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
October 17, 2011, 6:45 PM EDT

On Monday's Early Show, CBS took advantage of Americans' love of coffee to hype climate change, bizarrely claiming that "your morning cup might be heading toward extinction." Contributor Taryn Winter Brill turned to a left-leaning organization to reinforce the claim that climate change "could have a devastating effect on future coffee production."

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor teased Winter Brill's report by stating that "the top scientist at Starbucks says climate change threatens to severely limit coffee production around the world for decades." As he introduced the segment, he went even further by using the "extinction" line. The contributor explained that it was actually "the director of sustainability for Starbucks [who] said that climate change is threatening the world's coffee supply"

October 14, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT

The Big Three networks' seeming desperation to report on "Occupy Wall Street" reached a new level on Friday, after they led their morning shows with New York City's decision to not clear the park where the protesters are camped. NBC touted how the demonstrators were "proclaiming victory" in response to the move. ABC highlighted the "celebratory" atmosphere, while CBS played up the "mood of jubilation" there.

Today show anchor Ann Curry noted that a "showdown [was] averted at the site of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement here in New York." She then turned to correspondent Maria Schiavocampo, who reported live from Zuccotti Park,  the home base of the left-leaning protesters for about a month. The correspondent immediately zeroed-in on how one could "hear the celebrations taking place behind me here as protesters are proclaiming victory in their showdown with the park's owners."

October 13, 2011, 9:57 PM EDT

On his Thursday program, MSNBC's Martin Bashir collaborated with pro-abortion Rep. Diana DeGette to bash pro-life conservatives as "misogynists" during a seven-and-a-half minute long segment. Bashir claimed that it's "hardly surprising" that the proposed Protect Life Act, which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers, "has earned the moniker the 'let women die act.'"

During the segment, the host repeatedly railed against Republicans for putting the bill up for a vote while "fourteen million Americans out of work." Bashir also adopted the pro-abortion lobby's own talking points from the very start [video clips from the segment below the jump]:

October 11, 2011, 7:33 PM EDT

CBS's Bigad Shaban filed a puff piece about the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators on Tuesday's Early Show, trumpeting their "self-operating mini-community in lower Manhattan" and how they were "hungry for change," all the while ignoring the radical left wing politics of many in attendance. Shaban took more time to note that "this isn't your average protest. Yoga classes are taught in the off-time."

Co-anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill played up the "mini-village, complete with a daily newspaper, recycling, a free breakfast buffet, [and] yoga" during their promo for the correspondent's report. Shaban picked up where his colleagues left off with his "not your average protest" line, and added that "a makeshift library has been set up with at least 1500 books...and the grounds even has (sic) its own medical tent and newspaper, 'The Occupied Wall Street Journal.'" [video clips available below the jump]

October 10, 2011, 6:27 PM EDT

CBS sided with supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests on Monday's Early Show, bringing on former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold to boost the left-leaning demonstrations, with no Republican and/or conservative critics appearing as guests during the program. Feingold slammed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as "un-American" for his critique of the protests.

Near the end of her interview of the Wisconsin politician, anchor Erica Hill raised Cain's attack on the continuing anti-corporate rallies: "Republican candidate Herman Cain, weighing in over the weekend. He said that, basically, it's un-American to protest capitalism. Businesses have to make money, and if they can do a better job making money oversea- it's an unfortunate reality for many Americans- but they're concerned about their bottom line. Can there be some sort of common ground here?"

October 10, 2011, 3:29 PM EDT

CBS's Bigad Shaban failed to disclose the far-left politics of an "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrator on Monday's Early Show. Jesse LaGreca, a Daily Kos contributor who wrote in August that "Hurricane Irene is like having Christmas early" for Republicans, was identified on-screen as simply a "Wall Street protester." Shaban also barely devoted any time to critics of the nascent movement.

October 7, 2011, 6:25 PM EDT

CBS's Sharyl Attkisson, the only Big Three network reporter who's been regularly covering the "Fast and Furious" controversy, appeared on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, throwing cold water on an earlier report that she was "unavailable" for further interviews on the story. Attkisson emphasized that there was a lot more to the issue than what has already reported, but "we need to get more confirmation."

The Fox News host pressed the journalist on her revelation from Tuesday's Laura Ingraham Show, that associate White House communications director Eric Schultz "screamed and cussed" at her for her reporting on the controversy. Attkisson would only state that "the conversation, as you reported it, was accurate," and later added that "the point is really not the content of that. The point is, story-wise, it seems significant and important how people handle questions, and how they react when you ask questions" [video clips available below the jump]

October 6, 2011, 3:32 PM EDT

CBS's Erica Hill let DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz bash congressional Republicans unopposed on Thursday's Early Show. Hill also failed to ask the Florida Democrat about her eye-opening claim on Wednesday that "anyone" can see that the economy is improving "and now, we've begun to turn the corner."

The anchor brought on Wasserman Schultz, the morning show's only political guest, for a softball interview on the recovery of her friend and colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Near the end of the segment, though, Hill raised President Obama's jobs bill: "Is there anything that you found, in talking with your colleagues on either side of the aisle, that you think can bring lawmakers together in Washington, to find some sort of compromise that will satisfy as close to everyone as you can get?"

 

October 5, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT

Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard reported on Wednesday afternoon that he had attempted to interview CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson about her dogged coverage of the ongoing "Fast and Furious" controversy, but was told that she was "unavailable." Attkisson has been the sole journalist on the Big Three networks regularly covering the story, particular during the past several weeks.

Hemingway described in his blog entry that he called CBS News to interview the correspondent, but was "told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say." On Tuesday, the reporter revealed on Laura Ingraham's radio show that Obama administration officials had "screamed and cussed" at her over her coverage of the story.

October 4, 2011, 7:06 PM EDT

CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed on Tuesday's "Laura Ingraham Show" the extent of the rage directed at her from the Obama administration for her reporting on the "Fast and Furious" controversy: "The DOJ woman was just yelling at me. A guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me." Attkisson also stated that "they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it."

The journalist appeared on the conservative talk show host's program at the bottom of the 9 am Eastern hour to talk about her latest reporting on the growing Justice Department scandal. She highlighted on Monday's "CBS Evening News" that "new documents...show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress."]

October 4, 2011, 12:22 PM EDT

"CBS Evening News" distinguished itself among the Big Three networks on Monday by devoting an entire segment to the ongoing controversy over the "Fast and Furious" program, where the federal government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. NBC hasn't mentioned the story on its news programs since April 17, while the last time ABC covered it was a news brief on June 15.

Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported that "new documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress." After playing a sound bite from Holder's testimony, Attkisson continued that "at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing 'Fast and Furious.' They came from...Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer."

October 3, 2011, 11:07 PM EDT

On Monday's "Fox and Friends," liberal comedian George Lopez all but threw the "Oreo" racial slur at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain: "The Republicans do know that he's darker than Barack Obama...but whiter on the inside." Lopez also half-jokingly hinted that the Tea Party was racist after host Steve Doocy mentioned Cain had won a Tea Party straw poll: "He wasn't serving the tea, 'cause that's crazy" [audio available here].

Lopez poked fun of the Republican presidential field at the bottom of the 8 am Eastern hour of the Fox News Channel morning show, and began by making fat jokes at the expense of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is rumored to be considering a presidential run: "Should he run, and should he jump in the pool? Not while I'm in there. Let me get out before he cannonballs everybody out of water."

[Video clip available below the jump]

 

October 3, 2011, 6:07 PM EDT

CBS's Early Show was the only morning show of the Big Three networks on Monday to cover the controversy over a ranch leased by the family of Texas Governor Rick Perry that formerly used the racist "N" word in its name. Political analyst John Dickerson hinted that the Republican's presidential campaign may not "weather" the controversy, adding that "it's a real problem."

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor led the 7 am Eastern hour of the CBS program with a teaser on the news story: "Texas Governor Rick Perry faces tough questions over a family hunting camp named with a racial slur. Fellow presidential candidate Herman Cain calls Perry 'very insensitive,' as Perry insists the word were removed decades ago." Nine minutes later, Glor labeled the issue a "race-related firestorm," as he introduced correspondent Jan Crawford's campaign 2012 round-up, which began with the story.

September 30, 2011, 5:31 PM EDT

Barbara J. King of the College of William and Mary bizarrely asserted that a "person's sex can be socially constructed" in a Thursday item for NPR.org's "13.7" blog. King used the rare phenomenon of hermaphroditism to justify Chastity Bono's "transformation" to become "Chaz" Bono, and lamented that the "the case of Chaz Bono tells us that enormous unease still exists in our society when individuals celebrate, rather than hide, that transformation."

The biological anthropologist started her piece, "Sex, Gender And Dancing With Chaz Bono," by going so far to refute the standard left-leaning view on sexuality: "A person's sex is unambiguous. As a result of biology, we're born either male or female. A person's gender, by contrast, is a matter of social construction. If we're born female, we may choose to act in ways considered in our society to be masculine — or vice versa. This dichotomy between sex and gender is often asserted as fact, and may seem like common sense. But it's flat wrong. A person's sex can be socially constructed."

September 29, 2011, 6:41 PM EDT

On Thursday's Early Show, CBS's Chris Wragge bizarrely wondered if the dissatisfaction with the current GOP field of presidential candidates would give President Obama an edge: "Is this just primary politics, or does this make candidate Obama kind of lick his chops, thinking he's got a real advantage here?" Mr. Obama actually trails a generic Republican candidate in two recent polls.

Just moments before Wragge dropped his question, correspondent Jan Crawford had explained during a report that such dissatisfaction from primary voters wasn't unusual in either party from a historical perspective. Crawford cited the Democratic presidential fields in 1991 and 2003 as examples:

September 29, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

CBS's Erica Hill channeled the overblown worries of liberals about influence of the Tea Party on Thursday's Early Show, asking Newt Gingrich, "The Tea Party has really made some big inroads...But there's a feeling by some folks that this very small group of people is starting to control the conversation. Do there need to be more voices at the table, in general, at this point?"

Hill brought on Gingrich to discuss his new Contract With America package, due to be released later in the day. Just as in The Early Show's interview of Herman Cain the previous morning, the anchor flattered her guest by congratulating him for his good showing in a recent poll, but wasted little time before launching a critique of one known part of his proposal, thinly veiled in conservative language:

September 28, 2011, 6:32 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Chris Wragge complimented GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for his recent win in the Florida straw poll, but then wasted little time in throwing cold water on the future of his campaign. Wragge, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, asked why Cain would "stick with it," and wondered if the Republican could compete if Gov. Chris Christie entered the race.

The two anchors began the segment by heralding the former Godfather's Pizza CEO's "surprise over the weekend" and how he "shook up the GOP race on Saturday, winning the Florida straw poll with more votes than Rick Perry and Mitt Romney combined." Wragge then congratulated Cain and asked, "Someone like Sarah Palin says late last night that you're the flavor of the week. How do you respond to something like that?"

September 27, 2011, 6:27 PM EDT

Former CNN congressional producer Evan Glass announced on his Twitter account on Tuesday that he was "thrilled to be joining the board" of Equality Maryland, the main group pushing for the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in the Mid-Atlantic state. Glass added in his Tweet, "With growing support, we will have marriage equality in 2012!"

The self-proclaimed "recovering journalist," who left CNN in April after a 12-year stint, wrote a one-sided article for the outlet's website on January 12 of this year about how Maryland was set for an "expansion of gay rights," just before the proposed redefinition of marriage failed in the state's legislature. Glass extensively quoted from proponents of same-sex "marriage," including the executive director of Equality Maryland itself, but omitted citing opponents of the bill, including the Catholic bishops of the state.

September 26, 2011, 6:36 PM EDT

On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Jim Axelrod pressed Gov. Mitch Daniels to anything derogatory about the Republican presidential field, leaving the Indiana politician little time to say anything about his new book. Axelrod also devoted a significant amount of time during the interview to the question of whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would get into the presidential race.

The substitute anchor led the segment with the issue of the recent Florida straw poll, which businessman Herman Cain won: "Cain didn't just win in Florida this weekend. He had more votes than both Governor Romney and Governor Perry combined. What does that tell you about the state of the Republican field?" After his guest gave an initial answer, Axelrod followed up by asking, "When you see what's happening with the inability for a single candidate to, sort of, get some traction, does it make you rethink your decision, at all, to get out of the race?"

September 26, 2011, 4:15 PM EDT

Both CBS's "Early Show" and CNN's "Newsroom" sought out Rep. Maxine Waters on Monday for her reaction to President Obama's "stop complaining" rejoinder to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday, but neither outlet mentioned the continuing ethics investigation into the ultra-liberal Democrat. CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux even went so far to flatter Rep. Waters as having her "marching shoes" on.

CBS's Erica Hill brought on the liberal politician just minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour and first asked, "What was your reaction to that when he [President Obama] said, 'Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying'?" The representative gently critiqued the President's language: