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
February 17, 2012, 2:03 PM EST

On Friday's CBS This Morning, Rick Santorum pushed back against Charlie Rose's interrogation about supporter Foster Friess's recent "bad off-color joke" on contraception, all but name-dropping former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of the media's double standard on playing "gotcha" politics with Republicans, but not Democrats.

Rose initially countered, "This is not gotcha; what this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president." But the GOP presidential candidate wasn't having any of it: "You don't do this with President Obama...he sat in a church for 20 years, and [you] defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard...and I'm going to call you on it" [audio available here; video below the jump].

February 16, 2012, 3:38 PM EST

When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.

MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.

February 15, 2012, 7:02 PM EST

On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.

The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"

February 13, 2012, 6:32 PM EST

On Monday, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent forwarded a liberal talking point, that the Obama administration's controversial mandate for coverage of abortifacients and contraception without a co-pay would be used as a "wedge issue" by Republicans. Sargent also highlighted a split inside the GOP over the so-called "accommodation" made by the President on Friday.

The writer began his article, "Birth control as wedge issue against GOP, ctd.,"on his "Plum Line" blog by forwarding the White House's own labeling about the Friday proposal: "Now that Obama has reached an accommodation on birth control that has won some support on both sides of the debate, could it now become a wedge issue against the GOP, as I speculated the other day?"

February 10, 2012, 7:20 PM EST

Julie Rovner, NPR's on-staff shill for ObamaCare, filed an unashamedly one-sided report on Friday's Morning Edition about the controversial Obama administration mandate that forces religious institutions to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and birth control.

Rovner turned to only two individuals for her pro-mandate report: Peggy Mastroianni, general counsel at the federal government's own EEOC, an organization which recently got slapped down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of houses of worship in hiring and personnel matters; and Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a lawyer for the notoriously far-left American Civil Liberties Union, who until May 2011, worked for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.

February 9, 2012, 4:14 PM EST

After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.

It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."

 

February 8, 2012, 6:49 PM EST

After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.

On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.

February 8, 2012, 1:36 PM EST

On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."

Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."

February 7, 2012, 5:20 PM EST

Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.

Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.

February 7, 2012, 1:37 PM EST

CBS This Morning on Tuesday led its broadcast with the Obama re-election campaign's decision on Monday night to reverse its opposition to super PAC fundraising. Charlie Rose teased the report by noting how "the White House...flip-flops on controversial super PAC donations." ABC's Jake Tapper used the same term on Good Morning America. NBC's Today show completely ignored this breaking development.

During his report on the CBS morning show, correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama's "denunciation of that Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited fundraising" and played a clip from his 2010 State of the Union address where he ripped the Citizens United decision in the presence of several of the justices who handed it down [audio available here; video below the jump].

February 6, 2012, 5:45 PM EST

ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."

The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).

February 6, 2012, 10:28 AM EST

When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories. A  Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.

February 2, 2012, 6:05 PM EST

The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."

The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may]  pay the biggest price" for the move.

 

February 1, 2012, 5:26 PM EST

On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.

Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.

January 31, 2012, 9:46 PM EST

Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.

Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?"  The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.

 

January 31, 2012, 1:50 PM EST

Scott Pelley simply got it wrong on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, when he claimed that the Republican presidential candidates "have finally arrived in a state that was very hard hit by the great recession and has been suffering for a very long time. The unemployment rate here is about 10%." In reality, South Carolina, the state that held the last GOP primary, has about the same unemployment rate, at 9.9% [audio available here; video below the jump].

Two weeks earlier, on the January 17 edition of his CBS Evening News program, Pelley introduced a segment with John Dickerson, who was in the Palmetto State, which referenced the national unemployment rate. But neither on-air personality mentioned the specific unemployment rate inside the state:

 

January 30, 2012, 3:19 PM EST

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hammered Newt Gingrich on the issue of the opposition his presidential campaign was receiving from some prominent conservatives: "Why are so many conservatives, including...Drudge and Ann Coulter, attacking you?" Rose also spotlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."

The anchor started relentlessly pursued Gingrich not long after he began the interview. He asked the Drudge and "get even" questions in quick succession after getting the former House Speaker to reply to a recent comment from opponent Mitt Romney. Later, the CBS journalist pounced when the Georgia Republican raised what George Soros said recently, that "there isn't all that much difference" between President Obama and Romney [audio clip available here; video below the jump]:

 

January 27, 2012, 6:46 PM EST

Charlie Rose boosted a jaw-dropping line from Politico's Roger Simon on Friday's CBS This Morning, which concluded that the Republican presidential debates were hurting the party's chances at defeating President Obama: "It is said that in Chicago, where they are running the Obama campaign, that they're so giddy that they want to run naked in Millennium Park" [audio available here; video below the jump].

Simon's actual sentence in his Thursday piece was more graphic:

January 26, 2012, 3:51 PM EST

Yahoo! News, which recently entered into a partnership with ABC News, somehow thought it fit to use its "Destination 2012" site for the 2012 election to highlight a new study that found a purported link between conservatism and low intelligence. The headline for the story by LiveScience.com's Stephanie Pappas exclaimed, "Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice."

Pappas wasted little time to note that apparently, "low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found." She cited the study's lead researcher, Gordon Hodson of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, who claimed that "those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote."

January 26, 2012, 1:46 PM EST

On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose took issue with Senator Marco Rubio recently attacking President Barack Obama for being 'divisive.' When Rubio tried to point to the President's State of the Union address as an example, Rose interrupted and replied, "I saw him honoring the military of America and a lot other things where we should be coming together. That doesn't seem to be divisive."

The Florida Republican continued by trying to cite the chief executive's use of class warfare as a tactic "What about the part that basically implies...that the only way that some people in America can be better off is for other people to be worse off? And that's not true to our heritage." The CBS anchor, however, cut the potential vice presidential candidate short just 11 seconds after he began his answer, in an apparent rush to get to the local weather reports [audio clip available here; video below the jump].