like "talk[ing] to your parents about the first time they had sex." [h/t blogger Robert Stacy McCain]

"That is a long ten minutes," Eric McCormack deadpanned in response.

But far from being a simple "do your civic duty and vote" PSA, the video skews leftward, taking thinly-veiled swipes at social conservatives and Tea Party voters.

It takes about ten minuts to "listen to your stupid uncle talk about the dangers of gay marriage," actor Eriq LaSalle noted.

October 27, 2010, 12:11 PM EDT

As I noted yesterday in my NB Extra piece, in an October 26 editorial listing endorsements for the Montgomery County [Md.] Council, the Washington Post erroneously stated that the incumbent County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett (D) was unopposed in his reelection bid.

That simply is not true, and the Post today issued a correction noting that Leggett does indeed face a challenge, from Republican Doug Rosenfeld.

Yet in today's correction notice, the Post noted that it will print an "editorial on that contest... in the coming days."

The Post most certainly has a right to make such an endorsement, but considering its gross negligence in the first place, should the paper opt simply to refuse to make an endorsement?

A search of the Nexis database from September 15 (the day after the primary election) through October 27 found just two mentions of Rosenfeld. The second was today's correction notice and the first was the very last paragraph of Metro section reporter Michael Laris's September 15 roundup of local primary election results:

October 26, 2010, 6:31 PM EDT

Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.

Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.

Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division --  also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.

October 26, 2010, 5:54 PM EDT

Today the Washington Post editorial board gave endorsements in Montgomery County [Md.] Council and Board of Education races. The latter are nonpartisan contests.

Of the seven endorsements for the former, the Post awarded only one to a Republican, Robin Uncapher, whom the Post lauded for being "a calm, clear-eyed centrist with a sensible approach to moderating spending."

While the Post noted that three of its endorsees "face weak Republican challengers," the Post erroneously noted that the sitting "County Executive Isiah Leggett, a Democrat, is running unopposed."

But this is simply untrue. Leggett is opposed by Republican nominee Doug Rosenfeld, who told local news radio station WTOP that he was "was shocked but not surprised" and deemed the omission "an intentional action."

As of 5:45 p.m. today, the error remains uncorrected in the online edition. [Screen capture after page break]


 

October 26, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

Comparing her latest campaign spot to a "Hitler Youth commercial," "The View" co-host Joy Behar angrily pronounced that Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) is a "bitch" who will "go to Hell" for her ad.

While none of the four co-hosts agreed with the tone of Angle's ad, Behar was the most vicious in her attack on Angle, calling her a "moron" and insisting she should try out her campaign rhetoric in the south Bronx [Video embedded after the page break]:

October 26, 2010, 10:56 AM EDT

Update (15:20 EDT): Fargo, N.D.-based radio host  friend of NewsBusters Rob Port takes on this Newsweek item on his Say Anything blog today and eviscerates David Graham's article as error-laden and grossly misleading.

Newsweek -- the floundering weekly news magazine that was recently sold for the princely sum of $1.00 -- apparently assigns a pretty low value on the intelligence of its readers. Take yesterday's online article by David Graham on the reelection campaign of the at-large congressman for North Dakota: "Meet Earl Pomeroy, the Moderate Democrat Touting His Health-Reform Vote."

"Can one Blue Dog’s unorthodox ad strategy localize his election and head off the demise of another incumbent?" asked the subheadline.

Of course, both the moderate and Blue Dog tags bring to mind a Democrat that perhaps agrees with the liberal leadership of his party about half of the time, but is fairly independent and conservative-minded on a whole host of issues. Trouble is, this is precisely what Pomeroy is not, according to both the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the American Conservative Union (ACU).

October 25, 2010, 4:08 PM EDT

In a segment shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today looking at how much President Obama has aged in the two years since winning the presidential election, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and guest Douglas Brinkley concluded that the commander-in-chief needs to take it easy more often. 

The MSNBC host and the liberal presidential historian also blamed the amount of stress President Obama faces in office on unrealistic expectations Americans may have about his handling of the economy (emphases mine):

October 25, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

For Eleanor Clift, the dream will never die. At least not until after all the polls close on November 2.

The uber-liberal Newsweek contributor presses Democrats to "Keep Dreaming" in an October 25 post at the magazine's website.

Clift insists that it is possible that Democrats can get their base motivated enough to keep Republicans from taking the House:

October 21, 2010, 6:07 PM EDT

 MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan is apparently so intent on depicting Republican candidates for office as stupid that he's willing to make asinine assertions to do it.

Today in his "Ads Gone Bad" segment, Ratigan falsely insisted that an ad by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) attacking his Democratic opponent Rep. Charlie Melancon communicated to viewers that "illegal immigrants [were] crossing the border into Louisiana."

Ratigan showed a clip of the Vitter campaign ad and then quipped:

October 21, 2010, 3:08 PM EDT

As an answer to MSNBC's new vacuous "Lean Forward" promo campaign, Fox News Channel has worked up a few promos of its own to knock the lower-rated rival network.

"In this country, we don't stand still, we don't lean, we move forward," goes the tag line for one. Another promo spot declares, "We don’t stand around, we don’t lean against a wall, we break the wall down. We move… Forward."

Fox's move is a "study in pointlessness," media and advertising blogger Catharine P. Taylor groused today at Bnet.com, the website for the CBS business interactive network:

October 21, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

"All this week on 'The World Today,' we're taking a close look at why it is that women are feeling the credit crunch more than men around the world," BBC presenter Komla Dumor told listeners of the October 21 Global News podcast, adding that "one obvious reason is that they're starting from a disadvantaged position in society and in many cultures around the world, that position of disadvantage is sanctioned by religion."

That's hard to dispute, given the role that radical Islam has in treating women in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as, at best, second-class citizens.

But of course radical Islam was not put on the defensive by the BBC today, Catholicism was.

October 20, 2010, 5:59 PM EDT

When it comes to so-called Super PACs spending money on TV ads targeting swing House districts, the Baltimore Sun seems to care a lot more about who's behind Republican ones than Democratic operations.

Yesterday I noted how Sun staffer Paul West wrote about a PAC running ads against freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.).

West portrayed the PAC's ads as a clever end-run around campaign contribution limits for Baltimore-area businessman Daniel Schuster.

Yet in a blog post yesterday afternoon entitled "Democratic 'Super PAC' dropping $400K hit on Andy Harris,"  West was decidedly uncurious about the motives animating donors behind America's Families First Action Fund, which is running ads opposing Kratovil's Republican opponent, Dr. Andy Harris.

October 20, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

The liberal mainstream media have a penchant for hyping all manner of "green" technology advances while ignoring their drawbacks and opportunity costs.

Perhaps they could learn a few lessons from some University of Maryland student writers for the Diamondback such as Erin Egan.

[For full disclosure, I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2001 and wrote columns for the Diamondback when a student there.]

Writing in yesterday's paper, Egan detailed the failures of the university dining halls' move to biodegradable carry-out containers made from bagasse, a byproduct of sugar cane processing: