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
March 28, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Piers Morgan got in one last word in favor of gun control during the final episode of his CNN program on Friday, and called for the complete disarmament of the American citizenry: "As my brother, a British army colonel, says, 'You always want an American next to you in a trench when the going gets tough.' But that's where, I think, guns belong...in the hands of highly-trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom, not in the hands of civilians."

Morgan blasted the NRA by name and politicians for standing in the way of his pet cause: "The gun lobby in America, lead by the NRA, has bullied this nation's politicians into cowardly, supine silence." He cited Winston Churchill for inspiring his stand, and even claimed that his campaign was pro-American: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 28, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT

Friday's CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how "visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day." Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that "today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday's NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: "[S]upport for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago...26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act." This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.

March 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

[Update, April 7, 10:55 am: the original blog entry inaccurately corrected Phillips for claiming that her husbands, correspondent John Roberts, has the last name "Robertson." In reality, Roberts' legal last name is indeed Robertson. The text below has been corrected to reflect that fact.]

CNN'S Kyra Phillips zeroed on the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson's remarks about homosexuality on Wednesday's New Day, as she interviewed Robertson's son Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie. Phillips played up the "firestorm" after the Duck Dynasty star's interview with GQ, and asked his son, "Is that what you believe?"

However, the correspondent went on to compliment Willie Robertson and his family for how well they apparently have raised their children: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 26, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

Stephen Colbert boosted Jimmy Carter's new book on Tuesday's Colbert Report – a mere day after the former president blamed Catholicism, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention, for the abuse of women across the globe. Carter offered a toned-down version of this eyebrow-raising argument: "If you're a male religious leader, and you want to stay in unchallenged power and not have women challengers, then you can pick some of those things that...St. Paul said."

The Democrat also claimed that he would consider joining the Catholic Church if they would ordain women: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 26, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

On Monday, The UK's Daily Telegraph spotlighted the scoop of another British media outlet, Channel 4, which discovered the beyond abhorrent practice of 10 NHS hospitals incinerating over 15,000 bodies of unborn babies from miscarriages and abortions. The investigation by the Channel 4 program Dispatches found that some of the infants' remains were even used to heat the medical facilities.

This scandal, which got picked up by newspapers across much of the Anglosphere – including The Vancouver Sun and The Ottawa Citizen in Canada – has yet to receive wide coverage in the United States. So far, the only TV outlet to devote air time to the story was Monday's The Five on Fox News Channel. Host Greg Gutfeld led the segment with a warning about the repugnant nature of the subject, and likened to abuse of the bodies to a well-known sci-fi movie from the 1970s: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 25, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

On Tuesday, Hot Air's Ed Morrissey correctly pointed out Joy Reid's implicit anti-Catholicism during the commentary segment that closed her MSNBC program on Monday. Reid zeroed in on the Supreme Court cases challenging the Obama administration's abortifacient/contraceptive mandate under ObamaCare, and hyped how "the Court that will decide includes six Catholic justices – some of whom have not been shy about asserting their religion."

The host also bemoaned how "all of this is taking place as the country becomes more secular – even as the fervently religious fight harder than ever to push creationism in taxpayer-funded schools and on science TV shows." Reid underlined that "the question of corporate personhood has gone from whether the railroad has to pay its taxes to whether corporations can be religious people. The question is, do you trust this Court to make those decisions?" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 24, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT

On Monday's New Day, CNN's John King refreshingly spotlighted one of President Obama's key campaign promises from 2008 about foreign policy during a discussion about how to respond to Russia's aggression in Crimea. King wondered if "a President who came to office saying he could unite the world and would have better international diplomacy than George W. Bush – at least on this one, doesn't have any good options."

The anchor was responding to a comment from Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News, who noted how "the White House doesn't really want to give a whole lot of military assistance here, and they don't think that...most of Europe is going to go along with significant sanctions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 21, 2014, 10:02 PM EDT

Friday's CBS Evening News and ABC's World News both glowingly harkened back to a prominent past example of bilateral exchange between the U.S. and China, as they reported on Michelle Obama's trip to the East Asian country. But they continued their blackout on covering the White House's ban of journalists accompanying the First Lady. During a news brief, CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "education is the focus of her [Mrs. Obama's] week-long trip, but there was also time for a little bit of ping-pong diplomacy."

The ABC evening newscast surpassed their competitor, however, with David Muir touting "the images making headlines out of China... the Chinese president unexpectedly coming out to meet her – the whole thing reminiscent of those iconic shots of President Nixon in his groundbreaking trip to China." Jonathan Karl also raised the air of "ping-pong diplomacy," but noted the current First Lady's departure from her predecessors in her approach to the communist regime: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 20, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

Michael Rothman hyped Johnny Weir "amazing style and eye-catching outfits" in a Thursday item for ABCNews.com about the openly-homosexual figure skater's "split from his husband." Rothman labeled Weir "the man who stole the show at the Sochi Olympics," after the former Olympian provided on-air commentary in his "flamboyant outfits," including "black leggings...ankle-high boots" and even a tiara.

Rothman's short write-up included Weir's Tweets on his break-up with Victor Voronov:

March 20, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

Bill Plante acted as a stenographer for the Obama administration on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he spotlighted the "multi-tiered state and national effort to get young people enrolled" in ObamaCare before the end of March. Plante touted the "supportive celebrity Tweets and videos....and a tongue-in-cheek tool kit that teaches parents how to get on social media and 'nag' their children 'mercilessly.'"

The correspondent again noted Zach Galifianikis' mock interview of President Obama, which the Big Three networks spent 100 times more coverage on than the low enrollment the previous week. However, CBS This Morning at least mentioned how the administration fell millions short of its original seven million goal. ABC nor NBC have yet to mention the new enrollment figures on their morning and evening newscasts. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 19, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

Former liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin launched a left-wing tirade on his TV One news program on Wednesday, aimed mainly at conservative opponents of President Barack Obama's foreign policy: "Who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade?...the United States, under President Reagan, invaded Grenada....Yet, here we are telling another sovereign nation what countries you can't invade. It's called being hypocritical. It is called being shameless, and frankly, we look silly."

Despite targeting Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham by name for their criticism of Obama, Martin threw a much wider net in his rant: "So Americans, can you please stop with the hypocritical nature of your criticism?...The fact of the matter is, America has always invaded other countries." The host also included some of the left's usual examples of America's meddling around the world: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 19, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.

March 18, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

In a refreshing change of pace, CNN's John King skeptically wondered on Tuesday's New Day about the White House touting the five million "enrollments" in ObamaCare: "They wanted to get the seven million by March 31 – unlikely they'll get there....How important are the next couple of weeks, and...if they get to six, can they spin that as a success, or is this baked in as a failure?"

King later pointed out that "even if they get some policy numbers that point them toward success –  maybe not where they wanted to get, but close to that – can they change the political dynamic out in the country? Because if you go to these key states, it seems like ObamaCare is still a liability." Despite this, New Day anchor John Berman still trumpeted the five million figure: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 17, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT

As of Monday evening, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover North Korea's firing of 25 short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday. NBCNews.com did post an unsigned article from Reuters on Sunday about how the "missiles flew for 45 miles before splashing into the sea," and ABC News' website went with AP's write-up on the development, but neither outlet devoted any air time to the story.

By contrast, CNN's New Day on Monday devoted a 20-second news brief to the Obama administration's reaction to this latest instance of North Korean sabre-rattling: [video below the jump]

March 15, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews continued his tirade targeted at Democrats from the previous day, in the wake of the party's loss in the special election in Florida on Tuesday. The MSNBC host bemoaned how supposedly, "Republicans say, we've got to cut entitlements....And yet, they don't pay a price for it politically. I'm determined that they pay a price for their words."

Matthews added that "Democrats better be focusing on what Republicans are promising to do – on issues like choice; on issues like voter suppression – or they're going to get their asses handed to them this November." He later zeroed in on how Republicans apparently "exploited" Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink's "reasonable" approach during her campaign: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 14, 2014, 10:54 PM EDT

ABC's World News named Rico Roman, a member of Team U.S.A. in the Sochi Paralympics, its 'Person of the Week' on Friday. Roman, an Iraq War veteran who lost his left leg after his Humvee struck an IED, is now the "the star forward of the U.S. Paralympic hockey team." Amy Robach spotlighted how the Oregon native "discovered sled hockey – an outlet from the confines of a hospital room."

The correspondent also pointed out how a significant percentage of the American Paralympics team come from the military: [video below the jump]

March 13, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT

MSNBC's Ronan Farrow marked the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on Thursday by browbeating the Catholic Church for supposedly thwarting the fight against AIDS in the developing world, and for the Church's apparent lack of action in stopping genocide. Farrow played up how "Church social policies often fly in the face of skyrocketing HIV rates," and bemoaned how "the Church does still ban contraception in those places. Is that costing lives?"

The neophyte TV host asked one of his priest guests, "You don't think that it's irresponsible, given the emphasis on mercy and the preservation of life, that there's not more leeway on that doctrine?" He also played up how "brutal conflicts in countries with significant Catholic populations demand attention that some say the Church is failing to provide," and faulted the Church for its apparent inaction during the genocide in Rwanda almost 20 years ago: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 12, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT

[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]

On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."

What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]

March 11, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT

CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."

However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:

March 10, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal won CBS Evening News an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012, and also provided hard-hitting reporting on the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, announced her sudden departure from CBS on Monday afternoon in a post on Twitter: "I have resigned from CBS."

During an October 2013 report on CBS This Morning, Attkisson revealed a new weapons smuggling scandal surrounding the Obama administration that involved a grenade that was used to murder three police officers in Mexico. Several months earlier, in June 2013, the now former CBS correspondent revealed that her computer was hacked – something she had suspected for weeks: