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
September 21, 2011, 7:41 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Wade Goodwyn carried water for pro-abortion activists who are targeting Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature for cutting the state funding of "women's health clinics." Goodwyn didn't give an ideological label for the activists, referring to them merely as "family planning advocates," and highlighted their objection that some of the cut funds were now going to crisis pregnancy centers.

Hosts Steve Inskeep and David Greene pushed a liberal talking point against the Republican presidential contender in his introduction for the correspondent's report: "Texas has been attracting people who move there for jobs. At the same time, though, more than a quarter of the state's population has no health insurance, which is more than any other state. Hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have been filling the gap." Greene continued that "this year, Perry and the state legislature drastically cut funding for the clinics."

September 20, 2011, 2:53 PM EDT

The Big Three networks unequivocally celebrated the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a "historic moment" on their Tuesday morning programs. CBS's "Early Show" turned to a discharged Air Force major who pushed for further recognition of same-sex couples by the military. NBC's "Today" brought on a homosexual playwright to promote his one-man movie on the policy. ABC's "GMA" only had a news brief on the development, but still highlighted how a magazine is "publishing photos of more than 100 active duty gay and lesbian troops who served in silence until now." None of the programs brought on dissenting voices to advocate the continuation of the policy.

"The Early Show" devoted the most amount of air time to the expiration of the policy, and led the 7 am Eastern hour with a slanted report from correspondent David Martin. Martin played sound bites from President Obama and outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, both opponents of the ban on open homosexuals from serving in the military, but none from supporters:

September 19, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT

On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Terrell Brown spotlighted Tinseltown discontent with President Obama, citing an unnamed Hollywood executive who lamented the Democrat is 'not the idealistic guy we thought he would be." However, the three actors Brown turned to who are regulars on CBS programming all heartily endorsed Mr. Obama: "I'm going to do everything I can to help him. He's a really good guy."

Anchor Chris Wragge noted in his introduction for the correspondent's report that the President is "going to Hollywood for a fundraiser next week. But what kind of reception he will receive, now that some of Hollywood's most liberal voices are questioning him more than ever before?" Brown picked up where Wragge left off: "For a town used to measuring success and box office numbers, Hollywood is down on President Obama and his sagging poll numbers."

September 18, 2011, 4:45 PM EDT

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed a completely one-sided report on Wednesday's All Things Considered about a radical-left organization, along with a group purporting to represent victims of clergy sexual abuse, lobbying the International Criminal Court to investigate the top leadership of the Catholic Church, including Pope Benedict XVI, for "crimes against humanity." Poggioli played sound bites only from those involved with the effort, and none from anyone sympathetic with the Church.

Host Melissa Block stated in her introduction that "the International Criminal Court in The Hague has dealt with plenty of war criminals and warlords, but it may soon have a different target: the Catholic Church. The tribunal is being asked to investigate top Vatican officials over the global clerical sex abuse scandal....the argument is that the sex offenses meet the legal definition of crimes against humanity, and should be prosecuted."

September 16, 2011, 4:27 PM EDT

On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Bob Schieffer wildly spun Congress's 12% job approval as good news for President Obama, despite his own low poll numbers: "My heavens! He's 20 points ahead of the members of Congress....I mean, I think that probably some car thieves have a higher approval rating." But in 2010, when Democrats led Congress, The Early Show ignored a poll which showed low numbers for Nancy Pelosi.

The morning program led its 7 am Eastern hour with the ultra-low poll numbers for the Republican-led Congress. Anchor Erica Hill noted that "President Obama's job approval rating is reaching all-time low, but he is still miles ahead of Congress, when you look at the numbers. A CBS News/New York Times poll out just this morning shows only 12% of Americans say Congress is doing a good job. That is the worst showing in the history of our polling."

September 15, 2011, 9:13 PM EDT

Two out of three CBS local affiliate political reporters featured on Thursday's Early Show bluntly stated that President Obama faces "major uphill battle" in recapturing key states for the 2012 election. Anchor Chris Wragge noted the "all-time low" approval rating for the President, while an Ohio journalist highlighted how a Democratic strategist thought Obama was "feeling more Carter than Clinton."

Wragge turned to David Crabtree of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina; Jim Heath of CBS affiliate WBNS in Columbus, Ohio; and Sam Brock from WTVR in Richmond, Virginia for their takes on the President's recent stops in their states following his jobs bill speech to Congress earlier in September. Crabtree reported on the positive reaction from those who attended Mr. Obama's speech in North Carolina, but then outlined that the Democrat faces several challenges in the months ahead:

September 15, 2011, 9:42 AM EDT

On her Wednesday program, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell helped a homosexual filmmaker promote his documentary on what she labeled the "sad episode" of the passage of the military's soon-to-be lifted "don't ask, don't tell" policy in 1993. Mitchell touted how she questioned then-President-Elect Bill Clinton in 1992 on his campaign promise to allow open homosexuals to serve in the military, and let her guest, Fenton Bailey, attack the supposed "bigotry, homophobia, [and] ignorance" of supporters of the policy.

Before introducing Bailey, the anchor played an excerpt from his documentary, "The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell," where several unidentified members of Congress and servicemen all used the term "unit cohesion," followed by a clip from a man featured in the film who claimed that "they had to come up with a reason that sounded rational. And so, they came up with this idea of the unit cohesion to justify their homophobia."

September 13, 2011, 9:18 PM EDT

Rachel Rose Hartman's Tuesday item for Yahoo! News's "The Ticket" blog carried a misleading headline ("Audience at tea party debate cheers leaving uninsured to die") implying that the majority, if not all, of the audience at Monday's GOP presidential debate thought that the critically injured who are uninsured should be left to die. In reality, only a handful cheered and/or laughed in response to Wolf Blitzer's question.

Despite this headline, Hartman did acknowledge in her lede that "if you're uninsured and on the brink of death, that's apparently a laughing matter to some audience members at last night's tea party [sic] Republican presidential debate." She then recounted how Blitzer, who moderated the joint debate with the Tea Party Express organization, turned to Rep. Ron Paul and "asked a hypothetical question...about how society should respond if a healthy 30-year-old man who decided against buying health insurance suddenly goes into a coma and requires intensive care for six months."

September 13, 2011, 5:28 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS targeted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry by using their 'Fast Draw' animators to depict the Texas governor as gun-slinging, right-wing extremist. Cartoonists Josh Landis and Mitch Butler turned to a Texas journalist who claimed that Perry "would turn back the clock. He would take America back to where there was basically no safety net" [audio clips available here].

The largely animated segment focused on Perry as part of "a contest to find out who will be 'America's Next Top Republican,'" a parody of the TV show "America's Next Top Model." After labeling the governor a "true believer," Landis noted the Texas politician's beginnings in "the dusty little town of Paint Creek," highlighting how "he bathed on the back porch," even depicting this with feet hanging out of a bathtub.

[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]

September 12, 2011, 4:46 PM EDT

CBS's Early Show on Monday devoted two segments and a news brief to the Obama "jobs bill," but in none of the three stories did they allow a single Republican to speak. Correspondent Bill Plante filed a report that was almost all Obama soundbites -- and to make the sound of a sales job complete, it even included a clip of a TV ad from the Democratic National Committee to help push the $447 billion "stimulus" package.

Plante led the 7 am Eastern hour with his report on the President's legislation, and mentioned the Republicans only in passing: "He's [Obama] been saying that both Republicans and Democrats support the kinds of ideas that he's got in this job bill. But he knows that Republicans are reluctant to embrace the kind of spending he wants. So, he's taking his case directly to the voters, as he did Friday in Richmond, Virginia."

September 5, 2011, 4:24 PM EDT

On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's touted the Obama administration's "more aggressive legal approach" towards pro-life demonstrators with the stepped-up prosecution of alleged violations of the controversial FACE Act. Correspondent Carrie Johnson highlighted the prosecution of an elderly pro-lifer, and let an abortion lobbyist denigrate pro-lifers as possible terrorists.

Host Steve Inskeep introduced Johnson's report with slanted language about how "the fight over abortion rights continues in courtrooms and state houses all over this country. But a smaller-scale version of that conflict is on display almost every day between protesters and escorts at abortion clinics. And some of those tensions are on the rise, as the Obama administration takes a more aggressive legal approach against people who block access to clinics."

September 2, 2011, 6:25 PM EDT

CBS's Jim Axelrod spotlighted a Michigan high school football team mostly made up of Muslim students on Friday's Early Show and trumpeted the "the strength of this diverse community." An array of student athletes and school officials from Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan fought against a phantom of "Islamophobia" that was only vaguely described.

In covering Fordson's custom of holding August practice from midnight to 4 am to be Ramadan-friendly, and despite playing video of students praying in Arabic while in their football uniforms, Axelrod didn't raise the usual ACLU-flagged church-state issues one might find a similar story on devout Christian students upsetting "diversity" in a school setting.

[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]

September 1, 2011, 7:06 PM EDT

On Wednesday, NPR strongly hinted that they would bring their liberal bias into their special programming for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Their planned reports on the mass atrocity includes an investigation which scrutinizes the efforts of private firms guarding soft targets like sports arenas: "[The] investigation...suggests that these kinds of programs are disrupting innocent people's lives."

An August 30, 2011 press release on the public-funded network's website stated that "it has been said that America would never be the same after terrorist attacks took nearly 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001. A decade since the tragedy, how have the attacks affected people's lives and shaped America's collective outlook and future? Beginning September 5, NPR News offers a week of reports looking back at the events leading up to 9/11 and reflecting on the ways it continues to impact the nation."

September 1, 2011, 5:06 PM EDT

CBS's Bill Plante hyped the supposedly "testy confrontation" between President Obama and Speaker Boehner on Thursday's Early Show over scheduling a presidential address to Congress: "This may prove that there is no argument too petty in today's Washington." By contrast, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Norah O'Donnell placed more blame on Obama for giving Boehner only a "15-minute heads-up."
Plante began with his "petty" line during his report just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour, and added that "it was the timing of the President's speech that became the subject of a testy confrontation between the President and the Speaker, and the Speaker won." An on-screen graphic trumpeted the "speech spat: Obama & Boehner spar over jobs address."


August 31, 2011, 5:09 PM EDT

On Tuesday, The Washington Post's Felicia Sonmez noted how MSNBC's Tamron Hall moderated the recent Congressional Black Caucus town hall where Rep. Andre Carson smeared the Tea Party by accusing them of wanting to bring back Jim Crow laws and endorsing the lynching of blacks. Former Obama aide turned NBC employee Joy-Ann Reid also attended the CBC event, but omitted Rep. Carson's attack from her report.

During the August 22 town hall in Miami, Carson, a leader within the liberal Congressional Black Caucus from Indiana, actually apologized to Hall in the midst of his inflammatory remarks against the Tea Party:

August 31, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

Representative Andre Carson's inflammatory attack on the Tea Party has yet to have receive any attention from the Big Three networks. As reported by Politico on Wednesday, Rep. Carson accused Tea Party-friendly members of Congress of wanting to bring back Jim Crow and went so far to accuse his colleagues of wanting to bring back lynching: "Some of them...would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree."

Jake Sherman's report for Politico noted that the "explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the Internet Tuesday, and Carson's office stood by the remarks." The Blaze, a website run by Glenn Beck, uploaded a video compilation onto YouTube on Tuesday morning which included the Indiana Democrat's smear of the Tea Party. Carson attacked the Tea Party immediately after complimenting Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver at a CBC town hall in Miami on August 22:

[Video compilation embedded below the jump]

August 30, 2011, 8:12 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Julie Rovner promoted the supposed benefits of ObamaCare, and played up a recent poll which found that "about a third of those without health insurance think the law will help them, and that's because only about half know that it includes key provisions that will make insurance more available and affordable."

The sole source for the correspondent's report was an August 2011 tracking poll conducted by the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. Rovner played three sound bites from Drew Altman, who works for the foundation, and none from opponents of ObamaCare. In his first clip, Altman highlighted how a majority of people surveyed for the poll agree that "it [ObamaCare] really does help the uninsured. Thirty-two million uninsured people will get coverage."

August 29, 2011, 12:53 PM EDT

CBS's Bill Plante inserted the oft-repeated media spin about the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina into his report on Monday's Early Show. Plante ignored the poor handling of Katrina at the state and local levels, spotlighting instead how "the stranded and homeless wandered the streets of New Orleans" as Bush flew overhead. But three days earlier, CBS brought on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as an "expert" on hurricane preparation without mentioning his failures.

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor stated in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Irene was not as bad as some thought it might be, but politicians were not taking any chances. They know what happens when government is ill-prepared for disaster." Plante began by spotlighting the Obama administration's response to Hurricane Irene:

August 27, 2011, 10:42 AM EDT

On Friday's Early Show, CBS somehow thought it was appropriate to bring on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to offer "lessons learned from other hurricanes," as Hurricane Irene bore down on the East Coast. Anchor Chris Wragge not only failed to ask Nagin about his failures in leadership in the lead-up to Hurricane Katrina, but also twice labeled his guest an "expert in the field" [audio clips available here].

After making his first reference to the former mayor as an "expert," Wragge first asked the Democrat, "What comes to mind for you when you hear about a hurricane this size bearing down on the East Coast, a region- especially up here in the Northeast, it's not always used to this kind of weather conditions?" In reply, the politician took the time to not only promote his new book, but also tried to rehabilitate his damaged image:

[Video clips from the segment available after the jump]

August 26, 2011, 6:56 PM EDT

CBS referenced Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffe about "fully understanding" China's one-child policy on Friday's Early Show as "off-the-cuff remarks" and "interesting comments," but failed to get to it during the segment. Anchor Chris Wragge merely explained that viewers would find "more on that on our website." Oddly, Wragge and his colleagues did broach the subject in an online video segment.

The anchor, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, brought on political correspondent Jan Crawford to discuss "the busy week in politics" 46 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Besides mentioning the Vice President's "off-the-cuff remarks," Wragge also previewed another subject of the segment, which was Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday save of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who stumbled while walking with the Florida politician. But even before getting to that, the three first discussed Texas Governor Rick Perry becoming the presumptive front-runner in the race for Republican presidential nomination. After briefly noting Perry's lead in the polls, Crawford decided to zero in on the possible drawbacks to his candidacy and highlighted one of the caricatures of the governor: