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
February 11, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

The Washington Post Style section mounted its latest favorite hobby horse again this morning with yet another article devoted to the controversial "Hide/Seek" Smithsonian exhibit, which is closing this Sunday.

NewsBusters sister organization CNSNews.com broke the story in late November that sparked the controversy. You can read that story here.

Shortly after Penny Starr's story, the Gallery removed an offensive video entitled "Fire In My Belly," which featured among other things a depiction of ants crawling on a crucifix. The decision to remove the video was decried as censorship by liberal critics, a criticism magnified by the Post's Style section coverage of the row.

February 10, 2011, 5:19 PM EST

It's apparently all the rage this week among mainstream media religion features to hype the unorthodox views of Boston University's Jennifer Wright Knust.

On Monday, Newsweek's Lisa Miller uncritically presented her readers with a summary of arguments from the professor's new book. The next day "On Faith," -- a joint Newsweek/Washington Post online religion news/comment feature -- published the first of a multi-part series of guest columns by Knust.

Yesterday, CNN's Belief Blog joined in, granting Knust a "My Take" blog post focused on attacking Scripture's teachings on homosexuality.

February 10, 2011, 11:59 AM EST

Today marks the opening of the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Regardless of where you may stand on internal debates about some of this year's co-sponsors, there's no denying that for nearly four decades its been an enduring legacy of conservative political activism.

But to liberal journalists like Time's Adam Sorensen, CPAC is casually dismissed as a "three-day carnival of Republican ladder-climbers and red meat throwers."

"Tea Party or no, red meat is always the entree du jour at these kinds of events," Sorensen noted later in his February 10 Swampland blog post. "In a year before a presidential election, speeches from potential candidates promise heaping helpings."

February 9, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

On Monday I noted how Newsweek religion writer Lisa Miller uncritically peddled the work of two religion scholars who argue that the Bible is not as restrictive on sexual mores as it's widely understood to be.

Yesterday, On Faith, a joint project of the Washington Post and Newsweek, granted one of those scholars, Boston University's Jennifer Wright Knust, what appears to be the first of a series of columns devoted to "Why the Bible can't dictate today's sexual morals." Knust's February 8 column aimed to debunk "biblical marriage" (emphasis mine):

February 8, 2011, 5:45 PM EST

In her aptly-titled ComPost blog yesterday, Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri defended pop star Christina Aguilera's botched rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner before Super Bowl XLV.

"She didn't botch the national anthem. Francis Scott Key did," Petri explained, griping that:

February 8, 2011, 1:10 PM EST

Say you're a journalist and you're writing a story on the retirement of an 9-term congresswoman with:

February 8, 2011, 12:15 PM EST

Maryland is a deep blue Democratic state, but it has a fair share of socially conservative voters who are not certain to approve of same-sex marriage if it were to be decided at the ballot box.

Even so, Washington Post staffer John Wagner failed to quote at least one state legislator opposed on principle to a bill to allow same-sex marriage in the Old Line State.

In his February 8 Metro section front-pager "Backers of gay marriage in Md. want no half measure,"* Wagner noted an openly-gay lawmaker who denounced a compromise civil unions bill as a "non-starter." Later in the article, Wagner quoted a moderate Republican state senator who lamented that his preference for civil unions would go nowhere, so he's given in and backs passage of a same-sex marriage bill.

February 7, 2011, 5:38 PM EST

Leave it to the religion writer who sees the Jesus of the Bible as "typically cranky" to give credence to "scholars" who argue the Bible considers gay and/or premarital sex perfectly kosher.

In her February 6 post, "What the Bible Really Says About Sex," Miller noted that "[t]wo new books written by university scholars for a popular audience try to answer this question.":

February 7, 2011, 10:59 AM EST

On Thursday evening I noted news reports that the Fox entertainment network would not air an ad by a Christian website, LookUp316 -- referring of course to John 3:16 -- during Super Bowl XLV.

So I was pleasantly surprised last night to find that Fox did air the ad after all, just before the beginning of the 4th quarter of the game.

USA Today religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman was also surprised, telling her readers in a February 7 post that she has to look into what made network executives change their mind.

[To view the ad, click play on the embedded video posted after the page break]

February 4, 2011, 4:03 PM EST

In a recent interview with Matt Frei for BBC Radio 4's  January 30 "Americana" program, liberal actor Richard Dreyfuss complained that America has been downcast with a "delusionary despair" since the day his hero President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

"I don't think we'll ever grow up until we face the anguish and face the loss of what we felt that day," Dreyfuss lamented.

[Link to MP3 audio follow page break]

February 3, 2011, 5:33 PM EST

Apparently the Fox entertainment network, which will broadcast Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, rejected an ad for LookUp316.com, as in the biblical verse John 3:16,  because it "[advances] particular beliefs or practices." [h/t Big Hollywood]

However the ad itself -- see the embedded video below -- doesn't proselytize, it merely depicts a man watching a football game looking up "John 3:16" on his smart phone's Web browser after seeing the verse referenced in a player's eye black.

"LookUp316.com: A Message of Hope," reads the commercial's closing frames.

 

February 3, 2011, 3:39 PM EST

"If the majority [of the U.S. Supreme Court] agrees with [Judge Roger] Vinson, President Obama would find not only his health care bill undone, but also face the most significant scaling back of the government's power to use legislation to solve its problems in decades," Time's Michael Lindenberger warned in a February 2 post at the magazine's website.

To reach such a conclusion, however, Lindenberger must have misunderstood Vinson's ruling on Monday in State of Florida v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, which sought not to "turn back the clock" on commerce clause interpretation but merely prevent its overextension into an unprecedented and dangerous arena: forcing Americans to buy private health insurance under the flimsy illogic that such economic inactivity actually amounts to commercial activity.

"I am required to interpret this law as the Supreme Court presently defines it. Only the Supreme Court can redefine or expand it further," Vinson noted on page 43 of his 78 page opinion. The Reagan appointee noted that no less legislative authorities than the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office have found Congress requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance under penalty of law to be "novel" and "unprecedented"

February 2, 2011, 4:41 PM EST

Can you imagine a Huffington Post headline entitled, "Secular Liberals Need to Understand the Role of Faith in American Politics"?

Given the website's history of telling Christian conservative leaders to "go to Hell," celebrating the decline of Christianity in Great Britain, or trashing the Catholic Church, it's not very likely.

But yesterday morning the Huffington Post ran a piece by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies' Dalia Mogahed -- entitled "U.S. Must Understand the Constructive Role of Faith in Egypt's Democratic Aspirations" -- aimed at quieting fears of many Americans that the radical Muslim Brotherhood could have a controlling interest in Egypt's government post-Mubarak:

February 2, 2011, 3:43 PM EST

Yesterday the pro-life activists at Live Action released a video of a sting operation they conducted at a Planned Parenthood office in New Jersey. The video clearly shows the office manager giving counsel to a couple posing as pimp and prostitute who claimed to have minors employed as prostitutes, some from out of the country.

The edited video presentation can be found here and the unedited footage can be found here.

Yet despite the shocking content of the video, neither ABC, NBC, nor CBS covered the story in their February 1 evening news programs. Likewise the February 2 "Good Morning America," "Today," and "CBS Early Show" also failed to cover the story.

February 1, 2011, 3:50 PM EST

Halfway through her 2 p.m. "NewsNation" program today, MSNBC's Tamron Hall interviewed liberal ObamaCare supporter Ron Pollack about yesterday's court ruling in State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, that struck down the 2010 health care overhaul to be unconstitutional in its entirety.

Hall failed to bring on a representative from the other side of the dispute, even though there are 26 state attorneys general to choose from for that purpose, not to mention any number of conservative legal scholars who could defend the conservative position on the matter.

What's more, Hall failed to challenge any of the complaints Pollack raised, such as his lament that although Judge Roger Vinson dwelt mostly on the "individual mandate" provision that forces Americans to buy health insurance under penalty of law, he ruled the entirety of the 906-page "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" unconstitutional.

January 31, 2011, 5:04 PM EST

As I've noted previously, the Washington Post has repeatedly buried stories about Steven Rattner's late legal woes with the SEC and then-N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The former Obama's "car czar," was accused last year of bribing "a political consultant to win business from New York's pension fund for his former investment firm." The liberal Democratic financier subsequently worked out settlements with the SEC and the state of New York in November and December of last year respectively. In the SEC settlement, Rattner agreed to "a two-year ban from associating with investment advisors or broker dealers" although Rattner "admit[ted] no wrong doing." The agreement with the state of New York came with a similar "a five-year ban from working with any New York public pension fund."

Well, today Rattner got some ink in the Washington Post in a much more favorable form: an op-ed he penned wherein he defended Obama's 2009 stimulus package.

January 31, 2011, 3:27 PM EST

The Daily Beast contributor who once insisted that there's "no such thing as sharia law" is at it again, dismissing the threat of radical Islam presented by the political instability in Egypt.

In a January 30 post at Washington Post/Newsweek's "On Faith" feature yesterday, Reza Aslan dismissed fears that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical group that could take Egypt in a theocratic direction should strongman Hosni Mubarak be forcibly ousted from power, even though members of the Brotherhood have expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden.

Aslan, a creative writing professor at the University of California Riverside, particularly singled out two socially conservative Republicans who are rumored 2012 presidential contenders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.):

January 31, 2011, 10:18 AM EST

Last fall, Richard Dreyfuss launched a civics education program called the Dreyfuss Initiative that promised among other things to look at "a purposeful diverse variety of websites representing disparate political opinions... to foster a discussion related to the future of America." But the Academy Award-winning actor apparently thinks civil political discourse includes left-wing radio hosts wishing for Dick Cheney's death.

At a January 25 press conference at the National Press Club, CNSNews.com's* Nicholas Ballasy asked Dreyfuss about comments that liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz had made on his March 11, 2009 radio program wherein he wished that "enemy of the country" former Vice President Dick Cheney would be taken by God to "the Promised Land."

"No, that’s not uncivil. That’s actually kind of a beautifully phrased way of saying something that could be uncivil," Dreyfuss told Ballasy.

[For the full video, click play on the embed that follows after the page break]

January 28, 2011, 3:24 PM EST

Promising his Twitter followers a look at "Rand Paul's Abortion Hypocrisy," Newsweek staffer Ben Adler linked to a January 28 story he wrote for the magazine's The Gaggle blog misleadingly entitled "Rand Paul Wants to Ban Abortions and End Birthright Citizenship."

January 26, 2011, 3:02 PM EST

"[F]or all the surface civility [of the State of the Union], Obama wants to pick a fight, or at least draw a stark contrast, between his jobs-centric philosophy and the GOP’s determination to cut government first and ask questions later."

That's how Politico's Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown described the main difference between the president and his Republican congressional opposition in a story filed early Wednesday morning.

Of course, Obama's State of the Union address carried a fresh call for soaking the nation's richest taxpayers and plowing millions into white elephant spending projects such as high-speed rail, but it apparently didn't occur to Thrush and Budoff Brown that Obama's prescription may be to "grow government first and ignore questions later" given the failure of the first stimulus package of his administration.