Ken Shepherd

Ken Shepherd's picture
Contributing writer

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 worked for the Media Research Center from May 2001 to April 2016.

In his spare time, Ken enjoys karaoke, tennis, reading, and discussing theology or politics.

Latest from Ken Shepherd

"Today on the program, we'll ask whether Americans are losing the skills of true debate and with it a central pillar of this democracy," BBC's Jonny Dymond informed listeners of the May 15 "Americana" podcast.

Yet when it came to Dymond's guests, there was no dissent from the liberal line. 

Take guest  Charles Pierce, a Boston Globe columnist and author of "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free."

During his segment, Pierce decried the state of debate in America over global warming lamenting that "it is impossible to accept the reality of global climate change and get nominated in the Republican Party."


Today marks 174 years that the Baltimore Sun has been in print. As part of their celebration, the Charm City broadsheet has an "Historic Baltimore Sun front pages" feature that includes a mix of momentous events in Baltimore, American and world history such as the 1904 fire, the Lincoln assassination, and D-Day.

But it's also a feature that's capped off with two gushy Obama-related front pages.

Two years ago he lost his job as Alexandria [Va.] police chief on a drunk driving charge.

Now David Baker is considering running for local office in the northern Virginia city.

Allison Klein of the Washington Post has a gauzy story about Baker's penance for his crime on page B1 of the May 16 paper. In paragraph seven Klein briefly alluded to Baker's party affiliation:


Novelist and infamous liar James Frey has a new novel out, "The Final Testament of The Holy Bible," which he pompously holds forth as a "theoretical third volume of the Bible" that conceives of a second coming of the Christ in the person of "an alcoholic bisexual living in the Bronx who impregnates prostitutes, titillates priests and becomes the ultimate seducer himself," John Murray of the Irish newspaper the Independent noted in his review.

So why does writer and musician Michael Lindgren -- in his May 16 review for the Washington Post -- hail Frey's novel as "an honest attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus to their radical conclusions"? Indeed, Lindgren adds, "in doing so, [Frey] has created a chronicle that, despite its contradictions, moves to its own inner spirit."

But one suspects Frey's inner spirit is one filled with disdain for orthodox Christianity, particularly Catholicism. One vignette revealed by Murray but left out of Lindgren's review:

Global warming has been kind to Greenland, expanding tourism and with it economic opportunity and giving farmers a growing season long enough for vegetables.

But it sure makes it a bit awkward when Hillary Clinton comes there to clamor about the dangers of climate change.

From Joby Warrick's page A6 story (emphasis mine):

According to Time's Michael Grunwald, it was insane for Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) to reject $2.4 billion for a Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail project.

And yet in the same Swampland blog post he confessed that a similar high-speed rail project going forward in California is dubious at best and that Scott's rejection of the pork project means that the money is now broken up to aid rail upgrades in other parts of the country where there's actually substantial ridership already.

Of course Grunwald gave no credit to Scott but rather to Obama for redistributing the rail money (emphasis mine):


Discussing how President Obama should craft his 2012 reelection campaign theme, MSNBC contributors Howard Fineman offered that President Obama made a "mistake" in his freshman year in office in saying voters should judge his term by his performance in office.

Because the economy is recovering under Obama's stewardship, Fineman posited on the May 11 edition of "Hardball," Obama must run on a theme of "values" not as a referendum on his track record.

Watch the relevant video in the embed below the page break:


Yesterday liberal Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) signed into law a measure allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Covering the story today, the Washington Post offered this bland print edition headline on page B1: "O'Malley signs bill allowing immigrant tuition breaks."

The move "bucks trend in other states" and a "showdown with opponents is expected," subsequent subheadings trumpeted.

Yet staff writer Ann Marimow waited until paragraph 16 in her 23-paragraph article to get around to quoting one such opponent:

A new Washington Post poll of Virginians finds that Old Dominion voters are optimistic about the direction of the state, approve of the job of their conservative governor, and are divided on the question of same-sex marriage.

Guess how the Post handled reporting the results.

That's right, the paper hyped the same-sex marriage numbers on A1 but shuffled the good news for McDonnell over to page B1, even though an astonishing 50 percent of Old Dominion Democrats approve of his job in office, and arguably by extension his conservative policies.


Okay, so it's not as immediately offensive as say calling for support of Planned Parenthood on Mother's Day, but Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite's "God the Mother" post at "On Faith" on May 7 is another example of how the site thumbs its nose at traditional Christian orthodoxy:

I always miss my mother a lot on Mother’s Day. My mother died when I was in my early twenties. Yet, through being “mothered” by others, especially my mother-in-law, I continue to know the deep and abiding mystery of this kind of love in an immediate and powerful way. This helps me understand the divine mystery, in the Christian tradition, that God’s infinite love for us is not only imaged as father, but also as mother.

To be fair, Brooks Thistlethwaite is correct when she notes that language about God in the Bible is "so often misunderstood as literal description" when in context the descriptions are metaphorical. And I can't begrudge her love for her mother and for the God-given gift of motherhood.

But Brooks Thistlethwaite strays off the orthodox reservation when she adds:


In a set of tweets a few minutes ago decrying the shooting of bin Laden, leftist filmmaker Michael Moore attacked the Obama administration for not capturing bin Laden and bringing him back alive for trial.

After comparing Confederate general Robert E. Lee and Confederate president Jefferson Davis to bin Laden, Moore groused, "I'm just saying, I want my America back."

He then added, "I dunno, maybe it never was. We are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves."

[See screencap below page break]

Mother's Day is around the corner. While the rest of us are agonizing over what to give mom on her special day, the Washington Post religion website "On Faith" sees it as another excuse to bash conservatives for trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

"This Mother's Day, support family planning," urges the teaser headline for Debra Haffner's May 6 post (see below page break for screen capture).

Yesterday I critiqued Washington Post staffer Michael Laris's reporting on the Montgomery County [Md.] Council passing into law a 5-cent bag tax effective January 1, 2012. Laris omitted the fact that the county bag tax has a glaring exemption for newspaper bags, including the sleeves that protect home-delivered newspapers from the elements. This was despite the fact that his newspaper's editorial board has been in favor of similar bans which carve out similar exemptions for newspaper bags.

Well, today the Post editorial staff once again beat the drum for a statewide bag tax to mirror that of Montgomery County's. And yet again the Post conveniently omitted the fact that such a bill would likely exempt newspaper bags. And yet, here's how the Post preachily concluded its editorial entitled "Montgomery Cleans Up"*:

This morning on WMAL's "Morning Majority" program, former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis slammed liberals who were taking partisan pot-shots at former President George W. Bush in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing on Sunday.

While Davis didn't name names, he made veiled references to MSNBC and its "Last Word" host Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell, you may recall, bashed former President Bush on his Monday evening "Last Word" program, insisting that President Bush had dismissed bin Laden's capture or killing as unimportant to the war on terror as early as 2002.

But Bush's rhetoric downplaying bin Laden was strategic, not to be taken completely at face value Davis argued.

Here's the relevant transcript (emphases mine, audio embedded below page break):

Yesterday the Montgomery County [Md.] Council passed into law a 5-cent tax on plastic and paper bags dispensed by  "nearly all retail establishments, not just those that sell food" within the county.

"Among the few exceptions are paper bags from restaurants and pharmacy bags holding prescription drugs," Post staffer Michael Laris noted in his page A1 story.

But Laris left out one huge exemption to the bag tax of concern to the reader: newspaper sleeves like the ones that subscribers of the Post get their daily papers delivered in.

Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak may have pulled her punches, calling Sunday night's spontaneous celebrations of bin Laden's demise "almost vulgar," but her colleague Susan Jacoby thoroughly trashed such displays as "mindless" in her "Spirited Atheist" column yesterday at the Post/Newsweek "On Faith" site:

In his May 2 Swampland blog post "Osama Gone, and Now...", Time's Joe Klein makes some arguably contradictory assertions in his thoughts on the role former President Bush played in ultimately finding and killing Osama bin Laden:

The pastor who preached the Easter sermon that Barack Obama heard this past Sunday is not another Jeremiah Wright, Time's Amy Sullivan insists in an April 29 blog "Swampland" blog post entitled "Conservatives Go After Another Obama Pastor."

Sullivan was responding to the complaints of conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who highlighted some controversial remarks Smith made to a college audience last year:

If a 64-year-old former U.S. president rode 100 kilometers in the desert with more than a dozen wounded military veterans to raise awareness of and money for veterans charities, would it make headlines?

You'd think it would, but it didn't.

On Monday, April 18, the George W. Bush Presidential Center announced that the former commander-in-chief would ride with "fourteen United States servicemen and women who were seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan" in a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride on April 25-27 in the Big Bend National Park:

"Thank God for Jimmy Carter. He takes on the tough ones."

That's how "On Faith" moderator Sally Quinn ended her April 26 post "Does God hate women?"

Quinn insisted that it was "a question that never occurred to me until I began to study religion" and that the 39th president of the United States had a role in her examining the topic: