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
December 15, 2010, 4:29 PM EST

In an otherwise decent article in today's Washington Post, staffer Amy Goldstein suggested that the U.S. health insurance industry is ideologically conservative despite its support for the controversial and unconstitutional "individual mandate" provision of ObamaCare.

The relevant portion is found midway through her page A3 article, "Mandatory coverage moves to forefront of health-care debate":

The debate over whether the mandate is essential does not split neatly along ideological lines. The insurance industry, a part of the health-care system that the White House has vilified, shares the administration's view that the mandate must accompany other insurance rules in the law.

 

December 15, 2010, 1:07 PM EST

Tuesday's Washington Post print edition ran a front-page obituary for Richard Holbrooke which closed by noting that the veteran diplomat told his surgeon "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."

Of course numerous news outlets latched onto that quote. Leftist magazine Mother Jones even made the line their quote of the day late Monday evening as blogger Kevin Drum approvingly added in a December 13 post, "That would be a fitting memorial."

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But politicizing a dying man's last words has its risks. It turns out Holbrooke's exchange with his doctors taken out of context:

From Time magazine's Michael Crowley:

December 15, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

Yesterday my colleague Tim Graham noted how the Washington Post failed to report its most recent ABCNews-Washington Post opinion poll on President Obama's signature health care overhaul legislation.

This was despite the fact that the poll showed ObamaCare had fallen to "the lowest level of popularity ever" as ABC reporter Jake Tapper observed.

Today the Post continued to keep its poll findings from the print edition.

Of course, the Post was careful to front-page a story by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen on how, "In poll, many [are] still skeptical of GOP."

December 14, 2010, 1:35 PM EST

One tool that "obesity epidemic" alarmists have suggested for addressing how to trim Americans' waistlines has been to slap taxes on sugar-laden soft drinks.

The media have dutifully reported the notion from time to time when they're raised in different localities.

Now a new study by economist Eric Finkelstein finds that such a tax would have relatively little impact in terms of helping Americans slim down.

Time.com's Alice Park has the story at the magazine's Healthland blog, but I'm not holding my breath for major media outlets to report the findings (emphasis mine):

December 13, 2010, 5:23 PM EST

Earlier today, a federal district judge in the 4th Circuit found the individual mandate section of the ObamaCare law unconstitutional.

Tribune Newspapers Washington bureau writers Noam N. Levey and David G. Savage wrote up the 19-paragraph story, which I accessed at LATimes.com.

Levey and Savage waited until the 12th and 13th paragraphs to actually quote U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson:

December 13, 2010, 12:36 PM EST

Ever since Justice Samuel Alito mouthed "not true" after an inaccurate partisan applause line at President Obama's State of the Union address earlier this year, some in the mainstream media have been keen on presenting the conservative wing of the Supreme Court as partisan political actors with an eye on sticking it to the Obama administration wherever possible.

Today, New York Daily News writer Richard Sisk dusted off the meme in a short item chock full of loaded language painting Alito and Chief Justice Roberts in a negative light (emphasis mine) for opting to "boycott" the 2011 State of the Union Address:

December 10, 2010, 4:25 PM EST

Most of the news coverage I've seen of yesterday's violent demonstrations against a hike in tuition fees in London's Parliament Square portrayed it as a show of strength of student protesters.

Yet while there were doubtless numerous students protesting, left-wing and anarchist groups have easily glommed onto the occasion to hijack formerly peaceful demonstrations for their trouble-making purposes.

Kudos to Newsweek's William Underhill for noting as much in his November 10 article at the magazine's website:

December 10, 2010, 3:51 PM EST

President Obama is a nice, moral family man. Too bad he has to deal with wild-eyed ideologues in the congressional GOP.

That's the sentiment of Eleanor Clift's December 10 Newsweek.com piece, "Filling In the Blanks," which examines where the president stands in the public's perception at the midway through his term in office.

As is standard operating procedure for Clift, Republicans and conservatives are cast in a negative light while Obama is humanized and dealt with very sympathetically. Here's how Clift opened her piece (emphases mine):

December 9, 2010, 3:27 PM EST

Shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, Time's Michael Scherer laid out his reasons why he believed Democrats would eventually come around to President Obama's compromise with congressional Republicans on tax policy.

In "Why Democrats Will Probably Swallow The Tax Cut Compromise," Scherer noted that, according to one economic analysis, the Obama-GOP compromise would result in both stronger economic growth and lower unemployment than under a plan liberal Democrats were more likely to favor:

 

December 8, 2010, 6:20 PM EST

Reporter Devin Dwyer has a post at ABCNews.com today noting that a "confidential cable published by WikiLeaks" reveals that "American television shows broadcast across the Middle East are proving to be effective 'agents of influence' in the ongoing battle over hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims pondering jihad":

December 8, 2010, 4:13 PM EST

With a brief 8-paragraph article, Time.com's David Kaufman today approvingly explored the trend of 'ultra-gay hotels":

December 7, 2010, 12:55 PM EST

"If the GOP Senate Minority Leader were to grab a Senate page and threaten to kill the innocent victim if the Democrats refused to capitulate to the party’s demands on tax cuts, we would all quickly arrive at the conclusion that the Minority Leader had lost his mind and gone too far. We simply, under no circumstances, will not tolerate threatening someone’s life in order to get what you want.

"Yet, by playing with the denial of the only economic lifeline left to millions of unemployed, this is precisely what the GOP is doing."

The rantings of a Newsweek writer or MSNBC host, right? Wrong.

December 7, 2010, 11:14 AM EST

A hacker who styles him "th3 j35t3r" -- The Jester in plain English -- has made quite a name for himself disabling jihadist websites and, more recently, the U.S. national security-threatening site WikiLeaks.

While his methods are technically illegal, The Jester's motivations are patriotic, aimed at saving American lives on the battlefield.

Yet in telling his story, MSNBC's Red Tape Chronicles blog wonders with its headline if the "WikiLeaks hacker [is] a villain or a hero?"

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December 6, 2010, 3:28 PM EST

The Christmas season is "a tough time for supporters of abortion rights who have just as much excitement and take just as much joy in expecting a baby in their family as does everyone else, but end up feeling defensive and grumpy about the baby Jesus being hijacked for political gain."

That's how former Catholics for Choice president Frances Kissling lamented the enthusiastic response of pro-life activists to a church ad campaign in the United Kingdom that shows a sonogram with the unborn baby sporting a halo. "He's on His Way," reads the accompanying tag line. "Christmas starts with Christ," continues the caption in smaller print at the bottom of the advertisement. [image of the ad included after page break]

Kissling's lament was published on December 4 for the Washington Post's "On Faith" website.

December 6, 2010, 10:32 AM EST

In a brief entry at Newsweek.com entitled "What Repeal Will Mean," Eve Conant fleshes out some of the legal and cultural changes that allowing openly gay servicemen would entail.

For example, how would this impact conservative chaplains whose faith condemns as sinful homosexual practice?

But the last item Conant discussed seemed to me one that I've not heard in any of the coverage I've read or seen thus far:

December 2, 2010, 3:55 PM EST

During a congressional hearing in March 2009, manmade global warming skeptic Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) referred to God's promise in the the book of Genesis to never again flood the entire Earth as one reason why he is dismissive of global warming alarmists.

"The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood," Shimkus insisted, after quoting from Genesis 8:22.

Ever since then, the media have gone back from time to time to scoff at Shimkus's statement, citing his religious beliefs as reason he should not considered credible when it comes to challenging climate change science.

But if the media think that's fair game, shouldn't they apply the same standard to religious language employed by climate change alarmists like Christiana Figueres?

December 1, 2010, 5:53 PM EST

"Senate GOP: Extend tax cuts or else," reads the teaser headline for an Associated Press story at SFGate.com, the website for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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"Republicans send letter to Harry Red threatening to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts for wealthy are extended," an accompanying caption  insisted.

In the corresponding story, AP writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis lamented that "Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress."

Of course, nowhere in her story did Hirschfeld Davis note that a recent poll shows most Americans think extending the Bush tax cuts are the top priority for the lame duck Congress. According to the Gallup organization:

December 1, 2010, 3:14 PM EST

I'll admit it, like millions of other Americans, I'm a sucker for cheesy occupation-based reality shows. I love History Channel's Pawn Stars and American Pickers, as well as A&E's Billy the Exterminator and Dog the Bounty Hunter. I watch them because they're entertaining and full of colorful characters, not in the  expectation of some insightful commentary on  America's real or imagined economic and social woes.

But for some reason, Washington Post Style section contributor Hank Stuever is disappointed that A&E's new reality show "Storage Wars," which debuts tonight, doesn't explore those issues to his satisfaction:

December 1, 2010, 12:08 PM EST

Three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported on the front page of its November 10 Metro section that a "Nebraska doctor who is one of the few in the country to perform abortions late in a pregnancy said Wednesday that he would open new clinics in Iowa and the Washington area."

At the time, Carhart refused to disclose where he would open his D.C.-area clinic, but said that it would be in a jurisdiction that was favorable to abortion.

"The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we're going to do the maximum the law allows," Carhart told the Washington Post.

Stein filed an 8-paragraph follow-up story in today's Post, having received new information from an abortion clinic official that Carhart would be joining that clinic, based in Germantown, Md. That follow-up story, however, was buried at the bottom of page 10 of the paper's December 1 Metro section.

November 30, 2010, 4:19 PM EST

While the media love to dismiss Republicans and conservatives as much less "diverse" than their Democratic and liberal counterparts, the midterm elections held a few weeks ago have brought to 10 the number of black or Hispanic Republicans who will either be governor, senator, or a House member representing a majority-white district, National Journal's Josh Kraushaar noted in a November 28 Hotline On Call blog post.