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
December 8, 2011, 12:35 PM EST

ABC, NBC, and CBS all reported on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich receiving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption on their evening news programs on Wednesday and their morning shows on Thursday, but only CBS's Early Show gave his Democratic affiliation. ABC devoted only 3 news briefs total to the conviction, while NBC Nightly News and The Early Show aired full reports.

News anchor Jeff Glor introduced correspondent Michelle Miller's report on the CBS morning program at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour by stating that "Rod Blagojevich is paying a very high price for corruption. Is it too high? In Chicago Wednesday, a judge sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years in prison"

December 7, 2011, 3:59 PM EST

The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday highlighted the upcoming sentencing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but only CBS's Early Show identified the disgraced politician as a Democrat and devoted a full segment to him. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today omitted his party ID, and just gave news briefs on the convict's possible sentence.

CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers wasted little time before noting that "the former Democratic governor was convicted on 18 counts of corruption, after being caught on a profanity-laced federal wiretap offering political favors in return for financial gain." Bowers played two sound bites from the wiretap recording, including the infamous "bleeping golden" clip from Blagojevich.

December 6, 2011, 5:08 PM EST

On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS's Cynthia Bowers let abortion advocates decry new pro-life legislation at the state level, barely letting supporters speak in her report. Bowers slanted by a three to one margin in the number of sound bites that she played from "abortion rights" supporters versus those from pro-lifers. She labeled Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback a "staunch abortion opponent," while giving no equivalent label to a pro-choicer.

The correspondent led the segment with a clip from an unidentified woman who aborted her unborn child who had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a disorder where most of the baby's brain fails to develop. She continued that the woman's obstetrician "suggested...one of only three clinics in the entire state [of Kansas] that still performs abortions- access that could soon be cut even further."

December 6, 2011, 9:52 AM EST

CBS's Barry Petersen lined up three radicals who back feminist and other left-leaning ideologies inside the Catholic Church on the December 4 edition of the Sunday Morning program, letting only one bishop speak in support of the Church's teachings on abortion and the role of women. The correspondent omitted the dissenting beliefs of his guests, labeling one as merely an "outspoken critic of the Church."

Petersen led his report with the case of Sister Mary McBride, who incurred automatic excommunication in 2009 after she sanctioned the abortion of a eleven-week-old unborn child, as a member of the ethics committee of St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After turning to St. Joseph's chief medical officer, who spoke in favor of the "respected nun," as the correspondent labeled Sister McBride, he played a clip from Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead, who argued that the excommunicated woman didn't show "an equal concern for the mother and for the child."

December 5, 2011, 4:27 PM EST

On Monday's Early Show, CBS's John Dickerson and Time's Joe Klein harped on Newt Gingrich's overwhelming "liabilities." Klein hinted that the former House Speaker's ego would get the better of him: "This is a guy who cannot stand prosperity....[He] cannot control his ego when he is riding high." Dickerson played up how Gingrich's "negatives were very, very high when he left Washington in the mid-'90s."

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked the CBS political director, "What are the chances Newt Gingrich is the nominee?" Dickerson punted on making a prediction, but borrowed a line from colleague Jan Crawford, stating that "he has a great deal of baggage." When co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis followed up by asking about how the Obama reelection campaign saw the former Speaker, he raised the "likeability" issues with Newt:

December 2, 2011, 4:29 PM EST

CBS's Jan Crawford played up Newt Gingrich's "baggage" on Friday's Early Show, underlining how the Republican presidential candidate is "going to be hit hard for his ties to corporate interests, the ethics allegations...even his personal relationships- his adulterous affairs." Crawford also spotlighted the claim that only Herman Cain's "die-hard supporters...think that he can stay in this race."

The correspondent first reported on the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with Ginger White and how the candidate recently admitted to helping White financially. Crawford shifted to Gingrich by stating that "in a crowded field, that could help candidates like Newt Gingrich, who continues to surge ahead." She then used her "baggage" term, and highlighted a "scathing new ad" from GOP competitor Ron Paul, which targeted Newt.

November 30, 2011, 7:03 PM EST

On Wednesday, NPR's resident ObamaCare booster Jule Rovner spotlighted the left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation's latest tracking poll on the law. Rovner indicated that 51% unpopularity for the legislation in October was merely a "blip," and played up how "the public is still confused about what the law does and does not do, more than 18 months after its passage."

The journalist led her November 30 item for NPR's "Shots" blog, "Health Law's Popularity Rises...Ever So Slightly," with her "blip" label. After briefly noting that "the federal Affordable Care Act still remains slightly more unpopular 44 percent) than popular (37 percent)," she explained that "the major reason for the uptick is the rebound in support among Democrats. Their favorability ratings jumped from 52 percent last month to 62 percent this month."

November 29, 2011, 5:28 PM EST

NPR's Tovia Smith sang the praises of Congressman Barney Frank on Monday's All Things Considered: "Frank has proven both piercing and pithy, zinging one-liners....bold and unabashed." Smith barely included any dissenting voices in her report, playing four sound bites from the staunch liberal and his supporters, versus only two from opponents.

Host Melissa Block noted how Rep. Frank is a "leading liberal voice and one of the first openly gay congressman" in her introduction for the correspondent's report and added that "because his district has just been redrawn, he'd likely face a grueling reelection campaign." Smith continued by stating that "some of the Democratic strongholds he's represented for decades have been replaced by more conservative towns."

November 28, 2011, 5:39 PM EST

The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.

On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."

November 26, 2011, 9:39 PM EST

NBC's Tom Costello made a gaffe of planetary proportions on Saturday's Nightly News as he reported on the launch of NASA's latest Martian rover. The correspondent identified the rocket, which blasted the unmanned Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) probe into space for its eight month-plus journey to the fourth planet, as a "Saturn V." This is actually the name of the rocket that took Apollo astronauts to the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The last Saturn V flew in 1973.

The expendable rocket that actually blasted off on Saturday morning, taking MSL and its Curiosity rover beyond the Earth's atmosphere, is the Atlas V. It is the newest member of a rocket family that has been in service since the 1950s. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 after a modified first-generation Atlas launched his Mercury capsule into space.

November 23, 2011, 5:16 PM EST

CBS's Early Show on Wednesday boosted a claim by Democrats that a recent Mitt Romney ad takes a line from a 2008 speech by then-candidate Barack Obama out of context. However, CBS noted at that time that Obama was using that line to counter a McCain campaign ad which played up the Democrat's association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.

Anchor Erica Hill raised the controversy over the Romney ad towards the end of a segment with political correspondent Jan Crawford about the most recent Republican presidential debate. After playing the relevant part of the commercial, which includes a clip of Obama stating that "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Hill asked, "A lot of controversy over that ad, Jan. Why?"

November 22, 2011, 7:10 PM EST

NPR played up a pro-illegal immigration rally at an Alabama church with "strong ties to the civil rights movement" on Tuesday's Morning Edition. Correspondent Tanya Ott of affiliate WBHM trumpeted how "they could hardly pick a more historic place to hold the rally," and highlighted a an advocate for illegal immigrants who likened opponents to the devil.

Fill-in host Linda Wertheimer touted how "pressure is mounting against Alabama's immigration law, known as the toughest in the nation" in her introduction to the journalist's report, and used her "strong ties" phrase as she stated how 3,000 showed up for the rally at the church. Ott specified that the "historic place" which hosted the event is the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, "where, almost a half century ago, a bomb exploded, killing four young black girls."

November 21, 2011, 5:33 PM EST

CBS's Erica Hill urged "conservative activist" Grover Norquist to influence the members of Congress who have signed his no tax hikes pledge to consider raising taxes during an interview on Monday's Early Show: "There's still not a lot getting done in Washington, even with some of the compromise. So why not push those people to maybe do a little bit more?"

Hill pressed the idea of compromise from the very start of her interview of Norquist. She first asked the Americans for Tax Reform leader, "As we look at Congress and the way the approval rating has continued to plummet...for a lot of people, this is a failure, the fact the super committee cannot come to some sort of agreement on what to cut here. To you, though, is it a success, in that your side, technically, that you're backing, or either side, didn't give in?"

November 18, 2011, 4:40 PM EST

On Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.

Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.

November 17, 2011, 5:52 PM EST

Time's Tim Padgett regurgitated just about every liberal talking point on abortion in an online column on Thursday which tried to claim that the Catholic Church's pro-life efforts in the U.S. were pointless and out of step with the laity: "Aren't they just wasting our time as well as their own?" Padgett cherry-picked from Church documents and quoted from the infamous pro-abortion front group Catholics for Choice.

The Miami and Latin America bureau chief for the struggling magazine began his article, "Why Radical Pro-Lifers Are Wasting Their Time: Most American Catholics support abortion rights," by all but gloating over the rejection in Mississippi of a proposed personhood amendment: "Now that voters in Mississippi have rejected the so-called personhood agenda — the radical anti-abortion effort to make the moment of conception the legal beginning of human life — the movement says it plans to take its referendum to a number of other states in 2012."

November 17, 2011, 3:04 PM EST

CBS's Chris Wragge spotlighted a millionaire's bid to raise taxes on the rich on Thursday's Early Show, all the while omitting that his guest is a big money donor to liberal candidates like Al Franken and to Moveon.org. Wragge didn't bring on any opponents of higher taxes, nor did he play sound bites from them. Instead, he played three clips from proponents, including former Clinton aide Robert Reich.

Wragge and co-anchor Erica Hill trumpeted the "so-called patriotic millionaires [who] are begging Congress to raise their taxes" as they teased the segment three different times before it began. Hill did mention once that "they also spoke with a critic who said if they want to pay more, then they should make a contribution on their own, instead of raising taxes on all millionaires."

November 16, 2011, 1:31 PM EST

On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Erica Hill pressed Rep. Michele Bachmann during an interview about her attack on Newt Gingrich for his notorious 2008 commercial with Nancy Pelosi on climate change: "Why is that a bad thing, to try to work across the aisle?" This came just two days after the morning show wondered if Gingrich himself needed to "play a little more dirty...to win the bid."

Hill noted that "the Minnesota congresswoman is criticizing each of her fellow candidates for not being conservative enough" in a new online ad, and first asked Bachmann, "In that ad, there's...a clip of Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi talking about the importance of working together. Why attack Newt Gingrich on that point, when so many Americans...really want their lawmakers to start working together in Washington to- finding some sort of way that they can work out a bipartisan answer to so many of the issues?"

November 15, 2011, 4:55 PM EST

CBS's Erica Hill tossed softballs at a survivor of the Tucson shooting and the executive director of a pro-gun control group on Tuesday's Early Show, just hours before they were due to speak at a congressional hearing to promote tighter gun regulations. Hill played up fellow survivor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's recent interview and asked, "What does that do to you and to this cause that you have now adopted?"

The anchor led the 8 am Eastern hour of the morning show by playing a clip of ABC's Diane Sawyer asking the Arizona representative about the January 2011 shooting. Hill then gushed over Giffords's recovery as she introduced her guests- Patricia Maisch, who helped subdue Jared Loughner, and Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns: "I know that watching the recovery...has been encouraging in ways that are probably tough to describe."

November 14, 2011, 3:47 PM EST

On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Rebecca Jarvis wondered if Newt Gingrich would "have to play a little more dirty...to take on the other GOP contenders to win the bid." Bob Schieffer replied cynically that Gingrich would "save his criticism for attacking the media, which is always the safe thing to do." Chris Wragge prompted the former Speaker to criticize Herman Cain and Rick Perry on Friday, but he didn't bite.

Jarvis brought on the Face The Nation host for his take on Republican presidential debate hosted by CBS and National Journal on Saturday. Near the end of the interview, the fill-in anchor raised how Gingrich was "gaining momentum" and that he "held true to this no real confrontation with the other candidates" during the debate. She then directed her "dirty" question to Schieffer.

November 10, 2011, 1:44 PM EST

Mark McKinnon, a regular contributor to the liberal Daily Beast website, which owns Newsweek magazine, made a morbid gaffe as he commented on Texas Governor Rick Perry's stumble during the November 9 Republican presidential debate on CNBC. The New York Times on Wednesday quoted McKinnon labeling Perry's brain freeze as the "human equivalent of shuttle Challenger."

Times writers Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker cited the Democrat, who once served as an aide to former President George W. Bush, as an example of how "Republican operatives almost uniformly declared it [Perry's gaffe] as a sign of great trouble for his candidacy."