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
July 21, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick refreshingly asked the developer behind the planned mosque near Ground Zero many hard questions. Feyerick bluntly asked Sharif el-Gamel, "Why not have a prayer space for Buddhists or Jews or Christians...why must it be Muslim?" The correspondent even brought up how one of the landing gear of one of the planes ended up on the site of the planned mosque [audio clips available here].

Feyrick conducted her hardball interview of el-Gamel at his New York City office. The CNN correspondent almost immediately launched into her prayer space question. When the real estate developer initially replied, "There are Jewish community centers all over the country," Feyerick interrupted with a sharp retort: "But the Jews didn't take down two towers." El-Gamel continued that "there are YMCA's all over the country," but she gave a similar reply: "But the Christians didn't take down two towers."

The journalist followed up with the issue of the planned mosque's proximity to the Ground Zero and mentioned the plane wreckage that ended up on the site: "For those who are so- still sensitive and so raw to this, their question- their overriding question is, why here? Why so close? It's two blocks, but it was close enough that landing gear ended up on the roof. Why?"
July 20, 2010, 5:29 PM EDT
Basilica of St. John Lateran, taken from magazine's Tim Padgett, who claims to be a Catholic, used the rose-colored glasses of his leftism to mercilessly bash his own church in an article on Monday where he compared Catholic bishops to "white Southern preachers [who] weren't ashamed to degrade African-Americans," labeled the Church "misogynous," and accused the institution of an "increasingly spiteful bigotry" against homosexuals.

Padgett, who wrote back in January 2009 that the communist Cuban revolution "deserves its due," launched a full-bore attack on the Church in the article, "The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone." Padgett wasted little time in unleashing his rage against the Church, labeling a recent Vatican document, which listed "grave crimes" according to canon law, "Rome's misogynous declaration," since, in his view, was an "avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia."

The document in question, which revised the Catholic Church's concerning "exceptionally serious" crimes against faith and morals, does no such thing. Philip Pullella of Reuters reported on July 16 that "Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament,' he said, referring to Holy Orders (the priesthood)."

The Time writer used his mistaken premise to further attack the Church's hierarchy:
July 19, 2010, 5:56 PM EDT
Rick Sanchez stumbled again on-air on his CNN program on Monday, getting the year of the famous Kennedy-Nixon television debate wrong by a margin of two years. Sanchez, who was trying to describe South Carolina Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene's first public speech as the "converse" of the debate, initially guessed 1962 as the year of the debate, but then broadened his answer to "early '60s" [audio available here].

The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
July 16, 2010, 7:16 PM EDT
Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgIt was only a matter of time before CNN's Jack Cafferty returned to bashing Sarah Palin, and he did just that on Friday's Situation Room. Cafferty hypothesized that the Republican's popularity was a good omen for the Democratic Party: "If anything could overcome the increasingly sour view of the Obama presidency, it might be this. Why, the Democrats should be positively euphoric."

The commentator began his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment by emphasizing the former Alaska governor's early resignation, in comparison to the other possible contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination: "There are currently five Republicans generally viewed as the most likely...Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana; Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts who actually finished his term of office...Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, who also actually finished his term of office- you see where this is going? And Newt Gingrich..."
July 15, 2010, 7:17 PM EDT

Don Lemon, CNN Anchor; & Rev. C. L. Bryant, Tea Party Member | NewsBusters.orgOn Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon conducted a confrontational interview of a black tea party member and disputed his assertion that the U.S. is "more divided now, racially, than any other time in modern history." Lemon bizarrely reached back to the Confederacy to challenge his guest's claim: "Some of the reasons for the Civil War....was racism....How can you say the country is more divided now?"

The CNN anchor brought on the Reverend C. L. Bryant during a segment eight minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recent condemnation of the tea party's "racism." After playing a clip of Bryant from the 2009 9/12 tea party rally in Washington, DC, where the tea party leader accused the Obama administration of "building walls of racism... [and] class-ism," Lemon first asked, "What do you think about this new resolution from the NAACP?" Bryant replied, "Well, unfortunately, those types of statements...are echoes of the left at this point in time."

July 14, 2010, 9:28 PM EDT
CNN's Rick Sanchez returned to attacking conservative talk radio on Wednesday's Rick's List program, lamenting that "a lot of people in this country...think that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are legitimate news organizations." Sanchez also brought on liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin to do the same: "The Glenn Becks of the world...use the race-baiting...Rush Limbaugh and his racist language" [audio clips available here].

The left-leaning CNN anchor brought on Martin and Memphis, Tennessee Tea Party founder Mark Skoda just after the bottom of the 4 pm Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recently-passed resolution condemning the tea party movement's "racism." As you might expect, Sanchez singled out two isolated examples of racially-tinged signs at tea party rallies: a birther tea party protester who held a "sent Obama back to Kenya" sign while carrying a stuffed monkey, and a sign from the 9/12 rally in Washington, DC in 2009 that depicted President Obama as an African witch doctor.

Martin treated Skoda in a confrontational manner from almost the beginning. The Memphis tea party leader brushed aside Sanchez's citation of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which apparently found that "49 percent of Americans saying that they believe the tea party movement is based in some part on racial prejudice." The pro-Obama contributor then pounced: "Well, actually, he didn't actually answer your question. He danced around your question because I don't- he obviously did not want to answer it. So I will let him have a second opportunity, Rick, to actually answer the question."

July 14, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT
Ed Henry, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn Wednesday's American Morning, CNN's Ed Henry lauded former President Clinton as "one of the best politicians the Democrats have ever the last quarter century" and touted his apparent credibility over current President Barack Obama. Henry also speculated that if "Al Gore...had used President Clinton more in 2000, he may have been president."

Substitute anchor Drew Griffin brought on the White House correspondent 26 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour to discuss the Obama White House's intention to "aggressively use the former president on the campaign trail over the next few months. One party official familiar with the plan calls it a- quote, 'no-brainer.'" During the second half of the segment, Griffin asked, "How can Bill Clinton do it all? I mean, he was picked by President Obama, basically, to rebuild Haiti. Now, they seem to be yanking him off of that and heading him out to the campaign trail, just to save the Democrats in the House in November."
July 13, 2010, 7:07 PM EDT
Rick Steves, taken from writer and public television personality Rick Steves lauded Europeans's "more relaxed" attitude about nudity in public and on television while labeling Americans "overly prudish" by comparison in a Tuesday column on "I like a continent where the human body is considered a divine work of art worth admiring openly."

Steves's ode to European nudity began six paragraphs into the column, "European nudes and American prudes," after he gave a detailed sketch of his 1978 experience at a Turkish bath: "Any traveler to Europe who's visited a bath, perused a newsstand, hung out at a beach or park on a sunny day, or channel-surfed broadcast TV late at night has noticed that Europeans are more relaxed than Americans about nudity."

The writer, who, back in 2003, feared that the American flag was being "hijacked" as a "logo" for support of the war in Iraq, then spent several paragraphs describing how widespread this practice is on the European continent and how apparently great it is (including his "overly prudish" label about Americans):
July 9, 2010, 8:01 PM EDT

On Friday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez attacked conservative economic policy, singling out the right's support for lower tax rates, and complained that "we in America are so easily led to go against our own interests.... you would find that at least half...[are] pulling for the rich guy." Sanchez also belittled conservative talk show hosts: "Many...don't even have a college degree" [audio clips available here].

The anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a rant against "these guys on talk radio, some of whom make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars" and their defense of "the money guys...the super-rich, night in and night out- you know who I'm talking about- you will hear this and you have heard this consistent narrative. We're being held back by high taxes in this country, high tax rates- cut taxes on the wealthy and, zoom, there it goes. Our economy is going to be back with a vengeance. Get the government off our backs and all our problems in this country are going to be solved."

Sanchez then caricatured the conservative take on the present economic situation and, unsurprising, introduced race into the issue. He also targeted CNBC personality and Tea Party hero Rick Santelli:

July 8, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT
Pope Benedict XVI, taken from News contributor Paul Wachter launched an inflammatory attack on Pope Benedict XVI in a Thursday post where he also defended recently-fired CNN editor Octavia Nasr for her eulogy of Hezbollah's spiritual leader. After hinting that the network "overreacted," Wachter suggested that CNN should also fire "anyone who speaks highly of the pope, who...has contributed to the deaths of millions from AIDS."

Wachter began his commentary, "Octavia Nasr Firing: Should CNN Also Ax Anyone Who Praises the Pope?," by recounting the former Middle Eastern affairs editor's Tweet where she expressed how she was "sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot." He then echoed Nasr's own synopsis of the Hezbollah spiritual leader: "Fadlallah left a complex legacy. He was staunchly anti-Zionist, a defender of suicide bombings and approved of the suicide attacks on American barracks in Beirut during the United States' ill-fated intervention in Lebanon during the country's civil war. But he also championed women's rights under Islam and spoke out against honor killings."

The writer, who also contributes to left-leaning publication such as New York Time Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Nation, then launched his attack on the Pope, and lumped in Jerry Fallwell, for good measure, at the end:
July 8, 2010, 12:55 PM EDT
[Update, 2:22 pm Eastern: put up an article on Nasr's "leaving" at 12:31 pm Eastern on Thursday, just before this item went up. H/t: NewsBusters reader johnny dollar.]

Both CNN and have punted on the firing of Octavia Nasr, the network's senior editor of Middle East affairs, after she mourned the death of Islamist cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, "one of Hezbollah's giants," to use her own phrase, on Twitter. None of CNN's on-air programming nor the website has mentioned her "leaving the company" since the news broke on Wednesday afternoon.

Mediaite's Steve Krakauer posted an item on Nasr at 3:38 pm on Wednesday which included the text of an internal memo from CNN International's Senior Vice President Parisa Khosravi which, as Hot Air's Ed Morrissey pointed out, "makes it clear that this was no resignation:"

July 7, 2010, 6:02 PM EDT
Tony Harris, CNN Anchor; Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce (top); & Isabel Garcia, Coalición de Derechos Humanos | NewsBusters.orgOn Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."

Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:
July 6, 2010, 3:18 PM EDT
2007 NYC pro-abortion march, taken from Senior of The Times of London revealed her extremist position in favor of abortion in a June 30 column. Senior bluntly admitted that the intentional killing of the unborn was a cause she would be willing to die for, and while acknowledging it was "taking a life," she labeled it was a "lesser evil," for, in her view, "you cannot separate women's rights from their right to fertility control."

The British journalist, is the personal finance editor for The Times, began her column with outlining the extent to which abortion is a core issue for her. Senior noted that in the Tower of London, there's an "interactive display that ask visitors to vote on whether they would die for a cause." After eliminating dolphins and even her own country of England as potential choices, she continued that she "could think of one cause I would stake my life on: a woman's right to be educated, to have a life beyond the home and to be allowed by law and custom to order her own life as she chooses. And that includes complete control over her own fertility."
June 30, 2010, 4:59 PM EDT
Elizabeth Vargas, ABC Correspondent; George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor; & Dan Harris, ABC Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgThe morning programs of the Big Three networks all sang the praises of CNN host Larry King after he announced on Tuesday his upcoming retirement from his program, while overlooking his liberal bent at times. Both Willie Geist on NBC's Today show and CBS's Harry Smith labeled King "legendary," while ABC's George Stephanopoulos heralded how he was "on top of his game" for most of his career.

NBC correspondent Peter Alexander reused Geist's "legendary" label, and chronicled the CNN personality's "perch in prime time" during his 25 years on his Larry King Live program, spotlighting how he "has interviewed nearly 50,000 people over more than 50 years in broadcasting." Alexander underlined this with clips from King's interviews of Frank Sinatra, Ross Perot, and Paris Hilton, noting that "if you wanted the country to listen, you sat down with Larry King."  The correspondent also included a clip from Ken Baker of E! News, who stated that "whoever is going to replace Larry King has obviously very big shoes to fill."
June 30, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT

Jessican Yellin, CNN Correspondent; & Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin harkened back to her college days at Harvard as she defended Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan against charges by conservatives that she is anti-military: "When I was at Harvard, a full decade before she was dean of the law school, there was already institutional opposition to 'don't ask, don't tell' steeps the whole university."

Yellin, actually, was a key left-wing student agitator during her time at the university, as revealed in several interviews with The Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard. She was labeled a "prominent feminist activist in her own right" in a June 10, 1993 profile of Sheila Allen, her first-year roommate and self-proclaimed "dyke of the Class of '93." The then-student certainly earned this label, as she helped resurrect Harvard-Radcliffe Students for Choice after a "relatively inactive period," was a women's studies major, and, in an April 10, 1992 interview, bemoaned how Harvard was apparently opposed to her feminist agenda: "For people interested in women's issues or gender studies, this is an overtly hostile environment."

In a May 1, 1992 article, Yellin expressed how the acquittal of the four police officers involved in the controversial Rodney King arrest was "the most blatant evidence of the indelible racism... in this country."

June 28, 2010, 5:59 PM EDT

Oliver Stone, Movie Director; & George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor | NewsBusters.orgLiberal director Oliver Stone revealed his anti-American bent on Monday's Good Morning America, praising the rise of mainly left-wing leaders across South America and even went so far to support Brazilian President Lula da Silva for "trying to strike to deal with Iran," wildly predicting "it's going to be like North Vietnam again" if the U.S. pursued sanctions against the country.

Anchor George Stephanopoulos interviewed the Oscar-winning director 44 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos referenced how Stone has "tackled war, Wall Street, and the Kennedy assassination" and is now "taking on South America. He says our neighbors to the south haven't gotten a fair shake from the American media, and, armed with a camera, he's set out on a road trip to try to change that."

Before asking about Chavez, Stephanopoulos played a clip from Stone's documentary "South of the Border," which included a sound bite from CNN's John Roberts that gave the impression that the anchor was condemning the Venezuelan leader: "He's more dangerous than Bin Laden, and the effects of Chavez, his war against America, could eclipse those of 9/11."

Actually, Roberts, in the January 15, 2009 segment from his American Morning program, actually was reading a quote from a book by his guest, Doug Schoen: "Right off the bat, in the very front of the book, you quote Otto Reich, who was the former ambassador to Venezuela back in the 1980s, as saying that he's more dangerous than bin Laden and the effects of Chavez, his war against America could eclipse those of 9/11."

June 24, 2010, 3:25 PM EDT

Chuck Todd, NBC Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn Wednesday's Today show, NBC's Chuck Todd touted President Obama's "swiftness" in dealing with the controversy surrounding General Stanley McChrystal comments in Rolling Stone magazine as a "commander-in-chief moment," and hinted that it was a blessing in disguise, given the executive's tanking approval ratings.

Todd led the 7 am Eastern hour with his report on the President appointing General David Petraeus to replace General McChrystal, who was relieved of command following the Rolling Stone interview. The NBC White House correspondent remarked that with the Petraeus appointment, "the President signaled to his team, no more firestorms like this one will be tolerated." After playing a clip of Mr. Obama stating that he "won't tolerate division," he continued that "the President's aides don't expect there will be much division in the Senate, either, where some are predicting Petraeus will have the fastest confirmation in history, and the praise is bipartisan."

Later in the report, Todd used his "commander-in-chief moment" term as he emphasized the apparent good timing of the controversy and detailed the public's decreasing confidence in the President, according to NBC's own poll:

June 23, 2010, 7:08 PM EDT
NBC's Today show on Wednesday refreshingly brought on a conservative guest who ripped the Obama administration's management of the war in Afghanistan. Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute blasted the "dysfunctional organization" at the White House overseeing the war: "It's not a team of rivals. It's a team of nine-year-olds, and something needs to be done about that" [audio available here].

Anchor Matt Lauer brought on Goure and retired General Barry McCaffrey for a panel discussion on the controversy surrounding Rolling Stone's recent article on General Stanley McChrystal, the now-former commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Goure defended McChrystal in a Wednesday column on his organization's website, suggesting that the general shouldn't be fired for his and his staff's criticism of Obama administration officials. Lauer asked to explain his position: "Mr. Goure, you think that firing General McChrystal would be a disaster- is that accurate? Tell me why."
June 22, 2010, 4:43 PM EDT

Constance McMillen, Homosexual Activist; & Brooke Baldwin, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Brooke Baldwin brought on another teenaged homosexual activist for a sympathetic interview to help promote their upcoming one-sided documentary, "Gary and Tony Have a Baby." Baldwin prompted Constance McMillen to give advice to "other teens who are suffering in silence." The anchor also didn't press McMillen on how she might have inconvenienced her classmates.

Baldwin, who was substituting for Kyra Phillips, brought on McMillen just after bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour. The CNN anchor trumpeted how the Mississippi teen was meeting with President Obama later in the day and how she was going to be grand martial for New York's annual homosexual prade, and first asked, "Would you trade that all in if you could have gone to the regular prom with the rest of your classmates?"

June 21, 2010, 6:29 PM EDT
CNN conducted two softball interviews with the subjects of their upcoming slanted documentary, "Gary and Tony Have a Baby," on Sunday and Monday. The network sympathized with the same-sex couple, hinting they were "role models" for the homosexual community, and made little effort to hide that they were advancing the agenda of homosexual activists.

Anchor Don Lemon interviewed the two just before the bottom of the 7 pm Eastern hour on Sunday's Newsroom program. Before turning to his guests, Lemon played a three-minute clip from the documentary about "how one couple tries to redefine what it means to be a family" and what CNN billed as a "new American family" (see video at right), focusing on the young woman who donated 14 of her eggs so the couple could have one child via in-vitro fertilization and a surrogate mother. Near the end of clip, the "Tony" of the documentary, Tony Brown, spoke emotionally of how the egg donor, named Holly, "gets that she's giving us this incredible gift, and it's pretty amazing." The CNN anchor replied in agreement: "pretty amazing and very emotional."