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 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:

April 29, 2010, 2:37 PM EDT

Gov. Charlie Crist "goes it alone in his bid for Senate," the Miami Herald noted in its headline today for a story about the Florida governor's plan to ditch his floundering attempt to secure the GOP Senate nomination in favor of an independent run.

The story by Herald staffers Steve Bousquet, Adam C. Smith and Beth Reinhard painted Crist in a sympathetic light as a misunderstood statesman who's become a "pariah" to his party and has thus been "forced to run an unconventional race" (emphases mine):

Gov. Charlie Crist, a pariah in the Republican Party that has been vital to his success, will launch a risky political career Thursday as a ``people's candidate'' for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation.

Crist began telling campaign donors of his decision Wednesday, which he will announce at 5 p.m. at Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg, surrounded by family members, friends, local supporters and an army of media personnel. It will be an extraordinary event in Florida's colorful political history, as a one-term governor who blew a 30-point lead in the Republican Senate primary is forced to run an unconventional race.

April 29, 2010, 11:39 AM EDT

It's no secret that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was a major obstacle to a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, but Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin at least buried that fact in today's 18-paragraph page A6 story on the Obama administration approving the first offshore wind farm in the United States.

In the lead paragraph, Eilperin hailed the announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as "a move that could pave the way for significant offshore wind development elsewhere in the nation."

Yet Eilperin waited until the 14th paragraph to note that the project, "split the Democratic Party" when it was proposed in 2001 because Kennedy, "whose family compound overlooks the sound, fought it, with criticism of its aesthetics and its effects on fishing and boating."

Of course Eilperin devoted a significant part of her article to relaying the objections of other opponents of the Cape Wind project, liberal activists who tossed out the predictable boilerplate liberal invective against Big Business...:

April 28, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, a sympathetic Monica Novotny interviewed anti-obesity activist Meme Roth about a new law in Santa Clara County, California, banning the distribution of free toys in kids meals at fast food restaurants.

That's right, the food police have a warrant out for Ronald McDonald.

But rather than include a voice of dissent to challenge Roth on the government-expanding, free enterprise-attacking nature of the law, Novotny tried to tinker around the edges, wondering if it might be better to encourage restaurants to put free toys in healthier kids meal options. [full interview embedded at right, click here for MP3 audio]

Roth dismissed that notion as a "bribe" to get kids to adopt healthier eating habits, although she also absurdly argued that:

April 27, 2010, 6:14 PM EDT

Daniel Coughlin photo by Susan Walsh of the Associated Press | NewsBusters.orgAs Father Daniel Coughlin marks 10 years of ministry as the chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Washington Post found an occasion to suggest to readers that Republicans who now praise the priest's service as the first-ever Catholic to hold the post have overcome a prejudice against the Catholic Church.

"In the beginning, there was partisanship," staff writer Ben Pershing began his April 27 article with a clever homage to the opening line of Genesis, but flash forward to last week and behold, "lawmakers from both parties streamed onto the House floor to honor [Coughlin's] of service."

Pershing explained to readers that back in 2000, another Catholic priest, Timothy J. O'Brien, "had more support on the [bipartisan chaplain search] committee" than Presbyterian minister Charles Wright, the candidate whom then-House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) picked to replace outgoing House chaplain, Rev. James Ford, a Lutheran.

"Democrats suggested that Hastert's choice might reflect an anti-Catholic bias among Republicans," Pershing noted, adding that a "furious" Hastert then "urged Wright to withdraw" and then named Father Coughlin, a priest who had not been among the finalists, as the new House chaplain.

But Pershing left out a more plausible and decidedly less sinister explanation for why Hastert picked Wright in the first place, something that Post staffer Bill Broadway noted in his February 19, 2000 article, "Holy War in the House" (excerpt below via Nexis, emphasis mine):

April 23, 2010, 5:56 PM EDT

That damned closed primary system and its penchant for drawing conservatives to the polls!

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter fixed blame for John McCain's newfound conservative streak and abandonment of the "maverick" status that drove the media gaga back in 2000 -- when he was a challenger on George Bush's left on taxes and campaign finance reform -- on the strong Senate primary challenge the senator is receiving from his right in former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

In an April 23 The Gaggle blog post, Alter scolded McCain for being "willing to deport all of his principles" but found a way to lay the blame on the electoral system in Arizona:

April 21, 2010, 6:02 PM EDT

Last month I noted Newsweek's Liz White's complaint about the term "ObamaCare" being used as shorthand for the Democratic health care legislation. White griped that the term was "ominous-sounding" and favored by the legislation's conservative opponents as reasons why mainstream media outlets should eschew the term.

Now a full 27 days later, White is back at it with her complaint about the term "ObamaCare." This time, she's citing none other than liberal Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to back her up:

On Tuesday night's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Stewart discussed a new book, A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes, with its author, John O’Hara. O’Hara drops the O word—"Obamacare"—several minutes into the discussion about whether the tea-party movement is or is not antigovernment.

Stewart immediately jumps on O’Hara’s slip, calling him out on using the “derogatory” phrase and firing back by referring to O’Hara’s book as a “tea-bagger book.” O’Hara stammers for a few seconds and tries to defend his word choice, but concedes to calling it the health-reform bill instead. (It’s a law, by the way.)

Last month, I took on this same issue. Should the bill be called Obamacare, or is that phrase, as Stewart puts it, derogatory by nature? 

April 21, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

A Sarasota, Florida, doctor recently lost his medical license on the basis of an error he made in 2006 in an abortion procedure where he mistakenly took the life of the healthier fraternal twin of a boy diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome.

In covering the story, most media outlets have noted that Dr. Matthew Kachinas aborted "the wrong baby." 

Baptist theologian and radio program host Dr. Albert Mohler took the airwaves on his April 19 program to discuss both the case in question and the media's coverage thereof.

Here's what he said about the latter at the opening of Monday's program:

Last week I saw a news story that simply stopped me in my tracks, and I wrote about it at AlbertMohler.com, an article entitled, "Aborting the 'Wrong' Baby?" There's a question mark at the end of that question. It has to do with a news story that came out of Florida.

Dr. Matthew Kachinas had been stripped of his medical license last week by a Florida medical review board for -- and this is how the media discussed it -- for aborting the wrong baby.

April 20, 2010, 5:35 PM EDT
While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.

Last week it was liberal Post columnist Dana Milbank snarking about how the nuclear summit was closed off to press scrutiny. Today it's Politico's Ben Smith, who shared with readers in a snarkily-headlined post "Most transparent White House ever," how (emphasis mine):

Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.

A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."

April 20, 2010, 1:06 PM EDT

"How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don't think abortion rights need defending?"

That's the question posed by the subheader to Sarah Kliff's article for the April 26 dead-tree edition of Newsweek entitled, "Remember Roe!"

You may recall Kliff as the Newsweek staffer who complained that the House of Representatives has an "anti-abortion rights majority."

In her April 26 piece, the Newsweek staff writer cranks up the melodrama volume knob to 11, lamenting that Democrats are not the reliable vehicle for the pro-abortion lobby that they were 30 years ago (emphasis mine):