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
October 5, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

King Kamehameha's got nothing on Sen. Daniel Inouye (D). The former may have united the island kingdom of Hawai'i in 1810, but the latter's been a reliable vehicle of federal taxpayer pork for the Aloha State for more than 50 years.

That, in a nutshell is the thrust of "Tropical reign," today's Style section front page profile of the 86-year-old president pro tempore of the Senate:

More than any other statesman in the history of these volcanic islands -- more than Kamehameha the Great, who united them into a kingdom in 1810, or Gov. John Burns, who led the political revolution that established Democratic Party rule here in 1954 -- Inouye, 86, has ruled over Hawaii.

As the federal funding he has provided has grown, his political opposition has waned. Hawaiians have voted for Inouye for 56 years, first for territorial representative in 1954, then for Congress in 1959. In 1963, he became the nation's first Japanese American senator. His uninterrupted stretch of service in the country's most exclusive chamber is the second-longest in history behind the recently deceased Robert Byrd, whom Inouye replaced as the Senate's senior member and president pro tempore in June. That position, ceremonial though it is, puts him third in line to succeed the president.

October 4, 2010, 11:01 AM EDT

"The State Department has issued a "travel alert" for Europe—underscoring the effect Muslim-bashing politicians have had on the terror threat on the continent," reads the subheadline to an October 4 Newsweek story by Christopher Dickey and Sami Yousafzai.

In "Turn On the Red Light," Dickey and Yousafzai went so far as to suggest that anti-Islamist politicians like the Netherlands' Geert Wilders actually wanted to goad radical Islamists into violent acts (emphasis mine):

October 1, 2010, 4:24 PM EDT

In today's print edition of the Washington Post, the top editorial, "Virginia is for gun lovers,"* attacked the Old Dominion as "one of the nation's leading gun-buying bazaars for out-of-state criminals."

"[T]he commonwealth's gun shows -- where criminals can purchase weapons without a background check -- and its gun shops are a regular source of easy-to-get firearms," the Post complained.

While there's no state requirement for purchasers at gun shows to submit to a background check, Virginia state law requires all sellers at gun shows to have undergone and passed criminal background checks and to have filed the appropriate paperwork with the state:

Any person who sells firearms at a licensed dealership or gun show must submit to a national and state criminal history records check by the Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Firearm sellers must complete form SP-69A and submit a completed fingerprint card to the Firearms Transaction Center.

What's more, many gun shows employ stringent security measures and strongly encourage background checks. For example, Southeastern Guns & Knives Ltd., which runs gun shows throughout Virginia, notes that:

October 1, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT

In my beloved home state of Maryland, this year's governor's race is a rematch of the contest four years ago, and most polls show a close race, with current Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) up a few points over former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R), but at or below the crucial 50 percent mark.

Enter the Washington Post, which two days ago released a poll that shows O'Malley up by 11 points, breaking the 50 percent mark. As might be expected, Post journalists are hyping the results, casting the race as possibly starting to break decisively in O'Malley's direction.

In an online chat, the Post's Chris Cillizza vouched for the poll by stating that  pollster "Jon Cohen is the best in the business, so yes," O'Malley has indeed opened up a wide lead over Ehrlich. Today, the Post's Mike DeBonis penned a column about how O'Malley is "right now, in a place where a lot of his fellow Democrats around the country sure wish they were."

Eh, not so fast, veteran Maryland political observer Blair Lee argues in an October 1 article for

The Post poll oversamples demographic groups that are O'Malley-friendly and doesn't take into account the heightened energy among Maryland Republicans and depressed primary turnout from Democrats this year, Lee argues (emphasis mine):

September 30, 2010, 9:59 PM EDT

Earlier this evening, conservative radio host and friend of NewsBusters Mark Levin conducted a nearly 20-minute interview with Gloria Allred, a celebrity attorney who's also known for her liberal politics.

[The interview is definitely worth a listen. For the full segment, click here to access the audio.]

Allred is representing one Nicky Diaz, an illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. Allred alleges Whitman employed Diaz knowing that she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman denies the allegation and says she fired Diaz after learning that she was an illegal.

Levin, a veteran of the Reagan Justice Department and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, grilled Allred for, among other things, willingly exposing her client to legal jeopardy. Diaz is, after all, an illegal immigrant who quite possibly committed Social Security fraud, a federal felony.

Levin also asked Allred if she was working for Diaz pro bono or if she was being paid by a third party. Allred declined to disclose that information and also denied any collaboration with the campaign of Whitman's Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.

September 30, 2010, 12:27 PM EDT

In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans have promised to "require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified."

On September 22, Newsweek's Ben Adler denounced that simple pledge as "dangerous even as a mere suggestion," complaining that it intrudes on the constitutional prerogative of the courts to decide the constitutionality of federal law.

Now that he's been called out by NRO's Ramesh Ponnuru on his ludicrous complaint, Adler doubled down on his argument in a Newsweek Gaggle blog post yesterday, suggesting that the policy could endanger national security after a devastating terrorist attack:

September 29, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

On this the 24th and final day of his Election Road Trip, Time's Joe Klein availed himself of the opportunity to attack center-left blogger Mickey Kaus and conservative writer Jonah Goldberg for "distort[ing] a striking point" made by a liberal Democrat vineyard owner from California that Klein quoted in a September 27 Swampland blog post.

Klein vented most of his spleen at Kaus, a blogger for rival magazine Newsweek.

Wealthy attorney and Iron Horse Vineyards founding partner Barry Sterling had simply argued that "the current, post-Reagan tax fetishism of the Republican party is foolish," Klein insisted.
"He made the point with a creative overstatement of the case--that he'd survived 70% marginal tax rates; indeed, the high rates caused him to work harder to make more money. I am absolutely certain that Sterling was not advocating a return to 70% rates, as Mickey well knows," Klein protested.
The Time reporter went on a few sentences later to label Kaus as a "feckless, puerile jerk at times."
September 28, 2010, 2:38 PM EDT
Yesterday San Francisco supervisors held a hearing to consider enacting a law that would ban restaurants in the city from giving away toys in kids meals that are deemed unhealthy.

Noting the debate in a September 27 "Notebook" post at her Couric & Co. blog, the "Evening News" anchor followed the typical liberal media bias recipe for stories like these.

First Katie presented the struggle as one between good government and greedy corporations:

September 27, 2010, 4:29 PM EDT

With its dwindling readership, Time magazine is fast becoming a museum piece. 

What better way is there to celebrate than for the publication to bring to its few readers' attention other strange curiosities?

Three weeks into his cross-country Election Road Trip, Joe Klein filed a Swampland blog post  shortly after noon Eastern time today from Sebastopol, California, where he found a true rarity, a businessman practically pining for the days of heavier federal taxation (emphasis mine):

September 23, 2010, 4:18 PM EDT

Just two days before Glenn Beck's August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally, the Washington Post published an article about how the rally would "be a measure of the tea party's strength."

"When Fox News and talk radio host Glenn Beck comes to Washington this weekend to headline a rally intended to 'restore honor' to America, he will test the strength - and potentially expose the weaknesses - of a conservative grass-roots movement that remains an unpredictable force in the country's politics," staffer Amy Gardner argued in the opening paragraph of her August 26 story.

Gardner's article is but one example of the media's skeptical attitude prior to the Beck rally.

Yet just days after two Comedy Central hosts announced mock rallies for October 30 on the Mall, the liberal media are expecting that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert can easily draw a large crowd. 

I noted the breathless anticipation of Newsweek's Daniel Stone last Friday. Now it seems that Matea Gold of the Washington bureau of the Tribune Company is also decidedly optimistic. In her 13-paragraph article, accessible at, Gold quoted a few folks who plan on attending and took the Facebook RSVPs on face value as a signal about potential attendance:

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

"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'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.