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.
Lamenting how Nancy Pelosi's archbishop has "slap[ped] her down," in an online statement addressing the House Speaker's excuse-making for her pro-abortion record, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift used a January 15 Gaggle blog post to praise Pelosi, no stranger to pastoral rebuke, as both a good pro-choice Democrat and a good Catholic:
It's anybody's guess whether in the new world of Internet media the archbishop's online commentary rebuking Pelosi falls under his pastoral duties, or public advocacy. Either way, Pelosi remains unshaken in her views, and in her Catholic faith.
For the benefit of her readers, Clift quoted on piece of Archbishop George Neiderauer's rebuke:
"Free will cannot be cited as justification for society to allow moral choices that strike at the most fundamental rights of others. Such a choice is abortion, which constitutes the taking of innocent human life, and cannot be justified by any Catholic notion of freedom."
Yet Clift left out another key excerpt from Neiderauer's "archbishop's journal" column (emphasis mine):
File this under "WWJD FAIL."
It's one thing for a sainted icon of the secular Left like Keith Olbermann to wish perdition on a controversial American televangelist, but a Christian preacher?
Yet that's exactly how Huffington Post religion editor and ordained American Baptist minister Paul Raushenbush went off on Pat Robertson for his controversial "pact with the devil" remarks about this week's devastating Haitian earthquake in a January 13 blog post:
Haiti is suffering, and the only response from Christians and other decent human beings is compassion, love, and all the concrete support we can supply. [...] Instead, Pat Robertson opined on his TV show, the 700 Club that this happened because, in order to gain liberty from the French, Haiti (read: black people) made a pact with the Devil. [...] Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better. Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God...
"Radical cleric" is a term many news outlets, including the Associated Press, have used to describe Islamic clerics who encourage and/or train radical Muslims for jihad against civilians in the West. Case in point: Anwar al Awlaki, who reportedly inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting spree.
But a commenter on Time magazine's Swampland blog seems to have convinced writer Karen Tumulty that the term is appropriate to apply to Pat Robertson, given his loopy pronouncement that a long-ago "pact with the devil" made by Haiti has cursed the Caribbean nation and resulted in yesterday's devastating earthquake:
Update: Michael Meehan has apologized for shoving McCormack. See the story here.
It's not too hard to imagine the media firestorm that would ensue if a New York Times or Newsweek reporter alleges that a PR aide affiliated with a Republican senatorial candidate shoved him while he was trying to do his job, particularly if the alleged assailant has been nominated by the president for a post requiring Senate confirmation.
But given that the incident in question is a Weekly Standard writer alleging an assault by an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.), it's understandable, but not excusable, if you don't hear much about this from the broadcast or cable news networks.
For its part, the Associated Press -- in a story run on Boston.com -- all but dismissed the incident for the Coakley camp with a five-paragraph article blandly titled "Reporter takes stumble chasing Mass. candidate," wherein John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was said to have been "involved in a scuffle with one of [Coakley's] aides," a man by the name of Michael Meehan.
To its credit, however, the Boston Herald newspaper invested its own resources in covering the story. [See McCormack's account at the Standard here.]
Here's how the Herald's Laura Crimaldi opened her January 13 story, "Reporter roughed up outside Coakley fund-raiser":
Despite being convicted of stealing gift cards intended for poor Baltimore residents and using them for her own personal shopping spree, outgoing Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) will still be able to collect a mayoral pension after she resigns from office early next month.
Reported Baltimore Sun's Julie Scharper:
Dixon pleaded guilty last week to one count of perjury for failing to disclose on city ethics forms the gifts she received from a developer. As part of a plea deal, she will keep her $83,000 pension. She will receive probation before judgment for the perjury count and the embezzlement conviction. She also must donate $45,000 to charity and is banned from seeking city funds to pay her legal bills or working for the city or state during her probationary period.
This development, understandably, has quite a few Baltimoreans outraged, so Sun editors gave Scharper 25 paragraphs to report on incoming interim mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's pledge to look into the pension system and sew up loopholes that allow for convicts like Dixon to benefit from taxpayers in their retirement from public service.
Yet nowhere in Scharper's January 12 article was Dixon's Democratic Party affiliation mentioned, nor the fact that Council President Rawlings-Blake and the rest of the city council are likewise all Democrats.
"Harry Reid is no Trent Lott," argues Newsweek's Ben Adler in a January 11 The Gaggle blog post by the same name.
Of course, nowhere in his brief blog post does Adler acknowledge the media's role in why that double standard is in play.
Instead, Adler defends Reid, praising his "frank political assessment":
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/09/joeklein.jpg" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="240" />While he conceded that liberal labor unions, particularly "reactionary" teachers unions have had a role in California's fiscal mess, Time columnist and blogger Joe Klein placed the lion's share of the Golden State's woes on conservatives who have pushed for lower taxes. </p><p>Upset that conservative writer George Will had chalked up "all that is wrong in California at liberalism's doorstep," Klein used a <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/01/10/california-bust/" target="_blank">January 10 Swampland blog post</a> to slam the columnist for failing to assign any blame on the 1978 property tax-limiting Proposition 13 and the resulting "public pathology that we've inherited from the Reagan Era" whereby "the public wants a modified welfare state, excellent schools, a clean environment, low college tuitions...but it's not willing to pay for them."</p><p>But the problem with Klein's argument is that reliably blue-state Californians -- or rather <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28625138/" target="_blank">the ones who haven't moved out in disgust</a> -- are all too willing to shoulder a high tax burden, as <a href="http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/15.html" target="_blank">data from the Tax Foundation shows</a>:</p>
<p>Hate-filled left-wing talker Mike Malloy was at it again last night (see our <a href="/people/mike-malloy" target="_blank">full archive on him here</a>), hurling hateful invective against conservative talk radio host and author Michael Reagan. </p><p>The occasion? Malloy took perverse delight in 31-year-old Reagan son Cameron's recent arrest by Los Angeles police. The incident, Malloy declared, was sure fire proof of how "these right-wingers so pollute and destroy their own families." </p><p>Of course, Malloy had no evidence to back his claim, and even though he's never met the man nor does he "ever want to," Malloy lashed out at Michael Reagan as "an absolute ghoul" and "sick bastard." </p><p>But perhaps the most astonishing part of his screed is that Malloy was not just content to bash Reagan personally and politically, but that in doing so he threw in a gratuitous and mean-spirited attack on the institution of adoption (emphasis Malloy's):</p><blockquote>
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2010/01/avatarposter.jpg" align="right" vspace="3" width="121" border="0" height="161" hspace="3" />Finally, a movie where the Americans are the bad guys, and it's making a KILLING at the box office. </p><p>Yes, <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/01/07/zeitgeist-patrol/" target="_blank">Time columnist Joe Klein</a> is pumped about "Avatar." </p><p>It's not because he's a fan of special effects or blockbuster action flicks, but because the "timely" liberal message of the movie could "ripple" through the culture in a manner favorable to, wait for it, "enviro-theism" (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
Criminally-challenged Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) today announced her resignation from office effective February 4.
Nowhere in their 9-paragraph breaking news article filed at 3:44 p.m. EST today did Baltimore Sun reporters Liz F. Kay and Liz Bowie note Dixon is a Democrat, even though her party has a monopoly on the city's elected officials and has for decades.
Dixon, you may recall, was convicted in December for misappopriating gift cards donated to her office and intended for distribution to needy Baltimore residents. Instead, Dixon used some of the cards for a personal shopping spree. In effect, she was convicted of robbing from the poor to benefit herself.
<p>Newsweek religion reporter Lisa Miller, no Bible-thumping <a href="/blogs/ken-shepherd/2008/12/08/newsweeks-miller-plays-armchair-theologian-defend-same-sex-marriage" target="_blank">fundamentalist</a> she, doesn't understand why <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%202:1-3&version=KJV" target="_blank">the heathen rage</a> against Brit Hume. From <a href="http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2010/01/05/don-t-be-sur... target="_blank">her January 5 post </a>at the magazine's The Gaggle blog:</p><blockquote><p>I'm not at all sure why the liberal left is always so shocked that evangelical Christians want other people to become Christians. The outrage that followed Fox News anchor Brit Hume's plea to Tiger Woods to find Jesus has been totally disproportionate to the statement itself. The usual suspects—MSNBC and The Huffington Post—and indeed the whole liberal left blogosphere leapt all over Hume for his arrogance and conservatism. </p><p>[...]</p><p>The word "evangelical" comes from the Greek word for gospel, or "good news." Evangelical Christians are those who want to spread the good news. They aren't pretending to believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. They actually do believe that it—and yours, and mine—comes through him. </p></blockquote>
<p>While it has every right to do so, and we at NewsBusters do not take issue with a newspaper's right to issue liberal pronouncements on clearly-marked editorial pages, it is worth noting from time to time the persistence with which liberal newspapers lead the charge for liberal agenda items, particularly when the issue at hand is tax increases. </p><p>That brings us to <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR201001... target="_blank">the Washington Post</a> -- no fan of <a href="/people/bob-mcdonnell" target="_blank">incoming Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)</a> -- which today counseled the incoming executive to "choose to be a problem-solver" on the state's transportation concerns by raising taxes. </p><p>Of course, this lobbying for tax increases is hardly new. The paper endorsed tax increases during the 2009 campaign and <a href="/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/11/05/after-failing-quest-defeat-republican-governor-wapo-begins-lobbying-" target="_blank">continued its pro-tax hike drumbeat</a> without skipping a beat the day after the election. As my colleague Scott Whitlock noted on November 5:</p><blockquote>
<p>Tolerance is a virtue the Left loves to trumpet, except when the intolerable is set forward. In this instance, the intolerable is a gentle Christian evangelistic overture to a celebrity caught in sexual scandal.</p><p>Yesterday, Fox News analyst and professing Christian Brit Hume expressed his spiritual concern for Tiger Woods and urged the golf superstar to turn to Christianity for grace and forgiveness during a segment of the January 3 edition of "Fox News Sunday." </p><p>For that, Hume is being lambasted by some liberal bloggers, including <a href="http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2010/01/03/the-right-rev-brit-hume... target="_blank">Atlanta Jounal-Constitution's Jay Bookman</a> who unleashed this venom in a brief three paragraph blog post yesterday afternoon:</p><blockquote>
Well, it looks like a death panel inside MSNBC has mercifully pulled the plug on the "Dr. Nancy" program. TV Newser's Chris Ariens reported the story earlier today:
Breaking: TVNewser has learned MSNBC has canceled "Dr. Nancy" the NoonET health/medical show hosted by Dr. Nancy Snynderman.
The cancellation of "Dr. Nancy" is yet another daytime programming move by MSNBC, which has fallen to 4th and, on some days, 5th place in the daytime ratings. Last week, the network announced it was moving Dylan Ratigan from two hours in the morning (9-11amET) to one hour in the afternoon (4pmET), beginning next month.
Of course Shuster ignored the unambiguously inflammatory remarks, also made on Sunday on the Senate floor, by freshman Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The Rhode Island Democrat insisted that Republicans were "destined to break this president" and were in league with "ardent supporters" from among the ranks of "the birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militias and Aryan support groups" to whom it was "unbearable... that President Barack Obama should exist."
Yet even after his MSNBC colleague Mika Brzezinski aired Whitehouse's comments on the December 22 "Morning Joe", Shuster failed to give his "Big Picture" viewers the, well, big picture, by showing Whitehouse's rant, even though he aired a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) which hardly makes sense unless you know that Graham is referring back to and rebutting Whitehouse's charge. See for yourself by clicking play on the video embed above.
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/12/hypocrisy-ej-dionne... align="right" border="0" height="200" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="147" />Caught this in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/20/AR200912... target="_blank">Washington Post's "Letters to the Editor"</a> section today. </p><p>Good on the Post for printing this letter from a reader who caught liberal columnist E.J. Dionne in the act of hypocrisy:</p><blockquote><p> E.J. Dionne Jr. ["Democratic fratricide," <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/16/AR200912..., Dec. 17] views the Senate as a "dysfunctional and undemocratic partisan hothouse," presumably because of the ability of 41 senators to prevent a bill from coming to a final vote. </p><div id="body_after_content_column"> <p> Mr. Dionne has not always taken such a dim view of undemocratic procedures, however. </p> <p>In 2003, he heartily approved of Democratic obstruction of two judicial nominations by President Bush: "The filibuster is the only way to prevent the president from creating a federal judiciary dominated by ideologues of his own persuasion, appointed to satisfy his political base" ["Order and the Courts," op-ed, May 9]. </p>
<p>When it comes to freedom of speech, liberal journalists are the staunchest of defenders, right? Not so much when it comes to blasting Republican senators opposed to ObamaCare for "borderline sedition" that "comes dangerously close to inciting violence."</p><p>That was the complaint of Time's Joe Klein, who <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/12/21/coburn-heartburn/?utm_source=... target="_blank">griped today on the magazine's Swampland blog</a> about Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) saying:</p><blockquote><p>"The crisis of confidence in this country is now at an apex that has not seen in over 150 years, and that lack of confidence undermines the ability of legitimate governance," he said. "There's a lot of people out there today who...will say, 'I give up on my government,' and rightly so."</p></blockquote><p>Of course, many liberals said similar things about losing faith in their government during the previous administration, one with which Klein had many disagreements, most if not all of which he took to Time's pages or Web site to bluster about. I don't recall any concern from Klein about seditious liberals or Democrats when George Bush or Dick Cheney was the object of harsh rhetoric. </p><p>But leave it to a Republican senator to criticize the pork barreling and special exemptions Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has given to fellow Democrats to buy a cloture vote, and it's damn near seditious to Klein:</p><blockquote>
The live interview via satellite occurred six hours after McCain joined the other 39 Senate Republicans in voting against cloture on the Senate version of Democratic health care legislation.
All but two of Stephanopoulos's questions dealt with health care,the other two with Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Transcribed below are Stephanopoulos's agenda of questions, which you'll notice buffet McCain from the left, and/or paint Republicans are the party responsible for keeping the Senate from wrapping up its business until Christmas Eve, even though it is Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who controls the legislative calendar:
<p>Reminiscing about how her father would end dinner table squabbles between her and her sister, Newsweek's <a href="/people/katie-connolly" target="_blank">Katie Connolly</a> on Tuesday rejoiced that President Obama had said "Enough!" <a href="http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/12/15/time-for-oba... target="_blank">in order to get Senate Democrats in line</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Today, it sounds like the president has finally reached that point with the Senate Democrats and their increasingly aggravating health-care squabbles. He's ready to issue a steely "Enough." And not a minute too soon. </p></blockquote><p>Not a minute too soon? Isn't Connolly supposed to be an objective reporter, not a cheerleader for a political party and its agenda? Oh, that's right, this is Newsweek, the magazine <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/business/media/09newsweek.html?_r=2&am... target="_blank">whose editor actually aspires</a> to a smaller (and more liberal?) audience. </p>