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 in 2003.

Latest from Matthew Balan
July 23, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT

Wednesday's NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast to notice the criticism of the Obama administration banning U.S. airliners from traveling to Israel. Prominent politicians from both sides of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have denounced this move by the FAA. Senator Cruz accused the administration of using the "federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel."

Anchor Brian Williams zeroed in on Bloomberg's blunt critique of the travel ban, as he introduced a report from correspondent Richard Engel: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 23, 2014, 10:02 PM EDT

The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."

Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 22, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.

Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 21, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

On Sunday's Media Buzz, Senator John McCain brushed off Jon Stewart's latest blast at him over the Iraq War. Host Howard Kurtz wondered, "Is Jon Stewart fair to Republicans?" McCain bluntly answered, "No, but it doesn't matter really. He's a comedian." When Kurtz brought up Stewart's "sizable following among young people," the Republican contended that "he's a very entertaining and funny guy, but...when he says things...that are absolutely wrong, he gets away with it."

Earlier in the interview, the Fox News Channel host raised the conservative critique about the liberal media's deferential treatment of President Obama. Kurtz wondered if that was less true since his second inauguration: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 18, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

On Thursday, Reuters's Carey Gillam underlined that the "embattled" Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Missouri is under "scrutiny," as she covered a former church employee's lawsuit against his diocese. The litigant, Colleen Simon, asserts that "she was wrongfully fired from her salaried position as a pastoral associate after her marriage to another woman was mentioned in a local newspaper."

Gilliam spotlighted how Simon filed her suit less than a year after an arbitrator ordered Bishop Robert Finn and his diocese to pay $1.1 million to the victims of a priest who sexually abused children:

July 17, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue blasted "sick man" David Letterman for his Wednesday night sketch making light about Pope Francis's recent remarks about priestly celibacy. The segment repeatedly featured a group of young women screaming ecstatically over the news that the Pope is "now thinking about lifting the celibacy requirements for priests." He also aired a fake CNN news report featuring the pontiff giving a sex ed lesson to bishops at the Vatican. [video below the jump]

Donohue's Thursday statement, titled "Letterman Should Avoid Sexual Jokes," underlined the CBS's host admission from nearly five years ago that he had sexual escapades with several of his female staffers (it should be pointed out that MRC President Brent Bozell serves on the board of advisors for the Catholic League):

July 17, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."

Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.

July 16, 2014, 11:33 PM EDT

Anthony Mason spotlighted the death of comic book character Archie Andrews on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, and pointed out that "it all ends...when an adult Archie takes a bullet aimed by a stalker at a gay friend." Mason turned to the comics' publisher, Jon Goldwater, and wondered if he was "trying to make a political statement with this comic book" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].

Goldwater denied that he was doing so, even though he underlined that "gun violence is too prevalent in this country, and we should do everything we can to prevent it." However, just hours earlier on NPR's Morning Edition, he hinted that he was indeed making a political statement:

July 16, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT

Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].

By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:

July 15, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

Michelle Andrews spotlighted the silver lining for social liberals in a Tuesday item for NPR.org about the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. Andrews underlined that "women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses," even after the five to four decision.

The writer turned to a policy expert at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which she merely labeled a "research and policy organization that focuses on reproductive health," but failed to cite any pro-lifers for their take on the issue:

July 14, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

Fredricka Whitfield put on the kid gloves for Marion Barry on Sunday's CNN Newsroom, and acclaimed the former D.C. mayor as a "visionary." Whitfield skirted mentioning every single controversy Barry has been involved in through his long career save one – his "infamous drug bust in 1990." She also spotlighted the Democrat's conspiracy theory that the FBI set up the sting to take him down for helping the poor: "You draw that correlation that all of those things that you did for the underserved community...and the design of this drug bust."

The anchor deferentially let Barry take credit for everything supposedly going well with the city of Washington, D.C., but failed to bring up the fact that the District became the "murder capital" of the U.S. during his tenure as mayor. Whitfield set the tone with her beyond softball first question to the current city councilman: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 11, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews and Howard Dean slammed the supposedly "lunatic" Republican Party for opposing President Obama's $3.7 billion request to deal with the ongoing crisis at the U.S-Mexico border. Dean likened the political stalemate over this issue and in general in Washington to McCarthyism in the 1950s: "It reminds me of the 'who lost China' debate...where one side is frothing at the mouth and finding communists under every bed; and the other side – including some reasonable Republicans...actually trying to run the country."

Matthews endorsed the former Vermont governor's take, and targeted fiscal conservatives/the Tea Party as somehow akin to Mao's Red Guards: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 10, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

Kellaynne Conway and Joy Behar faced off on Wednesday's CNN Tonight over the future of ABC's The View, particularly in light of Rosie O'Donnell rejoining the cast. Host Don Lemon wondered, "Will the panel reflect American politics?" When Conway asserted that the program didn't need to be political, Behar sarcastically asked if the conservative pollster wanted the job. Conway replied, "No, no, no. I think they're not really looking for a real conservative."

The former View host later underlined that "a lot of the research showed that women did get their news from us." Conway then expressed her concern about this, which led to Lemon and Behar both making the same point about the long-running ABC program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 9, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

On Wednesday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin's Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin's party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014.

ABC's Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician's sentencing was "a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina," but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster. By contrast, Brian Williams mentioned both his political affiliation and the post-Katrina criticism on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 9, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

Adam Ragusea provided little balance on Wednesday's Morning Edition on NPR, as he covered a homosexual man's lawsuit against his former employer – a Catholic school – who let him go after he announced his planned same-sex "marriage" on Facebook. Ragusea played just one soundbite from a conservative legal scholar, and failed to include any from the local Catholic diocese or the school.

The Georgia Public Broadcasting correspondent touted how the supposedly "beloved" music teacher "has hope that he may be among the last generation of people who risk losing their job because they're gay." He also zeroed in on an ongoing lawsuit in Washington, DC that may give the educator ammo in his own litigation:

July 8, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan all but lobbied Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to support President Obama's multi-billion dollar request to deal with the ongoing illegal immigration crisis: "There's an immediate crisis on the southwest border. The President is going to ask for $2 billion....He says it's emergency funds to help stem...the flow of immigrants coming in. Can you support giving the President these emergency funds?"

Bolduan especially went after the Republican congressman after he slammed the Obama administration's draconian press restrictions for a planned media day at an immigration facility in Oklahoma: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 7, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."

The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:

July 3, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

The Federalist's David Harsanyi pointed out the New York Times's clear double standard when it comes to advertising in a Thursday post on Twitter. The writer recounted that the liberal paper "rejected an ad aimed at one religion" in 2012, but printed a full-page ad in Thursday's edition from the far-left Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), which blasted the "all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority" on the Supreme Court for its decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Harsanyi linked to a March 15, 2012 item on the ultra-liberal Think Progress blog that spotlighted how the Times "rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement submitted by anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." What Think Progress left out was the fact that Geller and Spencer's ad was a response to a previous anti-Catholic ad from FFRF, as libertarian blogger David Volokh documented at the time:

July 2, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.

Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

July 1, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT

NBC and ABC omitted covering the Supreme Court's final two rulings from their Tuesday morning newscasts, despite the fact that the decisions came down after their Monday episodes aired. Only CBS This Morning set aside air time for the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations.

Viewers of ABC's Good Morning America might have guessed that the Supreme Court handed down some decisions, as the morning show devoted a full segment to the "running of the interns," where the summer interns of media outlets run copies of Court's "big rulings" to the journalists outside. GMA even held their own intern race, where the competitors run cups of iced coffee to the anchors inside the studio: [video below the jump]