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
September 23, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT

Newsweek's Ben Adler is decidedly cool to the newly-unveiled Republican "Pledge with America." No surprise there, coming from a liberal journalist. But among his criticisms, perhaps he's most off-base in his complaint about Republicans' promise to ensure that legislation must be constitutional before it is passed along to the president for his signature (emphasis mine):

Not so harmless, however, is the promise to require every bill to be certified as constitutional before it is voted on. We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary. An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary. 

In those three sentences, Adler betrays both his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution and its imperative on all members of all three branches of government to uphold the Constitution's limits on federal power.

First off, let's look at the pertinent language of the Pledge itself, which Adler failed to provide a link to anywhere in his 7-paragraph September 22 blog post. From page 9 of the 48-page PDF version of the Pledge to America:

September 22, 2010, 5:37 PM EDT

In his 7-question September 22 Q&A with Markos Moulitsas, Time magazine's Ishaan Tharoor timidly challenged the left-wing blogger on his extremist rhetoric about how conservative Americans, particularly religious ones, are the "American Taliban."

Moulitsas was interviewed as part of his publicity tour for his new book, "American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right" which "takes aim at what Moulitsas thinks is animating this right-wing revival," Tharoor noted.
 
"You refer to a whole swath of U.S. conservatives as American Taliban. Is that really helpful?" Tharoor began meekly. 
 
Moulitsas, of course, cranked it up to eleven and let loose with a boilerplate screed about how evil and subversive American conservatives are:
September 21, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT

"To survive in a hostile world, guys need to embrace girly jobs and dirty diapers," argued the Newsweek writers Andrew Romano and Tony Dokoupil in the subheadline of their September 20 article "Men's Lib."

The writers set out to explain "[w]hy it’s time to reimagine masculinity at work and at home."

If American men want to be competitive in a global economy, they argued, they need to suck it up and get comfortable with the idea of working traditionally "girly jobs" and/or being stay at home dads:

It’s possible to imagine protectionist trade and immigration policies boosting blue-collar employment at the margins. But the U.S. can’t stop globalization. If male morale—and the American economy—are ever going to recover, the truth is that the next generation of Homer Simpsons will have to stop searching for outsourced manufacturing jobs and start working toward teaching, nursing, or social-service positions instead.

Fair enough. But Romano and Dokoupil also cast their gaze across the Atlantic, arguing America needs public policies that emulate European countries on paid parental leave, particularly paid paternal leave (emphasis mine):

September 20, 2010, 6:09 PM EDT

"The justices have not struck down a major piece of legislation, let alone a president's signature initiative, as beyond Congress's power to regulate commerce in some 75 years."

That's how Newsweek's Stuart Taylor Jr. today all but argued that, political ideology of the Supreme Court's majority aside, a Supreme Court decision declaring unconstitutional the "individual mandate" of ObamaCare is quite unlikely.

But while Taylor may be right  that no signature presidential initiative post-New Deal has been declared unconstitutional by the Court on the grounds that it violated the interstate commerce clause, he neglected to mention there are two key cases in the past 15 years where the Supreme Court did set outer limits to Congress's exploitation of the commerce clause as a fountain of federal power.

September 17, 2010, 5:10 PM EDT

While the mainstream media have been in a frenzy to denounce Christine O'Donnell as a kook for her socially conservative statements on abstinence from the 1990s, the cable news networks had a perfect opportunity this afternoon to let her speak for herself.

Collectively they gave her less than five minutes.

The Republican Delaware Senate nominee gave a speech at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. this afternoon from about 3:25 to 3:45 p.m. EDT. Of the three major cable news networks, Fox News showed none of the speech while MSNBC's Chris Jansing gave viewers just under a minute of O'Donnell audio before interviewing Time magazine's Jay Newton-Small about concerns some GOP operatives have about O'Donnell being a weaker matchup against the Democratic nominee than Rep. Mike Castle (R) would have been.

Only CNN's Rick Sanchez gave O'Donnell a substantial chunk of time: 3 minutes and 33 seconds. When Sanchez cut away from O'Donnell, he noted that she's "getting her first taste of the national spotlight" since clinching the nomination and promised that CNN would "continue to follow as the midterms in November draws near."

September 17, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have announced dueling D.C. rallies on October 30 aimed at satirizing the August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally held by rival network Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck.

Newsweek's Daniel Stone is apparently stoked about it, predicting that the gimmick will "absolutely" be a success (emphasis mine):

You’ve got to hand it to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, social critics that they are, for keeping us attuned to the absurdity in our political discourse these days....

September 16, 2010, 3:37 PM EDT

"Good News, Rich People: Poor People Don't Want to Raise Your Taxes"

That's the snarky headline for Kayla Webley's 5-paragraph NewsFeed item filed earlier today at Time.com.

"Nearly half of the lowest earners among us want the rich to stay rich," complained Webley, adding:

As Congress debates whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the country is as divided as Washington when it comes to increasing taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

September 15, 2010, 3:59 PM EDT
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."

Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime. 

At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.

Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics."  The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:

September 14, 2010, 11:49 AM EDT

Yesterday President Obama held court with a receptive suburban liberal audience in a backyard in Northern Virginia. Covering the story, the Washington Post assigned the article front-page real estate in the September 14 Metro section.

While Theresa Vargas and Nia-Malika Henderson  noted that the group was a "partisan audience of about 30 people" which was ridiculed by Republican detractors as a "garden party," the Post staffers failed to note a crucial piece of information regarding one Larry Poltavtsev, the CEO of Target Labs "a green-information technology firm based in Vienna [Virginia]."

Poltavtsev was quoted heartily endorsing President Obama, gushing, "He really understands the needs of small business." What's more, that quote was emblazoned above the front-page picture accompanying the story. But while Henderson and Vargas noted that Poltavtsev had asked Obama "about easing lending for small businesses," they failed to note that his firm has already benefited from a loan backed by Obama administration.

As TheHill.com's Gautham Nagesh reported yesterday morning:

September 2, 2010, 4:23 PM EDT

Yesterday the Gallup organization released a poll showing that Americans trust Republicans over Democrats on most major issues heading into the general election season. Today the same polling outfit released a poll that found a large number of Americans blame George W. Bush for the faltering economy. 

Guess which one Gallup partner USA Today hyped?

Here's how USA Today staffer Susan Page began her September 2 online story (filed at noon today):

Nearly two years after Barack Obama was elected president, Americans still are inclined to blame his predecessor for the nation's current economic problems.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, more than a third of those surveyed said George W. Bush deserved a great deal of the blame for economic woes and a third said he should get a moderate amount of it. Not quite another third called that unfair, saying Bush warranted not much or none of the responsibility.

September 1, 2010, 6:23 PM EDT

When you think of crimes against America, crimes so dangerous they strike out against the very existence of the country, what comes to mind?

Espionage, terrorism, and treason perhaps top the list. But what about not publicly declaring that Barack Obama is in fact not a Muslim?

Liberal Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger "Save the Republic from Palin" Ebert made a federal case out of the latter in a September 1 blog post entitled "Put up or shut up" (emphasis mine):

September 1, 2010, 10:24 AM EDT
On Saturday, NewsBusters sister site Eyeblast.tv sent contributing editor Joe Schoffstall to see what exactly Al Sharpton’s protest rally was all about. While there, he was able to get an interview with NAACP President Ben Jealous regarding his thoughts on Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally.

Jealous claimed that those at Restoring Honor wouldn’t applaud Dr. King's historic 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.

Beck aired that Eyeblast video and promptly destroyed Jealous's argument by playing clips of the crowd enthusiastically cheering mentions of the late civil rights leader.

You can watch the relevant excerpt from the August 31 "Glenn Beck" show by clicking the play button on the embed above.

August 31, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

Liberal Democratic strategists reading today's Washington Post are probably taking notes, preparing talking points for a future which may hold a Republican Congress in the cards.

"British women to bear budget pain" cried the page A6 headline. "Report says austerity plan mostly cuts into women's livelihoods," added the subheader for London-based Post staffer Anthony Faiola's  story.

Faiola noted that "[t]he Fawcett Society, a leading women's rights group here, filed an unprecedented complaint with the nation's high court this month, arguing that the government failed to consider the effect on women of its leaner 'emergency budget.'"

At no point did Faiola find a critic to allege that the social welfare system in Britain itself was "sexist" or at least that it victimizes poor Britons, particularly women, by creating a culture of dependency on the state.

August 31, 2010, 12:18 PM EDT

Secular leftists in the media don't often have use for religion, particularly Christianity, except, it seems, when biblical passages can be isolated out of context to bash religious conservatives over the head as wicked for opposing big government or for standing up for traditional moral values.

Enter Joe Klein, Christian theologian extraordinaire, who suggested in Time.com Swampland blog post yesterday that Jesus would make Fox News host Glenn Beck sweat it out a bit at the pearly gates:

If Jesus were around today, he might say that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a telecharlatan to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

In a follow-up blog post from today, Klein thanked a commenter for passing along a passage from the gospel according to St. Matthew wherein Jesus taught that "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men."

"The noisy proclamation of religiosity is usually a sign of the exact opposite," Klein preached regarding the August 28 Beck rally.

August 30, 2010, 12:33 PM EDT

In an August 28 online column, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter ripped into Fox News and conservative Republican leaders for painting Barack Obama as a closet Muslim and potentially a foreign-born person illegible to hold the office of the presidency.

But while he tarred the Left's usual bogeymen with the specious charges, Alter failed to produce documented evidence of any instance in which any mainstream conservative Republican leader or Fox News talent specifically charged that President Obama is either a Muslim or was not born in the United States.

Instead the Newsweek veteran resorted to an all-too-typical refuge: insisting that conservative opinion leaders speak in some sort of "coded language" which apparently their followers understand instinctively and only enlightened liberals like Alter can see through as a cleverly-deployed Jedi mind trick:

August 27, 2010, 3:28 PM EDT

"Protesters use 'sharia' as a slur and rallying cry against Islam," reads the dismissive print edition headline for Michelle Boorstein's page A5 August 27 story. The Washington Post's online edition used different wording: "For critics of Islam, 'sharia' a loaded word."

Boorstein cited "controversial" conservative scholar Daniel Pipes warning that pro-sharia Muslims "want to implement sharia in every detail on everyone in a stringest way." For an opposing view, the Post religion writer also cited Imam Yahya Hendi, a Muslim chaplain for Georgetown University and "spokesman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America," who argued that more moderate Muslims see sharia as more like a set of guidelines to guide personal and family life than a rigid code of law which must supplant secular governance.

Fair enough, yet Boorstein put her thumb on the scale by lamenting that "the word has become akin to a slur in some camps... an alarming development to many religious and political leaders."

August 26, 2010, 3:38 PM EDT

In today's Washington Post, Dan Balz argues that the "Florida Senate race starts without a clear favorite." While that may be true in some sense, recent polling data has some favorable signs for conservative Republican candidate Marco Rubio.

Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph story did Balz delve into those poll numbers. Instead, Balz presented the Florida race as complete wild card that is unpredictable due to the three-way nature of the contest:

Gov. Charlie Crist is the man in the middle in Florida's high-stakes race for the Senate, a candidate without a party whose hopes of moving from Tallahassee to Washington depend on his ability to fend off a squeeze play from his Democratic and Republican rivals.

The three-way campaign for the Senate is the latest in a series of important races in Florida - including the 2000 recount that helped define red-blue divisions in America - but with dynamics new to the Sunshine State. 

But a look at recent polling data available on RealClearPolitics.com seems to indicate Rubio went to bed on primary election night in good shape for the general election fight ahead.

August 24, 2010, 6:02 PM EDT

For centuries, theological seminaries minted trained and licensed ministers of their respective religious traditions. They took seriously their creedal and confessional commitments to their respective faiths and denominations. While comparative theology may have been taught, it was with a view to understand and critically evaluate them as rival truth claims, not equally valid truthful claims. But those dark, backwards days may be behind us if Claremont School of Theology successfully paves the way.

Or at least that's the sentiment conveyed in Time magazine writer Elizabeth Dias's August 22 article, "Training Pastors, Rabbis, and Imams Together."

Dias's 10-paragraph-long August 22 article portrayed Claremont president Jerry Campbell as a "classic American" entrepreneur who took a novel approach to the school's "low enrollment and in-the-red" balance sheet: "end isolated clerical training" by "bring[ing] toegether Claremont, the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) and the Academy for Jewish Religion California."

Of course, religious training deals in matters of eternal verities, not marketplace commodities, so that sort of approach is unwise, religious conservatives would argue. Yet Dias excluded any dissent from her examination into the newly inclusive Methodist seminary. 

August 24, 2010, 3:59 PM EDT

It was inevitable that someone with enough time on their hands would compile a list of the best viral campaign video ads of 2010. There sure have been some doozies this year, so I can't fault Time magazine for including hits like "Demon Sheep" and the Dale Peterson ad in their top 20 list.

That said, of the 15 Republican ads in the list, most were panned by Time staffers. By contrast, two Democrats' ads -- Rep. Tom Perreillo (Va.) and  Sen. Pat Leahy (Vt.) primary opponent Dan Freilich -- were panned,  yet neither candidate's Democratic affiliation was mentioned in the blurbs about the ads.

By contrast, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), who's presenting herself to voters as a fiscal conservative, was praised for an ad featuring her toddler son, and Time's FeiFei Sun cheered Colorado Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Hickenlooper for his "Clean Campaign" in which he humorously promised to eschew negative campaign ads.

August 24, 2010, 12:33 PM EDT

Time magazine's Joe Klein yesterday did what he does best: take one paragraph from a neoconservative's column and blow it out of proportion and out of context in order to go on an extended screed bashing conservatives in general and neocons in particular.

Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein addressed Bill Kristol's editorial for the August 30 Weekly Standard print edition entitled, "He's No Muslim, He's a Progressive."

Klein started off with a backhanded compliment:

Well, it's good to learn that there are limits to Bill Kristol's tactical skeevery. He clearly states here that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. No winks, no nods, no gratuitous McConnellesque "If he says he's not, that's okay with me."

With that out of the way, Klein dove into his screed: