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 3, 2010, 5:21 PM EDT
Claire Shipman, ABC Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgABC's Claire Shipman waxed ecstatic over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday's Good Morning America, as she reported on Mrs. Clinton's efforts in the Middle Eastern peace process. Shipman exclaimed how the Secretary had a "distinct, quite public moment of triumph" in her meetings with leaders from both sides, and noted how Clinton has become an "international political celebrity."

Anchor George Stephanopoulos, former communications director for President Bill Clinton, introduced the correspondent's report, which aired 44 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos noted past administrations' failure "to broker a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians" and then proclaimed how it was Mrs. Clinton's "turn to try to make diplomatic history." Shipman began by highlighting how Hillary "remains one of the most popular members of the administration" and how she was now "squarely center stage" with the possibility of bringing "something different to this Middle East process."
September 2, 2010, 10:28 PM EDT
Deborah Feyerick, CNN Correspondent; Ali Velshi, CNN Anchor; & Kiran Chetry, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgOn Thursday's American Morning, CNN's Deborah Feyerick continued her network's promotion of the charge that "Islamophobia" is growing in the U.S. All but one of Feyerick's sound bites during her one-sided report were from those who agree with this charge, with the sole exception being used an example of someone using "Islam...[as] a political wedge issue."

Anchor Kiran Chetry and substitute anchor Ali Velshi introduced the correspondent's report just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. Chetry stated that "attempted terror attacks aimed at the U.S. have come mostly from Muslim extremists born outside of America" and then claimed that "America's Muslim community though has been quick to warn law enforcement about these potential threats." Velshi added that "the question is, why does it appear that more and more that all Muslims are being portrayed as potential terrorists or as targets of hate."

Feyerick began by citing unnamed "experts will tell you that there's a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to what Islam is all about. Add on politicians spreading rumors that Sharia law- Islamic law- is coming to the United States simply because a group of Americans wants to build a mosque. It's time to ask, what's really going on?" She then noted that the "Islamic center and mosque to be built near Ground Zero is not the only mosque drawing fire. About a dozen others across the country are also under attack, from angry protests and suspected arson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Temecula, California. American mosques, in some cases, [are] being portrayed as monuments to terror or terror training centers."
September 2, 2010, 1:13 PM EDT
CNN's Rick Sanchez, who was quick to blame Fox News for the 2009 murders of three police officers in Pennsylvania, treaded much more carefully on Wednesday's Rick's List as he covered the eco-terrorist who brought bombs, guns, and took hostages at Discovery Channel's headquarters. Sanchez stated that Lee may have been "well-meaning," but "most watching this would argue he may have taken [his cause] way too far on this day" [audio clip available here]. Most?

The breaking news about James Lee's standoff at the educational channel's Silver Spring, Maryland office building dominated Sanchez's broadcast. Twenty-five minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, during an interview of former hostage negotiator Tom Fuentes, the anchor summarized Lee's manifesto: "He apparently wants the Discovery Channel...[to] broadcast certain commitments to save the planet...He's apparently anti-war....He's concerned about global warming, talks about Malthusian sciences, continues to come back to saving the planet." He then asked Fuentes, "So...if you get my drift, Tom, he's very concerned. He's an activist, may be very well-meaning, but he's now put himself in a situation where he, the police officers and his hostages' lives are endangered. What do you do?"
August 31, 2010, 8:39 PM EDT
Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited one of his favorite subjects of ire, the Catholic Church, and this time called for the ordination of women. Cafferty highlighted the advertising campaign of a British organization which demands that Pope Benedict XVI allow for such simulations of ordination, and mocked a Catholic priest's defense of the all-male priesthood.

The commentator devoted his 6 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to the issue of women's ordination: "'Pope Benedict: ordain women now'- that's the message that will be plastered on London buses when the pontiff heads to England's capital in a couple of weeks. A group called Catholic Women's Ordination is spending $15,000 for 15 buses to carry posters with that message around London for a month."

Cafferty then moved to the opposing viewpoint, and wasted little time before bashing it and one of its defenders: "Father Stephen Wang says women are not barred from the priesthood because of sexism....Wang says that Jesus chose 12 men, and no women, to be his apostles, and he adds that men and women are equal in Christianity, but that gender still matters. Wang compares the role of a priest to an actor, saying no one would be surprised if he wanted a male actor to play King Arthur. He then admits the analogy is weak. That's the most startling and profound thing he said in the message so far- terrible!"
August 31, 2010, 5:16 PM EDT
Meghan McCain, Daughter of Senator John McCain; & George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor | NewsBusters.orgABC's George Stephanopoulos interviewed media darling and nominal Republican Meghan McCain on Tuesday's Good Morning America and devoted the bulk of the segment to her love-hate relationship with Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol. Stephanopoulos devoted so much time to the Palin issue that McCain interjected, "For the record, my book is not just about Sarah and Bristol."

The anchor gushingly endorsed the McCain daughter's new book, "Dirty Sexy Politics," at the beginning of the interview, which aired 42 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour: "It is savvy, it is saucy, and it's just what you'd expect from the first daughter of a presidential candidate ever fired by her father's campaign." He then labeled his guest a "fun writer" and first asked about her "firing," in which she actually sent away from the main stops of her father's presidential campaign and did a bus tour in the battleground state of Ohio.
August 30, 2010, 5:44 PM EDT
CNN's Rick Sanchez quickly apologized on his Rick's List program on Monday after inadvertently labeling Barack Obama the "cotton-picking president of the United States." Sanchez used the racially-tinged term in response to the President recently addressing the significant percentage of American population who believe he is Muslim or was born outside the U.S. [audio available here]

The anchor raised President Obama's recent comment about his birth certificate with correspondent Jessica Yellin 21 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Yellin explained that "this is the first time he's talked about it since the polls showing how many Americans believe him to be Muslim came out" and that "you get the sense that he's been sort of through this. He wants to set the record straight, but he really does seem to accept that he's not going to convince everyone, and he's not going to spend a lot of time and energy on something that's not going to change."

Sanchez replied to Yellin full of frustration: "I'm just sitting here just shaking my head. He is the cotton-picking president of the United States!" He continued with another slighter gaffe: "If the president of the United States doesn't have enough of a bully pulpit to convince people of a lie- that a lie is a lie, I should say, then- you know, where are we? What kind of planet are we living on? What the hell is going on here?"
August 30, 2010, 3:28 PM EDT
George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor; & Democratic Strategist James Carville | NewsBusters.orgOn Monday's Good Morning America, ABC's George Stephanopoulos played up how President Obama "blamed many in the media for perpetuating...myths" such as he was born outside the United States, isn't a Christian, and/or is a Muslim. "You can't blame the President for wanting this to go away."

Stephanopoulos raised the President's remarks about "these kind of myths," as he put it, near the end of a panel discussion with Democratic strategist James Carville and Charles Schwab chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. He noted how "a third of Americans believe- question whether he is Christian- a fifth now believe he's Muslim" before playing a clip of Mr. Obama from his recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams, where the Democrat gave a light reply to Williams's statement referencing these poll numbers: "Mr. President, you're an American-born Christian, and yet, increasing and now significant numbers of American in polls...are claiming you are neither." The President answered, in part, "I would say that I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."
August 26, 2010, 10:53 PM EDT
Deborah Feyerick, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Deborah Feyerick joined the media guessing game as to the motivation behind the stabbing of Muslim taxicab driver in New York City, emphasizing the possibility it may have been "connected to this big Ground Zero controversy, where we're hearing so much anti-Muslim sentiment." Feyerick raised this hypothesis during reports on Thursday's Rick's List and The Situation Room.

The correspondent's first report on the attack aired 12 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Rick's List. Anchor Rick Sanchez played a clip from victim Ahmed Sharif's press conference on Thursday before introducing Feyerick. She began by stating that when "Michael Enright, the suspect, was arrested, he had numerous journals and notebooks on him, all of them filled with writings, some of it completely illegible. That is now with authorities, all of that being vetted and looked through to see whether, in fact, there was anything indicating that he had undergone some sort of a mental or emotional change."

Feyerick did mention that Enright "ironically...was a volunteer working for a non-profit organization that promotes peace," but didn't mentioned that the organization, Intersections International, actually supports the planned mosque near Ground Zero. She continued with the speculation over the possible motivation of the attack, including the "anti-Muslim" charge:
August 25, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT
John Roberts, CNN Anchor; & John Avlon, Senior Political Columnist | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's AC360, CNN's John Roberts labeled Republican candidates who have Tea Party support "very far to the right," and specifically referred to Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott as an "ultraconservative." Guest John Avlon also bemoaned John McCain's tack to the right during the primary campaign, and slammed how the senator has been called a "RINO" by many conservatives.

Roberts, who was filling in for anchor Anderson Cooper, along with Avlon, CNN liberal contributor Roland Martin and Red State's Erick Erickson, discussed Tuesday's primary results from several states for two segments during the first half hour of the 10 pm Eastern hour. Eighteen minutes into the hour, the CNN anchor asked senior political columnist, "[CNN anchor] John King laid it out there, that it's going to be a challenging year, to say the least, for Democrats. Some people predicting that this will be equal to, if not worse, than 1994. What do you think?"
August 24, 2010, 8:38 PM EDT
Ali Velshi, CNN Anchor; & Josh Levs, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Ali Velshi enthusiastically touted the Obama administration's promotion of "alternative energy" on Tuesday's Newsroom, and advanced the idea that the field would become a major economic force: "This may be the driver of the economy for the next 15 years....And I will give this administration credit. It is such a dramatic increase over the last administration's commitment to alternative energy."

Velshi brought on correspondent Josh Levs to discuss the current administration's latest push concerning the "stimulus," focusing on the percentage of the $862 billion spent on "green" energy: "Vice President Biden [is] talking about what's been done for energy, and they released this report, saying $100 billion out of the $862 billion stimulus is going to innovation- things like electric cars, things like solar power."

After Levs cited some of Biden's figures, the CNN anchor reacted with his "15 years" prediction and added, "I mean, nobody can come up with a more obvious driver. It's not going to be the credit system. It's not going to be banks. It's not going to be other things. It may be this." He concluded with his endorsement of the Obama administration "commitment to alternative energy."
August 23, 2010, 6:09 PM EDT

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN Senior Legal Analyst | NewsBusters.orgOn Monday's Situation Room, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin used dire language to describe a federal judge's decision which struck down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research: "The bottom line is this is a major setback for stem cell research and for the Obama will certainly cut way back on federal funding." Anchor Suzanne Malveaux labeled it a "potential wedge issue."

Malveaux led the 5 pm Eastern hour with the "breaking news" about Judge Royce Lamberth's decision, who issued a preliminary injunction against federal funding for the life-destroying research. The anchor brought in Toobin and asked, "What does this mean today?" Toobin immediately gave his "major setback" assessment and described the grounds on which Judge Lamberth gave in his 15-page opinion.

The CNN senior legal analyst, like many in the media, omitted that embryonic stem cell research isn't the only field when it comes to stem cell research. The federal government has actually spent much more on adult stem cell research. According to a July 18, 2008 report by PBS, the NIH "spent $200 million funding non-embryonic stem cell research, and only $38 million on embryonic stem cells." Less than a month ago, on August 2, the Associated Press actually highlighted the successes of adult stem cell research.

August 20, 2010, 5:49 PM EDT

T. J. Holmes, CNN Anchor; Bobby Ghosh, Time Magazine Deputy International Editor; Reza Aslan, The Daily Beast; & Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddi, Teaneck, New Jersey | NewsBusters.orgCNN's T. J. Holmes brought back Time's Bobby Ghosh on Friday's Newsroom for more promotion of his "Islamophobia" cover story, and added two Muslim guests who largely agreed with his thesis that anti-Islamic sentiment was "coming into the mainstream," and how this was apparently a "reason for alarm." Holmes asked softball questions, and no one with an opposing viewpoint appeared during the segment.

The anchor had the three on for a panel discussion at the bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour about Ghosh's "Is America Islamophobic?" article, as well the controversy over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Before introducing his guests, Holmes held up two examples of apparent "Islamophobia" in the country and seemed to sympathize with the apparent plight of Muslims in the U.S.:

HOLMES: Two-and-a-half million Muslims live, work and pray in America- not always easy. Case in point: protests in California- check that out- marching against a proposed mosque in their area, holding signs with slogans such as, 'Muslims danced for joy on 9/11'- or how about the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's Ground Zero? More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to that center being built. But the scope is bigger than that, according to a Time magazine poll. More than 3 in 10 Americans would say no to a mosque in their neighborhood. Then there are statements like this one from evangelical leader Franklin Graham.
August 19, 2010, 9:51 PM EDT
Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgOn Thursday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty questioned the motives of the planners behind the proposed New York City mosque near Ground Zero: "The developer... has said the proximity of the planned mosque and center is not an issue. Really?...It's simply unrealistic to think you can build a Muslim house of worship two blocks from where this awful thing happened, and not get a negative reaction."

Cafferty raised the mosque controversy during his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary: "Sometimes no answer can be an answer. When asked if a portion of the $100 million needed to build the mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero here in New York City might come from either Saudi Arabia or Iran, the developers refused to comment. This only adds to the already heated controversy surrounding this project."

The CNN personality, after noting that "15 of the 19 hijackers responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, and the destruction of the World Trade Center on September the 11th, came from Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. considers Iran to be a sponsor of terrorism," applauded New York Governor David Paterson's effort to find a compromise over the planned mosque's site, labeling him "one of the few rational voices in the conversation."
August 19, 2010, 6:36 PM EDT
Bobby Ghosh, Time Magazine Deputy International Editor | NewsBusters.orgCNN's American Morning and Newsroom programs on Thursday brought on Time magazine's Bobby Ghosh to highlight his "Is America Islamophobic?" article and help promote his accusation that "hate speech" and "bigotry" have "come out into the mainstream" during the course of the debate over the proposed New York City mosque near Ground Zero.

During his American Morning appearance, anchor Kiran Chetry hailed Ghosh's article, which is the cover story of the upcoming August 30th issue of Time, as "a very thoughtful piece." Anchor Ali Velshi, who conducted the second interview of the Time deputy international editor, went further than his colleague: "Okay, you're American- Time magazine is required reading....Bobby Ghosh...wrote the Islamophobia piece that I think everybody is going to have to read because if you are in this country, it's part of the dialogue that we are involved in at this point."

But only days earlier, in an August 3 article about the imam behind the mosque, Ghosh stated that the "last legal hurdle to the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center has been removed, but ignorance, bigotry and politics are more formidable obstacles....Criticism [of the mosque] spans the gamut, from the ill-informed anguish of those who mistakenly view Islam as the malevolent force that brought down the towers to the ill-considered opportunism of right-wing politicians who see Islam as an easy target." So the "thoughtful" Time editor whose latest is "required reading" even had the gall to criticize the families and the friends of those who died on 9/11, or who are generally emotionally-touched by the carnage of the attack.
August 19, 2010, 11:58 AM EDT
[Update; Thursday, 7:10 pm Eastern: Simmons admitted his error about the '93 World Trade Center bombing on his Twitter account: "Made critical error on CNN last nite. Was thinking of last major terrorist attack on US soil in OKC by McVeigh & mispoke"]

Russell Simmons, founder of the hip-hop label Def Jam, bizarrely and inaccurately claimed during an interview on Wednesday's Larry King Live on CNN that the perpetrators behind the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 were Christians: "If you're blaming Muslims for the attack on 9/11, then you need to change your mind. We didn't- did we blame Christians at the first World Trade attack? We didn't" [audio clip available here].

Host Larry King brought on Simmons to discuss the controversy over the New York City mosque near Ground Zero. He appeared immediately after an interview of New York Governor David Paterson, who attempted to negotiate with the planners behind the mosque in order to get its site moved. King first asked the entrepreneur to respond to the governor's efforts. He unequivocally supported the proposed worship space: "We should make every effort not to move it. I think it's critical that we recognize that we built this country on religious tolerance and on religious freedom. And so, if we want to penalize the two billion Muslims because of the actions of a few, then we have to examine the way we look at each other and all religions. So I think it would be a terrible idea to move the mosque."

August 19, 2010, 10:20 AM EDT
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez returned to his obsession with Fox News, stating that the network "obviously tends to lean way, way, way to the right." He did acknowledge this his competitors at MSNBC "tends to sway to the left," but went on to extend his "I play it down the middle" label of himself to his entire liberal network: "We happen to be in the middle, and that's the way we do things" [audio available here].

The anchor, who denied that he had any ideological leanings less than a month ago, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin 17 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour to report on the political donations of News Corporation, which own their competitor, Fox News. Yellin reported that News Corp. "has given a million to the Republican Governors Association." Sanchez replied that "there is nothing wrong with giving money....Time Warner is a big company. I'm sure Time Warner gives money to different organizations, except I have no idea what it is." He then asked, "So, what I want from you is, the $1 million figure, all those it different? Is it substantially different?"
August 18, 2010, 7:47 PM EDT
Ali Velshi, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Ali Velshi engaged in moral relativism on Wednesday's Newsroom as he editorialized on the controversial planned mosque near Ground Zero. Velshi worried about the precedent that might be set if a government "assisted" in moving its site: "Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Do we then entertain petitions of moving Catholic churches away from the Oklahoma bombing site?"

The anchor, a Canadian Shia Muslim of the minority Ismaili sect, closed out the 2 pm Eastern hour of Newsroom with his regular "XYZ" commentary, which he devoted to the controversy. Velshi began by stating that it was "an emotional topic, and one I wasn't sure I should bring up in these last few minutes." He then launched into a short explanation of the 1st Amendment's protection of religious liberty, echoing, in a way, his colleague Roland Martin's constitutional defense of the mosque on Tuesday night:
August 18, 2010, 2:59 PM EDT

Roland Martin, CNN Contributor; Ed Rollins, Republican Strategist; & David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst |[Update, 8:10 pm EDT: The original version of this article identified Roland Martin as a "black talk radio host." He no longer has his own radio talk show. He is still a CNN contributor, columnist syndicated by Creators Syndicate, and analyst for for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, according to his own website.]

On Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN contributor Roland Martin strongly pushed for the Democrats to "stand up and protect the Constitution" by defending the planned New York City mosque near Ground Zero: "Democrats should get some spine and say, 'You know what? I am sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution.'...Stay strong- say it's about the Constitution."

Substitute anchor John Roberts brought on Martin, along with Republican strategist Ed Rollins and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, to discuss the continuing controversy surrounding the mosque project. The anchor first turned to the former black talk radio host and asked, "Roland, is this the sort of thing that Democrats want to be talking about right now, at a point where many people form their opinions of who they're going to vote for in November?" Martin didn't begin with his "constitutional" argument, but instead emphasized that Democratic candidates needed to focus on local issues: "Frankly, if I'm a Democrat and somebody comes to me with that question...I say, 'Hey, go talk to...the folks representing New York. I'm here talking about my district.'"

August 17, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT
CNN's Jessica Yellin, a one-time "prominent feminist activist," helped forward the talking points of the pro-abortion lobby by devoting part of a segment on Tuesday's Rick's List to EMILY List's new anti-Sarah Palin ad. Yellin aired their left-wing accusations against the Republican and her endorsed candidates without providing the other side and/or fact-checking them [audio clips available here].

Anchor Rick Sanchez introduced the issue by bringing up the Republican's recent "mamma grizzly" ad: "It seemed like a very effective ad that Sarah Palin had put out. I mean, professionally speaking, it was very clean, very well put together- the whole 'grizzly mom' ad that everyone was talking about- and, apparently, there's some blowback on this now. What is that?"
August 16, 2010, 7:40 PM EDT
On Monday's Morning Joe, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski went out of their way to defend President Obama's Friday statement defending the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Brzezinski cooed that the President "did the right thing by saying what he said." Scarborough labeled the remark "non-controversial," and later stated the controversy over the mosque was a "wedge issue" [audio clip available here].

As NewsBusters' Noel Shepard reported, the former Florida congressman turned MSNBC anchor blasted Newt Gingrich for his barrage against the President for his defense of the mosque. Earlier in the broadcast, just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour, Brzezinski related her personal anecdote about discussing the issue over her recent vacation, and went right into her "right thing" defense of the President's stance.

Scarborough replied to this by berating Gingrich, in an early preview of his later attack: