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
November 29, 2010, 3:43 PM EST

On Monday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer downplayed the criminal factor in the release of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic communiques by WikiLeaks, twice labeling the website as only a "messenger" for the documents. Both Lauer and NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell insisted the State Department "crossed a line" by ordering diplomats to spy on foreign diplomats at the United Nations.

The NBC anchor interviewed Republican Congressman Peter King seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour on this latest release of confidential documents by WikiLeaks. Midway through the segment, Lauer raised the espionage issue: "Were you surprised to hear that Secretary of State Clinton and her predecessor, Secretary of State Rice, asked their diplomats to, in effect, spy on diplomats at the United Nations, asking for things like credit card numbers, computer passwords, DNA, fingerprints? This does cross a line, doesn't it?"

November 24, 2010, 1:58 PM EST

On Tuesday evening, ABC and CBS furthered the mainstream media's largely inaccurate reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on the morality of condom use. While the pontiff stated that condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection," World News anchor Diane Sawyer stated that "the Pope shifts his rules on condom use." Evening News anchor Katie Couric labeled Benedict XVI's comment a "historic statement," and trumpeted how supposedly, "Pope Benedict says, for the first time, that condoms are okay to protect against HIV and other diseases."

Sawyer included her misleading "Pope shifts his rules on condom use" phrase as she teased the lead stories at the beginning of World News. Sixteen minutes into the half hour program, the ABC anchor introduced correspondent Dan Harris's report, who began by giving a false impression of Benedict's remarks during an interview published in book form given by German journalist Peter Seewald. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "A Change in Policy:"

November 23, 2010, 9:32 PM EST

On Tuesday's Situation Roon, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his longstanding Palin Derangement syndrome by rebroadcasting one of his commentaries from September 2008 where he played an excerpt from the infamous Katie Couric interview and disparaged the then-vice presidential candidate. Most of the viewer responses to his 'Question of the Hour' bashed the former Alaska governor.

The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to his old nemesis, since the Republican stated in a recent interview that she wouldn't "waste her time" doing another interview with the CBS anchor. He replayed the bulk of a September 26, 2008 segment where he highlighted one of Palin's less-than-satisfactory answers during the Couric interview. He concluded at that time that "if John McCain wins, this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being president of the United States, and if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."

November 23, 2010, 3:44 PM EST

NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell hyped Sarah Palin's criticism of her liberal opponents on Tuesday's Today show, stating that the former governor "rips the heart out of some of her opponents" in her new book. O'Donnell stated that Palin, "in very personal terms, also questions the President's [Obama's] patriotism, concluding he has 'a stark lack of faith in the American people.'"

The correspondent covered "America By Heart," the Republican's second book, for the second straight day. Anchor Matt Lauer introduced her report, which began 40 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour, by immediately noting Palin's attacks on Mr. Obama: "Sarah Palin's much-anticipated new book hits stores today. NBC News received an advanced copy last night, and the former Alaska governor is not holding back when it comes to President Obama." O'Donnell picked up where he left off: "Well, you know, her new book is called 'America By Heart.' It's full of what she calls 'reflections on faith, family and flag.' But with all the attacks on President Obama and others, some say it could be a handbook for her for a 2012 campaign."

November 22, 2010, 8:04 PM EST

On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a false impression of Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about condoms. While the Pope stated that condom use "can be a first step...on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed," Phillips stated that the pontiff "says condoms are okay sometimes." Refreshingly, Monday's Today show on NBC accurately covered Benedict's remarks.

The anchor previewed CNN correspondent Atika Schubert's report on the pontiff's comments 10 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour with her inaccurate description: "Well, the Catholic Church and condoms: two things that have never really gone together until now. The Pope, quoted in a new book, says condoms are okay sometimes. Now, that's a talker!" After a commercial break, Phillips continued with another misleading statement:

PHILLIPS: Pope Benedict is bending a bit when it comes to condoms. A new book actually quotes him as saying that they are okay to use in certain circumstances, like to prevent disease, not birth control. It's the first time the Church has ever talked about exceptions to the condom rule....Here's a part of what the Pope says in the book. See if your eyebrows raise a little bit. It says- quote, 'There could be single cases that can be justified. For instance, when a prostitute uses a condom.' Say what? (laughs) Doesn't it kind of sound like the Pope is justifying prostitution, too? Surely not, but what a bizarre analogy.

November 20, 2010, 1:25 PM EST

CNN host Larry King channeled the left's frustration with the Obama administration on Thursday's Larry King Live as he questioned Vice President Joe Biden about their approach on overturning the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy: "You were against it, as I understand? Certainly, the President is against it. Most of the administration is against it....So why is this our policy?"

King had Mr. Biden on as his sole guest during the first half hour of his program, and brought on Second Lady Jill Biden to join her husband for the remainder of the program. The host raised the controversial issue immediately before Mrs. Biden came on, and besides noting how "most of the administration" is against the policy, he stated that "apparently, they polled troops- they're against it, and you poll America- they're against it."

On October 29, 2010, The Washington Post cited unnamed "multiple people familiar with the findings" of a Defense Department survey of active-duty and reserve military, which apparently found that "a majority of active-duty and reserve service members...would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops," but the actual results would not be available until December 1, when a "Pentagon report...regarding how the military would end enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law" is released. However, only two years ago, The Military Times, in their annual poll of active-duty service members, revealed that 58% were opposed to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Moreover, General James Conway, who stepped down as commandant of the Marine Corps on October 22 of this year, stated in an October 15 interview that "as many as 95% of Marines would be uncomfortable serving alongside openly gay troops."

November 19, 2010, 3:39 PM EST

On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker bizarrely and inaccurately claimed that Alexander Hamilton came to the United States illegally and drafted the Constitution: "Let's remember...a lot of Americans did come through the back door such as Alexander Hamilton. He got off the boat from the West Indies, and all he did was write the Constitution and become the first Secretary of the Treasury."

Parker raised this false history during a discussion at the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour about Pedro Ramirez, Fresno State University's student body president, who was outed as an illegal immigrant by a student newspaper. After playing clips from Ramirez and his opponent during the student election, who is also the president of the Fresno State College Republicans, the CNN host displayed sympathy for the college student: "This is kind of a classic though, isn't it, really? I mean, you've the college Republican versus the illegal immigrant, and it's kind of a classic clash, you know, that corresponds to this immigration debate we're having in this country. And clearly, when you put a human face on the illegal immigrant, it's a different story. I mean, nobody wants to punish this young 22-year-old."

[Video embedded below the page break]

November 18, 2010, 4:32 PM EST

On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, the host asked about parents who are "overpopulating" the world, and guest Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University professor, compared having a large family to littering, "as if we've got too many people on this planet to begin with." Fisher also bizarrely stated that "for billions of years, we [humans] ended up having one or two children per woman."

Host Joy Behar devoted the last two segments of her 9 pm Eastern hour program to how women are trending away from having children. Besides Fisher, she brought on author Rachel Shukert and Laura Scott, who manages the "Childless By Choice Project" blog. Near the middle of the second segment, the host blurred the line between typical large families, most of whom have children by natural means, and celebrities such as the "Octo-Mom" and Kate Gosselin and her family. This is where Fisher made her extreme leftist remark:

BEHAR: What about these people who are overpopulating- the Gosselins, the octo-moms- these people who have been vitro with hundreds of things in there- you know what I mean? What's up with that?

[Video embedded below the page break]

November 17, 2010, 7:25 PM EST

On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Ali Velshi continued his network's promotion of homosexual "marriage" with an interview of two men who conducted what they called an "e-marriage." The two used Skype to have an officiant in Washington, DC, where same-sex "marriage" is legal, remotely perform their ceremony, which took place in Texas.

Velshi introduced the "fascinating story" of Mark and Dante Walkup and described "e-marriage" as "not just the idea that you get married using the Internet- the idea that a gay couple can get married using the Internet in a state that doesn't allow gay marriage....They got married via Skype, and they got married via Skype while they were in Dallas by somebody officiating who was somewhere else."

The CNN anchor tossed softball questions at the two homosexuals throughout the interview, only asking them to "explain...how this all transpired" and how they went about performing their "e-marriage." Towards the end of the segment, Velshi brought on defense attorney Ann Fitz, who stated that "this is absolutely a legal marriage under the laws of Washington, DC, and the fact that they have the ceremony itself in Texas does nothing to negate the validity of it." He also complimented his two guests for their "very innovative way of doing things."

November 16, 2010, 2:01 PM EST

CNN, whose new ad claims that they "keep them all honest, without playing favorites," actually played favorites on Monday's Parker-Spitzer. Hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer failed to give ideological labels to their liberal guests, while clearly identifying Tim Phillips as being president of "Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group" and labeling Bjorn Lomborg a "controversial author."

Parker and Spitzer's first guest was liberal Congressman Anthony Weiner, who appeared two minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. The former liberal governor introduced Weiner as merely a "Democratic representative from New York." The American Conservative Union gave the congressman a zero rating in 2008 and 2009, with a lifetime rating of 5.14. The left-of-center Americans for Democratic Action named Weiner one of their "ADA Heroes" in the House in 2009. Clearly, the New York politician is a liberal, but neither host identified him as such.

November 13, 2010, 5:13 PM EST

Roland Martin brought his full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome to Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, labeling the former Alaska governor "the Kim Kardashian of politics." Martin continued that Palin is "making a ton of money. We're trying to figure out why. It's the same as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton....She quit her job because she wanted to go out and be a celebrity."

The CNN contributor actually first tried out his questionable label of the Tea Party favorite on his Twitter account. At 5:12 pm on November 9, Martin posted the following Tweet: "Palin slammed then-Sen. Obama as a celebrity in 2008 campaign, and she's more of a celebrity because she doesn't hold office." Mind you, at that time, Palin was Alaska's governor and the Republican vice presidential candidate, but the liberal continued by complaining in a second Tweet that "the media goes ga ga over whatever she says. Palin is often wrong. She's a former governor who quit her job rather than tough it out." During his third Tweet, Martin added, "She holds no position; wants no accountability; and wants to sling arrows and then gets angry when called on the carpet 4 her nonsense." The CNN personality completed his rant by comparing the Republican to the curvy celebrity most infamous for making a pornographic video: "At the end of the day, Sarah Palin is the Kim Kardashian of Politics. She's a celebrity with no real purpose other than picking up a check."

[Video below the jump]
 

November 11, 2010, 4:29 PM EST

CNN personality Soledad O'Brien revealed in her new book that liberal activist Jesse Jackson put her down for her skin color during a private meeting in 2007. During the meeting, Jackson complained to O'Brien, whose mother is a black woman from Cuba, that there weren't any black anchors on CNN. When she pointed out that she was the anchor of American Morning, the activist replied, "You don't count."

O'Brien, who is now a special correspondent for CNN, recounted the 2007 incident in "The Next Big Story," which CNN.com excerpted on November 3. Just before her meeting with Jackson, the journalist had obtained "exclusive access to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers," as the lead-in for the excerpt underlined. Soon after this, as O'Brien recalled, "Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk." The two met at a restaurant "on the first floor of a famous hotel" and in the course of their conversation, the subject of the racial makeup of her network came up:

November 10, 2010, 7:54 PM EST

CNN, a network known for its regular liberal bias, touted its supposed objectivity versus its competitors in a new ad which premiered on Tuesday evening. The ad graphically associated Fox News with the Republican elephant and MSNBC with the Democratic donkey, and claimed, "If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news."

Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone, in his Wednesday article on the new ad, quoted from CNN political director Sam Feist, who claimed that their ad "simply states the obvious: We're the one cable news channel that doesn't advocate for one political party or the other." Calderone continued that "CNN's nonpartisan anchors have struggled against their more opinionated counterparts. Campbell Brown acknowledged her 8 p.m. show's low ratings against Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in her May announcement that she was leaving the network."

[Video of the ad below the jump]
 

November 9, 2010, 7:52 PM EST

CNN's Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer endorsed Matt Taibbi's bashing of conservatives on their Monday program. Spitzer marveled over the Rolling Stone editor's "brilliant" label of the Tea Party as "15 million pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid." This was the second straight evening that the network brought on an anti-conservative author to promote their latest work.

The two hosts devoted 12 straight and uninterrupted minutes during the first half of the 8 pm Eastern hour to their interview of Taibbi. Parker mentioned Taibbi's new book, "Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and a Long Con that is Breaking America,"  in her introduction of the author and labeled it "a scathing and often hilarious account of the financial crisis...it's hard to make the financial crisis funny, but you did that successfully." She continue by quoting one of the writer's attacks on Sarah Palin: "I want to read you a description that you wrote of Sarah Palin. You called her a 'narcissistic money-grubbing hack.'"

After laughing at this label, the pseudo-conservative writer sought her guest's take on Palin: "She's got the Republican establishment scared to death, so there must be something more to Sarah than just that, huh?" Taibbi replied with some guarded praise of the former Alaska governor, along with the Tea Party movement:

November 8, 2010, 4:47 PM EST

CNN's Don Lemon tossed softballs at leftist writer Tim Wise on Sunday's Newsroom, mostly reading back excerpts from his latest column, which the anchor labeled a "withering rebuke of...the 'white right.'" Lemon even twice emphasized how Wise has apparently received death threats over the column, where he slammed "conservative old white people [who] have pretty much always been the bad guys."

The CNN anchor interviewed Wise for nearly eight minutes during a segment 10 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Lemon began with "withering rebuke" label and continued that the author "begins with a disclaimer that he is not referring to all white people, and that his essay is not anti-white. He says it is addressed to- quote, 'The white community that is right-wing.'" He then turned to his guest and seemed to compliment him before asking his first question: "I was actually- I have to be honest- a little bit stunned when I read this because your language is unusually rough and raw. We know that you tell it like it is. You called the election results a temper tantrum and you sound mad as hell....do you regret using any of this fiery rhetoric?"

The leftist writer emphatically stood behind his incendiary column:

November 7, 2010, 6:54 PM EST

On Friday's Situation Room, The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz stated that the fundraising activities of Fox News contributors Dick Morris and Karl Rove somehow rose to a worse level than Keith Olbermann's maximum individual donations to three Democrats, which violated MSNBC's policy. Kurtz also suggested that both networks "tighten up on this stuff or just tear up the rule book."

Correspondent Mary Snow covered Olbermann's suspension during a report just before the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour. Snow began by noting how the anchor "has become a star power at MSNBC for voicing his liberal opinions, but Keith Olbermann is now sidelined for financially supporting three Democratic candidates. Records show he contributed $2,400 each to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, and two members of Congress from Arizona: Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva." She continued that "Congressman Grijalva was a guest on Olbermann's show October 28, the same day Olbermann donated to his campaign."

Later, after recounting how the MSNBC personality has been "a vocal critic of Fox and its parent company, News Corp, for donating $1 million to the Republican Governors Association," the CNN correspondent played her clip from Kurtz, who gave his take on the Olbermann suspension and on the Fox News contributors' fundraising:

November 4, 2010, 6:01 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Colbert Report, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert made light of CNN's crowded Election Night "Best Political Team on Television," labeling anchor

November 2, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT

On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Anderson Cooper refreshingly admonished a Democratic state senator in Alabama for his "incendiary injection of race in the final days of this election." Cooper interrogated Hank Sanders for his robocall which predicted the return of the "cotton fields of Jim Crow" if the Democrat candidates for governor and lieutenat governor weren't elected.

The anchor led his program with a promo of his "Keeping Them Honest' segment which included his "incendiary injection of race" label of Rep. Sanders's robocall. Two minutes later, Cooper played the Democratic state senator's recording: "This is Hank Sanders, Alabama state senator, and I'm still mad as hell. I say, hell no! I ain't going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days. I'm going forward with Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom, and others who would do right by all of us. I hope you're mad as hell and will not go back, and you have the power to choose. I will stand until hell freezes over."

Before playing his interview with Rep. Sanders, the CNN anchor stated, "It's a pretty serious charge to make, but does he have actual evidence to back up his statements?" He continued on this note in his first question to the Democrat:

November 2, 2010, 9:18 AM EDT

HBO's Bill Maher spouted his usual anti-conservative and anti-Fox News rhetoric on Monday's Situation Room on CNN, attacking the Tea Party movement as "teabaggers [who] are all carrying the banner...of corporatist America" and accusing CNN's competitor of "filling people with misinformation." Maher also labeled Republican voters "far right" and a "fringe group of people who are very forceful."

The left-wing HBO host appeared for two segments starting at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Anchor Wolf Blitzer began with an election-related question: "Let's talk a little bit about what's going to happen tomorrow. A lot of Democrats are worried. They're sitting on a potential political disaster tomorrow. Here's the question to you: why? What happened?"

Maher actually first blamed the Democrats: "Well- I mean, partly, it is the Democrats' fault. They don't do very good at bragging about their achievements. This Congress, which I'm sure is going to be tarred as a do-nothing Congress, actually was one of the more successful congresses in recent memory, probably not since Lyndon Johnson in 1965 has a Congress achieved so much." The guest predictably cited health care "reform" and financial reforms as his examples.

Blitzer followed-up by asking, "So is it just a matter of communications?" Maher launched his attack on Fox News in his reply:

November 1, 2010, 3:51 PM EDT

CNN led their hour-long documentary "Boiling Point: Inside the Tea Party," which aired on Saturday and Sunday, with the regular accusation from liberals that racism is "running rampant" in the Tea Party movement. Host Shannon Travis highlighted the NAACP's resolution, disgraced former Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams's self-described "foolish satire," and played up two racially-charged signs.

Before raising the racism charge, Travis raised another liberal stereotype perpetuated by the mainstream media: the angry Tea Party: "This is what you know about the Tea Party Movement: rallies like these, angry protesters demanding that lawmakers spend less of your money and spend more time adhering to the Constitution." After stating that "rallies like these across the country, don't tell the full picture" and that "there's a lot you don't know about the Tea Party movement," the CNN host stopped briefly to give some poll numbers on the partisan breakdown of the movement before proceeding to the race issue: