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
September 30, 2010, 5:07 PM EDT
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez implied that Fox News played some kind of part in James O'Keefe's attempted "punk" of correspondent Abbie Boudreau: "The same right-wing videographer, who entrapped and embarrassed innocent people in the past, tries it again- this time on a CNN correspondent....How could he try something so stupid, and what was Fox News's role?" [audio clip available here]

Sanchez made this parting shot at his longstanding nemesis on the last prime time edition of his show, as the 8 pm time slot on CNN is being taken over on October 4 by a new program featuring former New York governor and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer and pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker. The anchor raised his implying question about the apparent "role" of Fox News during the lead-in to his program. Instead of making a direct accusation against Fox News, as he did in the aftermath of the murders of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in April 2009, he replayed an earlier interview with Boudreau from the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour of his program.
September 28, 2010, 6:12 PM EDT
CNN's Jack Cafferty may end up eating more than his words if Sarah Palin is elected the next president in 2012. After outlining how a current poll indicates "Obama's best hope of winning a second term just might be Alaska's dropout governor" on Tuesday's Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer warned him that there's always the chance she may end up being elected. Cafferty replied, "If Sarah Palin is the next president, Wolf, I will eat this building I'm talking to you from one brick at a time" [audio clip available here].

The commentator devoted his regular 5 pm "Cafferty File" segment to a recent Politico/George Washington University poll that found that only 38% would vote to re-elect President Obama, and 44% would vote for his hypothetical opponent. Besides these poll numbers, Cafferty noted that "by double digits, they disapprove of his new health care law. They trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than they trust Mr. Obama."
September 28, 2010, 1:54 PM EDT
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin leaned against California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as she compared one of her ads against that of her opponent, Senator Barbara Boxer. While Yellin acknowledged that Boxer's ad was "negative," she also  complimented it as "very effective." The correspondent went on to label Fiorina's commercial "mean" [audio clips available here].

Substitute anchor Brooke Baldwin discussed the California Senate race with Yellin 17 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin first noted that the San Francisco Chronicle declined to endorse either candidate in the race, for in their view, "[i]t is a dismal choice between an ineffective advocate for causes we generally support and a potentially strong advocate for positions we oppose." She then asked the correspondent, "[I]s that more of a slap in the face at Boxer or Fiorina?"

Yellin replied that it affected the Democrat more: "For Boxer, by far- I mean, it's fairly stunning that...a Democratic-leaning newspaper...their op-ed page tends to be left-leaning- would not endorse the long-term Democrat in the state is very, very bad for Barbara Boxer. I mean, their conclusion there is essentially that Boxer, they think, is ineffective. Carly Fiorina, they argue, is too conservative, so they're not endorsing."
September 27, 2010, 6:17 PM EDT
Kyra Phillips, CNN Anchor; & Bishop Carlton Pearson, Televangelist | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Kyra Phillips gave a ringing endorsement to a Christian minister and his heterodox views on homosexuality on Monday's Newsroom. Phillips interviewed televangelist Bishop Carlton Pearson, who, in her words, went "out on a limb...[to] say gays are accepted in heaven," and concluded the segment by stating how she "respect[s] very much" what he preached on the highly-debated moral issue.

The anchor led the 10 am Eastern hour with the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long, who has been sued by four young men so far who accuse him of coercing them into sexual relationships. Four minutes into the hour, Phillips introduced Pearson as a "pioneering black televangelist and a close friend of Eddie Long's...[who] lost a lot of his flock when he began preaching that everyone has a place in heaven, including gay people." She first asked the bishop, "Why did you go out on a limb and say gays are accepted in heaven, something that the black church disagrees with?"

Pearson lauded his "gay friends" as "some of the most sensitive, loving, creative, ingenious, generous people" and touted how he "started preaching the Gospel of inclusion" and criticized how supposedly "the devotion to the devil and hell is stronger, or as strong as anybody's devotion to Jesus in many of the Christian circles." After spending some time discussing what Pearson knew of Long, Phillips posited what would happen if the accused minister came out as a homosexual: "What if he does come forward, Bishop, and say, I told you I wasn't a perfect man and I've been- I have been struggling with this issue, and he does say that he's gay. What if this story changes? How will you deal with that? Will you accept him? Will you embrace him? How would you counsel him as his friend?"
September 24, 2010, 8:23 PM EDT

Chris Lawrence, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn Friday's Situation Room, CNN highlighted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's concerns over a planned concert at Fort Bragg, North Carolina organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Foundation, but omitted the MRFF president Michael Weinstein's past invective against Christianity. Anchor Wolf Blitzer referred to the MRFF as merely a "watchdog group."

Blitzer introduced correspondent Chris Lawrence's report by summarizing the controversy over the "Rock the Fort" concert and used his "watchdog" label for the MRFF: "A concert scheduled at Fort Bragg in North Carolina tomorrow may sound like a good way for soldiers to kick back, but a watchdog group is objecting to the message behind the music: an attempt to recruit the troops to 'God's army.'"

Lawrence picked up where the anchor left off: "Well, on one hand, you've got thousands of soldiers and their families who want to praise God and to hear this Christian music at the concert tomorrow. On the other hand, you've got people saying, why is the U.S. Army helping an evangelical organization recruit new members?"

September 23, 2010, 10:01 PM EDT
CNN played an excerpt of its upcoming documentary "What the Pope Knew" on Thursday's Newsroom (see CNN's commercial promoting the documentary at right), and if this preview and its past coverage of the Church abuse scandal is any indication, the documentary left out key information in order to paint Benedict XVI in the worst possible light. Correspondent Gary Tuchman failed to explain how then-Cardinal Ratzinger's handled a specific case from Wisconsin.

Anchor Kyra Phillips introduced the excerpt from the documentary 24 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour. The segment focused on the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, who was the priest and headmaster for St. John's School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. Phillips noted that as many as 200 boys at the school were raped or sexually abused by Murphy and stated it was "one of the most notorious cases of sex abuse in the Catholic Church."

Tuchman interviewed Terry Kohut, one of Murphy's victims. The correspondent stated that "fifty years ago, when he was just 10 years old, Terry, who is deaf, was sent to the St. John's School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What happened there to Terry and up to 200 other deaf boys is now central to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, and to the question of what Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, knew about it all." This introduction gives the false impression that Ratzinger was a cardinal five decades ago, when he actually was a priest and college professor in Germany during the 1960s.
September 22, 2010, 8:45 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his anti-Sarah Palin obsession and somewhat predictably, grouped U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell with the former Alaska governor, stating it "feels like Sarah Palin all over again....O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like...Palin."  Most of the viewer e-mails Cafferty read bashed the two politicians.

The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary to the two Republican women. After his "feels like Sarah Palin all over again" line, Cafferty recounted O'Donnell's emergence on the national political scene, and wasted little time in outlining her negative similarities to Palin: "Suddenly, everybody can't seem to get enough of her. This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin."

September 22, 2010, 5:23 PM EDT
CNN's Gary Tuchman blasted Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on Tuesday's AC360, suggesting that the Republican was like the leader of a totalitarian regime, after she dared to say that the media should be left out of certain campaign events: "I think, for most Americans, that gives you a little chill. When we go to places like Cuba and Iran and North Korea and China, we're often kept out" [audio available here].

Anchor Anderson Cooper led the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program with the latest on O'Donnell's candidacy, particularly her interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity the previous hour. Tuchman, who was reporting live from Wilmington, Delaware, raised the issue of her finances, and after reporting on two recent local events which the Republican attended, went into his lamentation over her stab at the media:

September 21, 2010, 7:03 PM EDT
On Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez again bashed Fox News and the conservative media, two of his favorite subjects of ire. Sanchez stated that President Obama was being "dogged" and blamed "conservative talk radio hosts...lambasting this man 24/7.... [and] Fox News, which is essentially the voice of the Republican Party, whose job it is to make this man look bad no matter what he does" [audio clip available here].

The CNN anchor brought on political correspondent Jessica Yellin at the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the President's town hall meeting on Monday. After playing a clip of Velma Hart, an Obama supporter who bluntly told the chief executive that she was "exhausted of defending" him, Sanchez asked Yellin for her take on whether "others out there are thinking in many of the ways that she [Hart] expressed herself."
September 20, 2010, 3:50 PM EDT

Kyra Phillips, CNN Anchor; & John Avlon, CNN Contributor, The Daily Beast.com Columnist | NewsBusters.orgCNN contributor John Avlon returned to his consistent theme of bashing conservatives on Monday's Newsroom, labeling Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell the "new queen of the wingnuts." Avlon also referenced Reason magazine's label of O'Donnell as a "crackpot of the first order" and didn't provide the full context of her 1997 remarks on AIDS.

Anchor Kyra Phillips led the 9 am Eastern hour of Newsroom with the Republican's 1999 appearance on ABC's Politically Incorrect where she cited how she "dabbled" in witchcraft as a teenager. After playing a clip from the 11-year-old appearance, Phillips continued that O'Donnell's remarks are "raising eyebrows and some concerns from the GOP establishment" and brought on Avlon, who has a knack for being tougher on his identified "wingnuts" on the right than those he picks from the left. The anchor referenced The Daily Beast writer's September 15 column in her first question: "O'Donnell actually canceled two Sunday talk show appearances after this came to light, and now, you are calling her the new queen of wingnuts."

September 17, 2010, 9:11 PM EDT
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN Correspondent; Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst; & Christine O'Donnell. Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate in Delaware | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Suzanne Malveaux led Friday's Situation Room by labeling the social conservative Value Voters Summit a "traditional showcase for hardcore conservatives." Later in the same segment, senior political analyst Gloria Borger stated that the Tea Party movement was "anti-health care" and bizarrely referred to Ronald Reagan as "the most secular president we've known in our lifetime."

Malveaux used her "hardcore conservatives" line as she introduced a segment on Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's speech to the Summit. Just before this, she stated how "some are calling her [O'Donnell] the new poster girl for the Tea Party phenomenon" and later continued that she apparently "preached a new kind of gospel at the Values Voter Summit: the Tea Party's anti-government mantra."
September 17, 2010, 6:01 PM EDT

Carol Costello, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn Friday's American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello followed up on her biased report from the previous day, which promoted Catholic women posing as priests, with a second report on dissenting Catholics, focusing on heterodox nuns inside the U.S. Costello promoted the claim of the nuns, who accuse the Vatican of conducting an "inquisition," or wanting to "silence nuns when they disagree with the Pope."

Substitute anchor Drew Griffin gave a brief on Pope Benedict XVI's second day in the U.K. 25 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour, just before his colleague Kiran Chetry introduced the correspondent's report. Chetry proclaimed how the Vatican is apparently "squarely at odds with American nuns," and that many of these nuns "feel they're under siege from the Church, which is questioning the quality of their religious life." Costello picked up where the anchor left off: "[T]he Vatican is now conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns...the Vatican hopes to have a better understanding of how nuns live their lives in the United States. Nuns don't see it that way, though. Many think these investigations are nothing short of interrogations, designed to take away all they've gained."

Costello led her report by featuring Sister Maureen Fiedler, a liberal public radio host who attended the "ordination" of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. Fiedler stated during her first sound bite, "Some of my friends asked me why the Vatican officials suffer from a deep seed hatred of women." The correspondent continued by describing how "the Vatican ordered two sweeping investigations into the religious views and lifestyles of American nuns- investigations that have alarmed many sisters like Marlene Weisenbeck, whose organization represents thousands of American nuns across the country." Sister Weisenbeck was president of the Leadership Council of Women Religious until August 2010. She led the organization when it endorsed ObamaCare, contrary to the stance of the U.S. bishops' conference. Costello played two sound bites from the nun during her report.

September 16, 2010, 2:58 PM EDT
Predictably, Thursday's American Morning on CNN marked the Pope Benedict XVI's first day in the UK with a report on dissenting Catholic women who claimed they are ordained priests, contrary to the teachings of the Church. Correspondent Carol Costello took a misinterpretation of a recent Church document on ordination as fact, and ran only one sound bite from a Vatican official.

Substitute anchor Drew Griffin introduced Costello's report 24 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour with the misinterpretation of the Catholic document, forwarded by the mainstream media outlets such as Time magazine, that it condemns the simulated ordination of women as "a crime similar to pedophilia." However, a July 16 Reuters story quoted Monsignor Charles Scicluna's clarification: "Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon...law....While sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament.'"

The CNN correspondent began by highlighting the apparent negative response the Pope is receiving in the UK due to his visit: "You heard Kiran mention that Pope Benedict is now in Britain. He's there to appeal to the millions of Catholics in that country. But his visit is not without controversy. Many tickets remain unsold, which suggest many of Britain's Catholics are indifferent to his presence." She continued by introducing the subject of her report: "You could argue many American Catholics feel the same way, because of the way the Vatican handled the sex abuse scandal. Some say it's time for a change in leadership- a big change, that includes women."

September 15, 2010, 7:29 PM EDT

Miles O'Brien, Former CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.org[Update, Wednesday, 11:15 pm Eastern: The Tweet by O'Brien apparently "doesn't exist" any more. A screen cap of the Tweet in question can be seen after the jump.]

Former CNN anchor Miles O'Brien (no relation to current CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien) slammed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "Tea Party nutbag" in a Tweet on Wednesday evening. O'Brien continued that he "forget [sic] her ignorant nonsense," referring to her defense of the creationist viewpoint during a 1996 appearance on his former network.

O'Brien, who was let go by CNN in 2008 after they closed their science unit, linked to an article on the left-wing website Talking Points Memo after his attack on O'Donnell. The article, by Eric Kleefeld, highlighted an item by Dan Amira of New York magazine, who "dug up" the Republican's March 1996 appearance with O'Brien and Dr. Michael McKinney of the University of Tennessee-Chattanoga. During the panel discussion, O'Donnell defended the creationism. Kleefeld labeled it as just another part of the social conservative's "religious right work," citing her apparent "long career in anti-sex and anti-masturbation activism."

September 14, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT
CNN's Ali Velshi leaned against extending the Bush tax cuts during a commentary on Tuesday's Newsroom, warning that it "may not be a brilliant idea," and spouted the liberal talking point that tax cuts are a costly matter. Velshi also misleadingly stated that "we have not seen a huge surge in spending."

The anchor devoted his regular "XYZ" segment at the end of the 2 pm Eastern hour to the tax issue. He began by outlining how "President Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that apply to the middle class, or households earning less than $250,000 a year...and that sounds like a great thing." He then continued with his argument about the "cost" of cutting taxes: "But let me put this into perspective. First, it's not free. Extending the tax breaks to the top 3 percent of earners would cost between 650 and 700 billion dollars. Extending it for the rest of us is going to cost a lot more, possibly $3 trillion. Everyone wants to pay less in taxes, but in an economy with a debt like America's, that may not be a brilliant idea."
September 10, 2010, 3:44 PM EDT
David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst; & Roland Martin, CNN Contributor | Newsbusters.orgCNN's David Gergen gushed over Barack Obama during CNN's coverage of the President's press conference on Friday, but was unimpressed by his performance: "He impresses everyone with his competence....The subtlety of his mind I think is very impressive. At the same time, I thought it was...boring." Minutes later, Roland Martin replied to Gergen by rushing to Obama's defense: "He's not an entertainer."

Anchor John King brought on some of the network's "best political team on television," including Gergen and Martin, 19 minutes into the 12 noon hour, immediately after the President's briefing concluded. King turned to the senior political analyst first and asked, "David, a lot of ground covered- what did you come away with?"
September 9, 2010, 10:34 PM EDT
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post Columnist; & Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer | NewsBusters.orgCNN offered a sneak preview of their upcoming Parker-Spitzer program on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 with the new hosts, pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer agreeing that the "well-spoken" Imam Feisal Rauf changed few minds with his recent interview. The two also forwarded their network's charge that "Islamophobia" is growing in the U.S.

Anchor Anderson Cooper began the segment by asking the two about Soledad O'Brien interview of Rauf, which took place the previous hour. Parker, the "Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and noted conservative commentator," as Cooper called her, endorsed his appearance and went on to characterize the two sides of the debate over the planned Ground Zero mosque. In her view, those who oppose it "were going to sort of be looking for ways to convince yourself that he was...trying to be this, sort of, secret jihadist." On the other hand, the supporters of the mosque "understand that he seemed as a reasonable, rational person who's well-spoken and has something important to say."
September 9, 2010, 4:47 PM EDT
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez tried to connect the overwhelming opposition to the planned Ground Zero mosque to a Florida pastor's "Burn a Koran Day" event. Sanchez asked former New York Governor George Pataki, "Do you feel in any way that some of this backlash...led by some fine gentlemen like yourself...has kind of paved the way for that controversy, and if so, do you feel guilty at all?" [audio clip available here]

Sanchez interviewed Pataki during the prime time edition of his program. Just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour, the anchor raised Pastor Terry Jones's planned inflammatory protest: "Let me ask you one final question, if I possibly can. There's this new hullabaloo going on in Gainesville, Florida, with this pastor who wants to literally burn Korans. And now, we're getting protests in Afghanistan- our generals are saying this guy's going to get our troops killed."
September 8, 2010, 6:28 PM EDT

Deborah Feyerick, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Deborah Feyerick played up Imam Feisal Rauf's apparent credentials as a "moderate" Muslim during a report on Wednesday's American Morning. Feyerick omitted using sound bites from Rauf's critics, and only briefly mentioned his controversial remarks about on CBS's 60 Minutes about the 9/11 attacks and his reluctance to condemn Hamas.

The CNN correspondent's report led the 6 am Eastern hour, and was re-broadcast throughout the day on the network. Almost immediately, Feyerick stressed how Rauf is apparently a "voice of moderation" by playing three clips from three who unequivocally endorse him- the State Department's P. J. Crowley, mosque developer Sharif El-Gamal, and Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University. She continued by describing the Islamic cleric as a "Sufi Muslim, at the other end of the Islamic spectrum from the radical theology that feeds groups like al Qaeda."

September 7, 2010, 3:08 PM EDT
Kiran Chetry, CNN Anchor; & Pastor Terry Jones, Dove Outreach World Center | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's American Morning, CNN's Kiran Chetry used General David Petraeus's denunciation of a planned Koran burning by a church to blast the church's pastor for any subsequent deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan: "Are you willing to have the blood of soldiers on your hands by this demonstration?" Chetry also lectured Pastor Terry Jones over his apparent lack of "refined" Christianity.

Chetry interviewed Pastor Jones 41 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. After asking him why he and his church were planning to burn Korans, the anchor launched into her critique of the minister: "I wanted to let you say your piece, because when I first read this story, I thought there's no way that this could be as bad as it sounds. It appears that it is. You're saying that you're going to burn the holy book of another religion to send a message to the radical elements of that religion, with no thought to the fact that you'd obviously be highly offending everyone in that religion. How do you justify that?"

Later in the segment, Chetry turned theologian and quoted Scripture to Pastor Jones as she continued to question his planned action: "What about turn thy cheek? I mean, this is- you know, Christianity at its most- you know, refined. It's that you just don't act out in violence. You don't act out in any manner of hate, that you turn thy cheek, that you don't rise to the nastiness or the level of payback that your perceived enemies do. I mean, isn't this the exact opposite of what Christ taught all of us to be and to do?"