Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's in political science and history.

Latest from Matthew Balan
September 8, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT

Left-wing columnist CJ Werleman couldn't resist using athlete Ray Rice's suspension from the NFL on Monday as a means to attack social conservatives. Werleman took to Twitter and snarked, "If Ray Rice continues to treat women like that, he'll end up running the Hobby Lobby."

September 8, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

On Monday's New Day on CNN, Jonathan Martin of the New York Times and Bloomberg's Margaret Tavel ran to President Obama's defense over his handling of ISIS. Martin hyped that "the President is in a tough spot here....these two beheadings of journalists...have really outraged a lot of folks....and the President is forced to act. But again, there is not any appetite in this country to put ground troops back in that region. And so, the President is somewhat handcuffed."

September 5, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

On Friday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford spotlighted the latest gun control push by Moms Demand Action. Crawford touted the "striking images" in the group's new ad campaign, which she labeled their "most aggressive attempt yet...to draw attention to what they say are weak gun control laws."

September 4, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

Don Lemon surprisingly shot down a common moral equivalency argument in defense of the Islamic faith during a panel discussion on Wednesday's CNN Tonight. Lemon asked, "Is Islam a more violent religion than other faiths?" When CNN analyst Tom Fuentes answered, "Yes, it must be," guest Arsalan Iftikhar retorted by playing up that "Christian extremist organizations...have bombed gay nightclubs and...abortion clinics in the name of Christendom."

The CNN anchor interrupted Iftikhar as he made that talking point, and zeroed in on the vastly different death tolls between abortion clinic bombings and Islamist terrorist attacks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

September 3, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

Ultra-left-wing blogger Amanda Marcotte targeted an apparent societal "tyranny" in a Wednesday item for Slate: the "burden" that the "home-cooked meal" places on women in particular. Marcotte played up a recent study by a feminist professor and her two colleagues that underlined that "while home-cooked meals are typically healthier than restaurant food...the stress that cooking puts on people, particularly women, may not be worth the trade-off."

The writer played up how men are supposedly a large part of this "tyranny" on "middle-class working mothers:"

September 3, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CNN Tonight, Don Lemon spotlighted the scoop that President Obama received briefings on ISIS "for at least a year" before the extreme Islamist group's blitzkrieg across northern Iraq – something the Big Three networks failed to do the same evening. During a segment with Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Lemon pointed out that the President was "briefed on this a year ago, and then...looked the other way – didn't take it seriously enough."

Kristof did his best to brush this reporting aside: "I don't think it's quite right to say he didn't take it seriously enough. I think that the problem there is that there aren't good options." The CNN anchor also wondered if the liberal politician should take a stronger stance against ISIS, as one of his main counterparts did: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

September 2, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Morning Joe, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski felt sorry for President Obama and all the crises overseas that he is currently facing: "You look at just the President, and the incoming on foreign policy crises, I think it's possibly unprecedented, except for extreme times of war."

Moments earlier, the morning newscast played a montage of video clips looking back at all the tumultuous events from the summer. Joe Scarborough expressed his disbelief at the amount of chaos, while Brzezinski replied to the mash-up by setting up her lament for the chief executive: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

August 29, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

CNN's John Berman pressed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday's New Day over President Obama's eyebrow-raising disclosure that "we don't have a strategy yet" to deal with ISIS inside Syria. When Earnest claimed that "we do have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with" ISIS, especially in Iraq, Berman shot back, "ISIS has been in Syria for quite a long time. How can you have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with ISIS at all if it doesn't include Syria?"

The anchor later wondered, "Did the President just announce to ISIS leaders that he has no intention to strike them with military action in Syria in the next few days or weeks?" Earnest asserted that Mr. Obama's remarks sent "a very clear message to everybody around the world." However, Berman wasn't buying his guest's spin: [video below the jump]

August 28, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

Sean Hannity confronted Anjem Choudary on his Fox News Channel program on Wednesday over the Islamist's unapologetic support of ISIS. The two repeatedly talked over each other, with the American talk show host hounding Choudary if he supported the terrorist group's genocidal campaign in Iraq and Syria.

The U.K.-based radical Muslim contended that the multiple account of atrocities by ISIS forces, especially against Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq, were lies that were being used to discredit the Islamist group: [video below the jump]

August 27, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

Mark Litke hyped the "population explosion – what some are calling a crisis" in the Philippines on Sunday's PBS NewsHour Weekend, and played up how poor "families in Asia's most Catholic country...have had little or no access to contraception or family planning advice." Litke confronted a retired Catholic archbishop on his Church's teaching against birth control: "If the people of the Philippines are in support of...contraception...why would the Church oppose any of that?"

The former ABC correspondent later lamented how the Supreme Court of the Philippines protected the religious liberties of Catholic institutions in the country as it upheld a "new reproductive health care law" that subsidizes birth control: [video below the jump]

August 26, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello refreshingly complimented Burger King's planned merger with Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons as a "very smart business move" that will "save the company money." Costello turned to CNN correspondent Christine Romans, who spotlighted how "corporate taxes are lower in Canada than they are in the U.S.," and that "the stock is up because everyone on Wall Street...thinks this is going to lower the tax bill for Burger King."

The anchor also brought on Curtis Dubay of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who underlined that "our tax code makes it uncompetitive around the world. And so, they're doing something to get out from under that burden. They're doing what's right for their shareholders and their owners....What has to be done is the tax code has to be reformed. We have to have corporate tax reform." This prompted Costello to lament that Congress probably won't do anything to reform the tax code: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

August 20, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

On Wednesday, outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins ran to the defense of the all-too-common practice of aborting Down Syndrome babies in a series of posts on Twitter. Dawkins endorsed the New Republic piece of fellow atheist Jerry A. Coyne, which slammed the Catholic Church for its "medieval morality" of opposing abortion, and added that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area....You'd think the Roman Church would have lost all influence."

When pro-lifers challenged his support for this form of eugenics, Dawkins replied, "Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings." He later asserted that such abortions are the only moral option (Twitter post below the jump):

August 19, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

On Tuesday's This Hour, Michaela Pereira endorsed guest L. Z. Granderson's take on the media's extensive coverage of the ongoing turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. The liberal commentator pointed out that "this past weekend, we had over 30 people shot – seven of them died – in the neighborhoods in Chicago – many of them black and brown. None of that was covered." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Pereira replied to Granderson by asserting that "because of Ferguson, Chicago is sort of taking a back seat in the headlines. And Chicago's a very concerning thing, and we need to keep watching. We need to keep addressing what's going on there." One wonders if the anchor will criticize her own network, as CNN has only mentioned the violence in the Windy City twice over the past week. Back on the August 13, 2014 edition of The Lead, Jake Tapper cited a recent column by Jesse Jackson:

August 18, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

Vox's Max Fisher shamelessly invoked medieval history in a Monday post about Pope Francis. Fisher highlighted the pontiff's support for action against ISIS's "unjust aggression" in Iraq, and hyped that "there is good precedent for this...between 1096 and 1272 AD, popes also endorsed the use of Western military action to destroy Middle Eastern caliphates. Those were known as the crusades; there were nine, which means that this would be number 10."

The former Washington Post journalist immediately set the tone with the title of his post: "News from 1096 AD: Pope endorses military force to destroy Middle Eastern caliphate." Fisher continued in this vein in his lead paragraph:

August 18, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, Dr. Gail Saltz blasted Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow for his jab at Michelle Obama's weight: "To be criticizing people, kind of, willy-nilly is – I don't think meets the Hippocratic Oath." She played up how Dr. Ablow previously hinted that Vice President Biden might have dementia, and claimed that the psychiatrist violated "American psychiatric guidelines, which is not to diagnose someone that you have ever met." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Host Brian Stelter wondered if there's "this urge to be entertaining; to be provocative; to be outrageous." Dr. Saltz asserted that she tries "very hard every day to resist that," and that "any professional wants to express their opinion that has nothing to do with medicine, they have to carefully take off their doctor hat, and make it clear that they're doing so." The CNN guest should take her own advice, as she diagnosed conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as a "bully" in October 2009:

August 15, 2014, 11:53 PM EDT

NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast on Friday to cover ISIS's ongoing rampage against non-Muslims in northern Iraq. Chris Jansing filed a full report on the heartbreak for a Yazidi community in Nebraska, who have lost family to the Islamist group's campaign of terror. By contrast, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both found time to air news briefs on the historical gaffe in a photo promoting the new season of PBS's Downton Abbey.

Jansing interviewed several Yazidis for the segment, who detailed the atrocities that ISIS is inflicting on their minority community: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

August 14, 2014, 4:28 PM EDT

Thursday's CBS This Morning stood out for zeroing in on the plight of Catholics in China, as it covered Pope Francis's trip to South Korea. Seth Doane noted the Pope's overflight of the communist country, and pointed out how "that's significant, because the last time a pope wanted to fly through Chinese airspace was in 1989, and Beijing refused the request." The Pope at that time, St. John Paul II, took a vocal stance against the communist regime in his native Poland.

Meanwhile, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today touted the Pope "making history" with his trip, as he is the first pontiff to visit South Korea in 25 years. Both newscasts also hyped the temporary Popemobile – something that CBS This Morning left out of its coverage: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

August 13, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Wednesday failed to notice the Obama administration's latest revelation about ObamaCare: that more than 300,000 people who signed up for health plans under the controversial law could lose them because they failed to prove they were legal residents of the U.S. Instead, ABC's World News aired a full report on a "beauty queen's" insurance scam, while CBS Evening News gave 19-second news brief on the Perseid meteor shower.

Elizabeth Hartfield detailed the federal government's admission in an online report for CNN.com's Political Ticker blog on Wednesday. CNN anchor Michaela Pereira summarized this reporting during a 18-second news brief on Wednesday's New Day: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

August 12, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, with the assistance of the conservative organization Judicial Watch, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Servies on Friday, seeking records related to the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov. Attkisson announced the lawsuit on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon: "I'm suing the federal govt for http://healthcare.gov docs but not optimistic since they now say some are lost... "

Before she parted ways with CBS, the journalist filed two reports in late 2013 about the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov. On the November 4, 2013 edition of CBS Evening News, Attkisson spotlighted how the Obama administration launched the website without proper security protocols:

August 11, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT

CNN's Jim Acosta ran to the Obama administration's defense in a Monday post on Twitter. Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, replied to Acosta's previous Tweet reporting that Vice President Joe Biden "called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him." Fleischer wondered, "Why is Biden making these calls? It's POTUS's [President of the United States] job..."

The journalist complimented the Bush administration alumnus for his "good question," and continued by emphasizing Biden's supposed expertise with the Middle Eastern country: [Twitter post below the jump]