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 22, 2010, 4:09 PM EST

On Wednesday's GMA, ABC's Jake Tapper spun President Obama's victories during the lame duck Congress as a post-midterm "shellacking" of Republicans: "The President and Democrats...have passed a tax compromise package; repealed 'don't ask, don't tell;' and they stand on the verge of getting the START...treaty ratified. To hear...Senator Lindsey Graham tell it, it's his side that was shellacked."

Anchor George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "White House winning streak" at the top of the 7 am Eastern hour, and continued that Obama was "poised for a major victory: passage of a nuclear arms treaty, just days after repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' and the tax deal, ending 2010 on a roll. Can it continue next year?"

Seven minutes later, the ABC News anchor picked up where he left off as he introduced Tapper's report: "We're going to move now to Washington, where Congress is wrapping up its business, just in time for Christmas, and the President seems to be on a rebound from the beating he took in the midterm. Jake Tapper's at the White House, and Jake, with the expected passage later today of the START nuclear treaty with Russia, the White House is racking up significant wins."

December 21, 2010, 9:24 PM EST

CNN's Eliot Spitzer misleadingly claimed on Tuesday's Parker Spitzer that "President Obama has done everything to push the agenda for choice in schools" [audio available here]. In reality, the President's record shows that he has actually worked against school choice, particularly in the District of Columbia.

Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker brought on Stephen A. Smith, an African-American talk radio host, during the lead segment of the 8 pm Eastern hour to discuss his view that the black community should "play hard to get" with the Democratic Party, as the on-screen graphic summed it. Midway through the segment, the former Democratic governor of New York acted as the defender of the Obama administration's record on education: "It seems to me that President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan- 'Race to the Top,' [is] embracing the things from Michelle Rhee's reform agenda, to Joel Klein's reform agenda, getting quality teachers into the schools - all those things."

Smith retorted strongly that the Democrats don't have a spotless record on the issue:

[Video embedded below the page break]

December 20, 2010, 12:56 PM EST

On Monday's Good Morning America, ABC's George Stephanopoulos took a skeptical tone during an interview of liberal Senator Chuck Schumer concerning a new report from Senator Tom Coburn, which pointed out the 100 most wasteful federal government projects of 2010: "He [Coburn] says there are hundreds of billions of dollars of waste. Do you buy that?"

Stephanopoulos turned to Senator Schumer after ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl highlighted the findings of Senator Coburn's "wastebook" report, and led the interview with his "do you buy that" question. After the Democrat from New York gave his initial answer, the former Clinton administration official trumpeted the accomplishments of the outgoing liberal Congress in its lame duck session:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you are- looking like you're going be [there] until Christmas, doing an awful lot of work during this lame duck session of Congress. I know you were critical of the President's negotiating in this tax compromise, but decided to vote for it. You've also now passed the 'don't ask, don't tell' [repeal], the food safety bill, and you seem to have a breakthrough on something you've been fighting for for years, this several-billion dollar bill to get health benefits to emergency workers for 9/11. Are you confident now that you have the votes to get this through the Senate, and will the House stay in session to make sure it gets passed?

December 17, 2010, 2:16 PM EST

It seems that Eliot Spitzer's mind is still in the 1980s, as he twice stated on Thursday's Parker-Sptizer on CNN that the new START Treaty was with the Soviet Union. Spitzer trumpeted "the all-important START Treaty, that will finally cement a nuclear disarmament agreement with the Soviet Union," and then noted that the treaty would deal with the "nuclear warheads that are pointed by the Soviet Union at us" [audio available here].

The former New York governor and co-host Kathleen Parker led their 8 pm Eastern hour program with the current affairs of the lame-duck Congress. Spitzer highlighted the recent Gallup poll that found that only 13 percent of American approve of the job the legislative body is doing, and bemoaned how "for the past couple of hours, they have been spending your tax dollars in a debate about- and I don't know how else to say this- how they're going to debate."

After Parker replied that the House debate was specifically about extending the current tax rates, her CNN co-host focused his attention on the Senate and made his first gaffe about the START Treaty. Parker must not have caught his error, as she didn't correct him:

[Video embedded below the page break]

December 16, 2010, 5:35 PM EST

CNN's Larry King displayed his liberal slant during an interview of left-wing celebrity Barbara Streisand on his program on Wednesday, his penultimate episode before retirement. King wondered why she was "singled out more than most...the right winger radio hosts will often refer to Barbra Streisand." The host also sought the celebrity's take on "this deal to permit the tax decreases for the wealthy."

King devoted the entire 9 pm Eastern hour to his interview of the Brooklyn native. At the bottom of the hour, as the two discussed her political activism for the left, the CNN host raised how many on the opposite side of the political spectrum do not hold her in high regard, and focused his attention on conservative talk radio:

[Video embedded below the page break]

December 15, 2010, 7:36 PM EST

On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Jessica Yellin bizarrely implied that Congress's low poll numbers was linked to their failure to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." After noting the public's support for repeal, Yellin stated that "Congress has its lowest approval rating in the history of polling...So it's clear that the American people are in one place, and one place where they're not so happy with Congress."

Anchor Brooke Baldwin raised the "don't ask, don't tell" issue and how the House of Representatives was taking up a stand-alone bill that would repeal the 17-year-old policy. She asked the liberal CNN correspondent whether the Senate would pass the legislation, given how a previous repeal proposal was rejected just last week (as part of the defense authorization bill): "Why might the Senate change its collective mind? I remember the vote last Thursday. It was 57 to 40. They didn't have those three extra. So, all right, who's going to change their mind or why?"

December 13, 2010, 6:32 PM EST

CNN's Roland Martin went on a tirade against Rush Limbaugh on his "Washington Watch" program on TV One on Sunday, labeling the conservative talker a "right-wing blowhard" and "absolute idiot" for pretending not to know anything about the black-oriented TV network. Martin claimed that he was "more fair and sensible" than Limbaugh, but his list of guests alone betrays a definite liberal bias.

The CNN contributor went after the talk show host in his "Call 'Em Out" segment, which lasted just under three minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour program. In a teaser for the segment, Martin trumpeted how "that right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh needs some schooling about this show, 'Washington Watch,' and TV One. Trust me, I'm gonna give it to him."

During the actual segment (video available here), the TV One host led with his "absolute idiot" label for Limbaugh and played a clip from the December 6, 2010 edition of the conservative's show, where he needled Martin and his network (audio of Limbaugh available here):

December 10, 2010, 12:38 PM EST

Kathleen Parker, CNN's resident pseudo-conservative, gushed over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, trumpeting how the San Francisco liberal stood amongst her fellow Democrats: "She's the 'mama grizzly' in this crowd, is she not?" Parker also stated she had "great admiration" for Pelosi, and even cheered her on: "Go, Nancy!" [audio available here]

The host, along with her on-air partner Eliot Spitzer, shared yet another moment of mutual agreement during the lead segment of their program, ripping President Obama for his proposed tax compromise with congressional Republicans. Spitzer wasted little time in launching his attack on the executive: "He is like a school kid who's been sent home again to redo his homework because it was that bad the first time around. And you know what? They're right. He embraced George Bush's economic policies, and the Democrats in the House are saying, start over."

Parker agreed with him to a point, but tried to emphasize a possible long term benefit for Obama:

[Video embedded below the page break]

 

December 9, 2010, 8:06 PM EST

On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Brooke Baldwin continued her network's liberal spin on the proposed compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans to extend the current Bush-era tax rates, treating it as government spending. Baldwin hyped the apparent "two-year cost of this new cut" and how letting taxpayers keep their money would supposedly add to the deficit.

The anchor raised the "cost" issue during an interview of Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee six minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour:

BALDWIN: Congressman, we're scratching our heads a bit over these numbers, and I'm hoping you can help me out here, because they're kind of all over the place. The latest we are getting is this two-year cost of this new tax cut, it's somewhere in the ballpark between $800 billion and $900 billion- that is just specifically the tax cut- and then, the top 2 percent would take up about 20 percent of that $800 billion to $900 billion pie. So, Congressman, how close is that to what you're hearing? How close is that to reality?

December 8, 2010, 10:17 PM EST

CNN's Kiran Chetry helped two illegal immigrants lobby for the passage of the DREAM Act on Wednesday's American Morning, which would grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant youth. Chetry encouraged them to express their concerns for the legislation, as many Republicans in Congress don't support it, and tossed softball questions, which gave them ample time to vouch for the act.

The anchor interviewed Cesar Vargas and Gaby Pacheco 40 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Chetry labeled the two "classic examples of who this DREAM Act would help, if it were to pass the Congress" (both were also held up as examples by the Obama administration as two out of the "10 Reasons We Need the Dream Act," as listed on the White House's blog on December 3). She turned to Vargas first and asked, "Are you worried that this [bill] will fail, since there has not been a lot of Republican support?"

December 7, 2010, 8:31 PM EST

On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN tried to spin the proposed compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans to keep the current tax rates as a "package that increases spending dramatically." Correspondents Jessica Yellin and Joe Johns forwarded the liberal talking point that the Republicans were breaking their campaign promise to reduce government spending with this proposal.

Yellin appeared with anchor Brooke Baldwin just after the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour. After playing a montage of several clips of President Obama promising to "roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans," Baldwin stated that "it's not just the President, as we saw in the montage, breaking a promise. It's also- correct me if I'm wrong- the Republicans breaking a promise as well."

The liberal CNN correspondent replied with the faulty concept that letting taxpayers keep more of their income is government spending (thus treating all income as if it belonged to the government):

December 6, 2010, 6:06 PM EST

CNN continued its one-sided coverage of homosexual issues with two segments on Monday's Newsroom which featured only liberal activists. Anchor Kyra Phillips endorsed the work of Kamora Harrington and her "True Colors" group, which "organizes the largest LGBT youth conference in the country." Correspondent Dan Simon played a sound bite from one of the opponents of Prop 8 without playing any from supporters.

Phillips led her segment with Harrington, which began 38 minutes into the 10 am EST, by hyping the apparently dire situation with homosexual teens: "Gay bullying, gay suicides- they're sad stories that we keep hearing over and over again. But if the anecdotes weren't enough, there is a pair of new studies detailing just how hard it is to grow up gay." After playing a clip from a student discussion group which her guest regularly holds, the anchor turned to her and gave her first hint that she endorsed her organization's work:

December 4, 2010, 10:04 AM EST

CNN imported its Parker-Spitzer model of liberal versus slightly moderate to Friday's Situation Room, except reversing the sexes. Anchor Wolf Blitzer brought on Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Tea Party-hating columnist John Avlon to discuss the debate in Congress over tax rates and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Avlon took the same position as his colleague Kathleen Parker, that taxes should be raised on some rich, and joined Rosen in calling for the repeal of the controversial policy.

The two CNN political contributors appeared during the regular "Strategy Session" segment 49 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer read an excerpt from a recent blog item by Time's Mark Halperin where he wondered if the Democratic Party was "in the midst of a nervous breakdown." Rosen denied that this was the case and mouthed her party's talking points on the tax debate:

December 2, 2010, 12:53 PM EST

CNN's Eliot Spitzer blasted Senate Republicans on Wednesday's Parker-Spitzer for their promise to hold up legislation unless the current tax rates are extended: "Every one of us...[is] being held hostage by 42 Republican senators." Predictably, co-host Kathleen Parker agreed with Spitzer to a point, and snarked, "I got stuck on the image of being held hostage by 42 Republicans- talk about a bad date."

The former Democratic governor of New York led the 8 pm Eastern hour of the program with his rant against the senators. After twice using his "hostage" term, which likens the Republicans to terrorists, Spitzer bewailed how "the day after the Republican leadership meets with the President, and says we want bipartisanship, they send a letter saying, no way, no how. We will do nothing until you give a tax cut to the rich. No START Treaty- something that has been endorsed by...every major Republican foreign policy leader...No unemployment benefits for those who are looking for jobs- can't get it with unemployment at 9, 10 percent." He ended this initial bombast with another cliched label for Republicans: "This is outrageous. This is not the way to govern. The party of no has gotten worse. I think it is a shame, and it is just beyond comprehension."

December 1, 2010, 4:14 PM EST

On Tuesday's Parker-Spitzer on CNN, ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer ironically worried that too many of his fellow former politicians, who are also contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, are on Fox News: "Never before in our history...has one media outlet with one coherent ideology had almost a monopoly on...half of the presidential nominees and controlled one political party this way."

The disgraced former politician of Client Number Nine infamy raised the apparent problem during the first part of an interview of former MSNBC personality and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams. After noting that "Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and John Bolton...[are] all running for president and, perhaps more important, they all work for Fox News," Spitzer highlighted a quote from Dick Morris, who stated the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination "will come to resemble American Idol, where we watch the candidates perform and vote on who we like best."

November 30, 2010, 4:29 PM EST

CNN's Larry King provided more proof that his network does indeed "play favorites," contrary to the claim of their recent ad, by bringing on three liberals on his program on Monday to discuss WikiLeaks' latest document release. Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers infamy praised Julian Assange as a "truth-teller," while Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone defended the website.

Former Clinton administration official James Rubin joined Ellsberg and Hastings for a panel discussion during the first half hour of King's 9 pm Eastern hour program. The outgoing host turned to Ellsberg first and asked as his second question, "Knowing how you release things, what should not be reported?"

The Vietnam-era hero of the left referenced a more recent cause celebre of his ideological peers in his answer and mouthed their talking point on it:

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."