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
May 18, 2010, 5:28 PM EDT

Newsweek's Andrew Romano isn't really anti-Michelle Bachmann, he argues that he just sounds like one on Twitter.

In a May 17 "Web Exclusive," entitled "Tweet the Press," the Newsweek staffer explained to readers how an editor assigned him to write a "Twitter profile" of the Minnesota Republican:

My editor had just stepped into my office to discuss a new assignment. The NEWSWEEK brass is interested in Twitter, he told me, but they're looking for an original way to cover it—which is where you come in.... "I'm thinking you should write a 'Twitter profile' of Michele Bachmann," he said, referring to the outspoken, ultraconservative Republican congresswoman from Minnesota who has accused Barack Obama of being "anti-American" and asked her supporters to "slit their wrists" and be "blood brothers" to defeat health-care reform. "Fly up there, follow her around, tweet as you go. Then we'll publish an annotated version of your Twitter feed in the magazine. Could be kind of fun."

Later in his piece, Romano noted the drawbacks and advantages of live-tweeting a politician's stump speeches, concluding that the format made him sound like "knee jerk Bachmann hater." He denied that, of course, arguing that Twitter made him more of a "color commentator" that was looking for "bite-sized" vignettes that could go "viral" (emphasis mine):

May 18, 2010, 1:38 PM EDT

"Memo from 2002 could complicate challenge of Arizona immigration law," lamented the Washington Post in a Web site headline today.

Staffer Jerry Markon explained in his 11-paragraph story -- which ran on page A17 in the print edition* -- that the Obama/Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) has not rescinded a Bush administration memo that "concluded that state police officers have 'inherent power' to arrest undocumented immigrants for violating federal law."

Although the memo is not legally binding, it does "carry great weight within the executive branch" and is considered "to be the Justice Department's official position" on the issue. 

But while this certainly is a complication to any move by the Holder DOJ to file a lawsuit in federal court to toss out the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law as unconstitutional, it equally provides ammo to Arizona lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who can point to the memo as evidence that they acted well within constitutional bounds.

Of course, it doesn't fit the liberal media's favored storyline if the Post had placed this story on page A1 and headlined it, "Arizona immigration law may fall in line with DOJ  memo."

May 16, 2010, 6:38 PM EDT

"Palin pushes abortion foes to form 'conservative, feminist identity,'" reads the headline to a page A16 Amy Gardner story in Saturday's Washington Post.

While the 10-paragraph article in itself didn't raise any bias alarm bells, I was disappointed but hardly surprised that the Post buried the story on the last page of its A-section.

Gardner's article focused on how Palin, "[s]peaking to a breakfast gathering of the Susan B. Anthony List in downtown Washington on Friday" observed that liberal pro-choice feminists are hypocrites for on the one hand insisting that women can hold fulfilling careers while being mothers but at the same time those same feminists hold out abortion for young women who might feel their unwanted pregnancies are an inconvenience obstacle to career or educational goals. 

That observation led Post staffer Jonathan Capehart, no Palin acolyte he, to concede Palin makes a "very interesting point":

May 13, 2010, 5:01 PM EDT
Republicans are likely to go with Tampa, Florida, as the venue for their 2012 presidential nominating convention in part because evangelicals hate Mormons. That's the gospel truth, at least according to Chris Matthews, who yesterday went on a loopy rant that was pure bluster and completely unsubstantiated in its assertions.

[MP3 audio available here; click play on the embedded video at right for video]

Matthews informed viewers that an RNC selection committee had submitted its recommendation of Tampa -- the RNC still has to give its formal approval -- over other finalists Phoenix, Arizona, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The "Hardball" host than gave his theory behind why the latter two cities were rejected, failing, of course, to cite any sources nor to add the caveat that this was purely his own speculation.

Here's the relevant transcript:

May 13, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

Yesterday the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a poll finding "Broad Approval For New Arizona Immigration Law."

While Republicans were the most supportive, a full 45 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents polled supported the law. When broken down to the particulars of the bill, there was even broader support. For example, 65 percent of Democrats and and 73 percent of independents favored "requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status," the portion of the bill that has been derided as allowing the police to demand, "your papers please!"

These poll numbers are absolutely astounding, especially considering the media's non-stop campaign to denounce the law and paint it in an unfavorable light. Yet true to form, the media continue to downplay the results. A search this morning of the Web pages for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today found no links to articles about the poll numbers.

May 12, 2010, 1:01 PM EDT

The mainstream media often have little use for religious folks, except, of course, when they sing from the same hymnal on an issue dear to liberals.

We've seen it before with how the media bash the Catholic Church as behind the times when compared to its American laity who are decidedly less conservative on sexual mores, abortion, and women or married persons in the priesthood. Yet when Catholic bishops come out against say the Arizona anti-immigration law, the media all but stand and cheer the bishops for trying to lead their flock in opposition.

The same is true of how the media treat evangelical Protestants. Witness this item from Newsweek's Arian Campo-Flores in a May 11 post at the magazine's The Gaggle blog:

May 10, 2010, 6:39 PM EDT

Chris Matthews is stuck in the 1970s, it seems, and I'm not  talking about his pop culture references.

Talking with CNBC's Jim Cramer on the May 6 "Hardball" about the Greek fiscal crisis, everyone's favorite MSNBCer blamed "right-wing" dictators from the Cold War era for financial troubles in Greece, Portugal, and Spain [MP3 audio available here]:

I'm a political guy, you're a money guy. Let's crosswalk this thing. It seems to me that you and I grew up with the fact there were dictatorships in Europe. They were in the Iberian peninsula and in Greece. You had Franco, who overstayed the Second World War a bit, by about two generations. You had Salazar in Portugal, and of course you had the Greek colonels.

 

The right-wing governments in Europe seem to be the ones that are most precarious right now: Greece, Portugal, Spain.

 

What's the connection? Is this a complete coincidence, or is it old-line right-wing politics that never quite stabilized into serious social democratic countries? What happened?

 

May 10, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

President Barack Obama's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is drawing fire from both liberals and conservatives to such an extent that her challenge in the confirmation hearings "will be to show that while she may hail from Harvard, she has the heart of an empathetic, all-American patriot."

At least that's Stuart Taylor Jr.'s take in a May 10 Newsweek "Web exclusive" that garnered prominent real estate on the magazine's Web site today (see screencap above at right).

Taylor presented Kagan more as a technocratic "establishmentarian" than an ideologue or partisan, despite her current and former affiliations with the Obama and Clinton administrations respectively:

May 6, 2010, 4:14 PM EDT
"Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts," Daniel Patrick Moynihan is credited as having once said. MSNBC's Chris Matthews would do well to heed the counsel of the late liberal New York senator.

The "Hardball" host yesterday smeared former Bush FEMA Director Michael Brown as having this kooky notion that President Obama approved of offshore drilling in March only because he knew the BP oil rig disaster would happen.

But as the video embedded at right shows, this is Matthews's own warped misunderstanding of Brown's argument about how the Obama administration is poised to take advantage of a disaster for political ends. [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]

Matthews is certainly entitled to disagree with Brown's assessment about the Obama administration's motives behind its slow response to the BP oil spill, but not to lie to viewers about Brown's argument.

Below the page break you'll find a transcript excerpt:

May 5, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

"[F]or all its satanic fanfare and heretical rejiggering, 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ' is -- God forbid -- kind of inspiring," Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles proclaimed in today's review of the latest novel by avowed atheist Philip Pullman.

Charles began by suggesting that Pullman's publication was a veritable act of courage -- "if you fiddle with Jesus, people begin collecting dry sticks" the book review quipped. That may have gotten chuckles in the newsroom, but it's not all that amusing when you consider that it's radical Muslims, not devout Catholics or evangelical Protestants, who have threatened edgy taboo-shattering atheists like the creators of South Park.

Of course, attacking orthodox Christianity is always in season among the secular literary elite as well as their friends in the mainstream media. Charles himself cheered on Pullman's fictional take on Christ by equating it somewhat agreeably with the strain of liberal Christianity that has for centuries attacked such central elements of orthodoxy as Jesus's divinity and virgin birth, his miraculous earthly ministry, and his bodily resurrection from the tomb:

May 5, 2010, 3:03 PM EDT

"Tea party groups battling allegations of racism," reads a May 5 page A3 Washington Post print headline. The online version header softened the word choice a tiny bit, substituting the word "perceptions" in for "allegations."

The underlying poll data which prompted the story tells us more about the Post's prism through which it views the Tea Parties than how the public at large does.

After three paragraphs pounding readers with the meme that "the [Tea Party] movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism," the Post's Amy Gardner and Krissah Thompson quickly dispatched with the fact that most Americans see Tea Parties fueld by distrust of big government and opposition to the Obama/congressional Democratic agenda before highlighting how a minority of poll respondents think race is a motivating factor:

In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party. 

Of course, in the very next paragraph we learn that:

May 5, 2010, 1:14 PM EDT

"NY car bomb suspect cooperates, but motive mystery," an AOL News headline (see screencap at right) for an AP story published this morning.

Really?! 

Of course five paragraphs into the article, AP writers Tom Hays and John Christoffersen quote Attorney General Holder as saying:

Based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in our country...

Killing a large number of innocent civilians at once in a major American metropolis sounds like a motive in and of itself. It certainly was the motive for other radical Islamic terrorist operations, namely the 9/11 attacks.

May 5, 2010, 12:13 PM EDT

Apparently all those loyal subscribers from dentist offices all over the fruited plain just isn't cutting it anymore.

Andrew Vanacore of the Associated Press has the story:

NEW YORK—The Washington Post Co. is putting Newsweek up for sale in hopes that another owner can figure out how to stem losses at the 77-year-old weekly magazine.

While magazines in general have struggled with steep declines in advertising revenue because of the recession, news magazines such as Newsweek face the added pressures from up-to-the-second online news. Once handy digests of the week's events, they have been assailed by competitors on the Web that pump out a constant stream of news and commentary.

May 4, 2010, 5:22 PM EDT
Our friends at CNSNews.com -- which is owned by NewsBusters parent organization the Media Research Center -- have a story today about ABC "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd's reaction to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law.

Reported Nicholas Ballasy

When asked, in the context of Arizona's new immigration law, about a Justice Department  report showing that one-out-of-five American teenagers uses illegal drugs and that most of those drugs come out of Mexico, Sherri Shepherd, a co-host of ABC’s “The View,” said she did not care. Arizona’s new law against illegal immigration is “very unfair,” she said, and America has got to do better.

Shepherd spoke with CNSNews.com at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner on May 1 in Washington, D.C. CNSNews.com asked her, “A lot of celebrities have come out against the Arizona immigration law recently, what’s your stance on it, do you have an opinion on the law?”
May 4, 2010, 1:18 PM EDT
Hosting a debate segment this morning between  Republican strategist Alex Conant and Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee that examined the political dimensions of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, MSNBC's Tamron Hall played soundbites from two politicians with rather divergent views on offshore drilling.

The first was liberal Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) opposing expanding offshore drilling to California, the second was conservative Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who gave a rather dopey comment where he downplayed the devastation of the oil spill by comparing its appearance to "chocolate milk."

After playing those clips back-to-back, Hall asked for Conant's reaction, mistakenly referring to Taylor as a Republican.

We at NewsBusters quickly tweeted Hall about her error and she promptly issued an on-air correction, albeit mistakenly tagging Taylor as a "Michigan Democrat" [MP3 audio available here]:

May 4, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

Blogger Matt Lewis took Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel to task in a post at AOL's Politics Daily site today.

Lewis noted our early skepticism here at NewsBusters as well as reaction from NewsBusters contributor and Business & Media Institute Vice President Dan Gainor:

This is how the Post covers the conservative movement: Find someone who doesn't even understand the traditional values that made our nation great and then assign him to report on the right. Throw in the fact that Weigel loves to bash conservatives and he's the ideal Postie. At the same time, the paper hired a hard-core lefty in Ezra Klein to advocate for the left. It's a ridiculous double standard. The Post should be both embarrassed and ashamed.

For his part, Lewis, a conservative writer, lamented that Weigel, whom he considers generally "accurate and fair," has taken to his Twitter feed to bash average Americans as "bigots" for working to protect traditional marriage in state law:

May 3, 2010, 4:44 PM EDT

The media don't get religion, often portraying intra-denominational struggles within American Protestant churches through a purely political lens, rather than as substantial debates touching on the core tenets of Christian doctrine or ecclesial discipline. What's more, in this political narrative, conservative defenders of Christian orthodoxy are invariably the bullies.

A recent example of this comes in the form of an April 30 New York Times obituary for "Cecil Sherman, Who Led a Faction of Moderate Baptists" within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Times writer Douglas Martin painted Sherman as a reluctant leader of a "moderate" faction that organized itself in a purely defensive posture against conservatives intent on "taking over" the denomination (emphasis mine):

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: