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
March 11, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT

CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."

However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:

March 10, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal won CBS Evening News an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012, and also provided hard-hitting reporting on the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, announced her sudden departure from CBS on Monday afternoon in a post on Twitter: "I have resigned from CBS."

During an October 2013 report on CBS This Morning, Attkisson revealed a new weapons smuggling scandal surrounding the Obama administration that involved a grenade that was used to murder three police officers in Mexico. Several months earlier, in June 2013, the now former CBS correspondent revealed that her computer was hacked – something she had suspected for weeks:

March 8, 2014, 2:46 PM EST

Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."

By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 7, 2014, 10:04 PM EST

Friday's NBC Nightly News played up the latest dust-up between Senators John McCain and Ted Cruz over the latter's criticism of three of the Republican Party's presidential candidates, including Bob Dole. Brian Williams underlined the apparent "genuine and palpable tension today in Washington," after Senator Cruz criticized Dole, McCain, and Mitt Romney's campaigns during a speech at CPAC: "When you don't stand for principle, Democrats celebrate."

Kelly O'Donnell zeroed in McCain's shot back at Cruz on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC program, and hyped how "[Cruz], one of the Tea Party's most provocative figures...triggered a new Republican rift" with his remark. O'Donnell also hyped the Texas senator's Friday statement reacting to his colleague from Arizona: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 7, 2014, 6:45 PM EST

On Friday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman bemoaned how medical marijuana is still illegal in many jurisdictions, and hinted that executive action needed be taken to fix this situation. After noting that "one of the problems right now is the federal law," Berman asked, "Can't they change this? Can't a stroke of the pen change this problem?"

Doctor Sanjay Gupta also played up how people with chronic illnesses are affected by this federal regulation, and underlined its apparent damaging impact: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 6, 2014, 3:03 PM EST

Sunny Hostin blasted an Indiana mall's ban of people wearing raised hoodies on Thursday's New Day: "This is...akin, in my view...to 'stop and frisk' – to the pretext of 'stop and frisk' – and I think many courts have found that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and downright unconstitutional."

The CNN legal analyst also contended that "'hoodie' is code for 'thug' in many places," and later claimed that "to identify just hoodies in my view...it's very, very clear what we're talking about here. We're talking about racial profiling. It's code for racial profiling." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 5, 2014, 6:45 PM EST

Bryan Preston of the PJ Media blog spotlighted in a Wednesday post how Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned from her position at the network's Washington, DC division during a live broadcast because, in her words, she "cannot be part of a network, funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of Putin."

During her impromptu commentary, Wahl referenced how fellow RT on-air personality Abby Martin condemned Russia's invasion of the Crimea peninsula inside the borders Ukraine (video of Wahl's statement, via Washington Free Beacon's YouTube account, below the jump):

March 5, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."

However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."

March 4, 2014, 5:45 PM EST

MSN's 'Living' page included an ode to the sexual revolution in their slideshow list of "25 rules that no longer apply." The anonymous writer trumpeted that these "rules, once widely accepted...are no longer relevant," and included "no sex before marriage," "gay people can't get married," and "unmarried couples shouldn't live together."

Most of the rest of their list was mundane, such as "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" and "brides should always wear white." The compilation also included "marijuana is bad" and "real men don't get manis," in addition to the three sex-centered "rules."

March 4, 2014, 3:58 PM EST

CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"

Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

March 3, 2014, 7:12 PM EST

NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.

Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."

March 3, 2014, 11:11 AM EST

NBC was caught asleep at the switch on Monday's Today, as the morning newscast broadcast a clip that featured two uncensored images of fully nude women – 10 years and a month after fellow Big Three network CBS aired Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl.

Savannah Guthrie led into an interview of actor Willem Dafoe by playing a clip from his upcoming movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel," but the scene included two black and white posters of the completely unclad people: [WARNING: video, including the nudity, below the jump]

February 28, 2014, 9:12 PM EST

Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.

Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and CBSNews.com video of Hartman's report below the jump):

February 28, 2014, 4:17 PM EST

The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation.  On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.

By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:

February 27, 2014, 5:18 PM EST

On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo hammered the Catholic League's Bill Donohue for his opposition to same-sex "marriage" and his support of the now-vetoed SB 1062 in Arizona. Cuomo mouthed the talking points of the social left on LGBT issues: "Why do you want to discriminate against gays? You say, we don't...only the marriages bother us. But that's the same thing, because their right as an individual is to marry."

The anchor even questioned Donohue's Catholicism, for supposedly standing with "these Christians who are more of the extreme...[who] have their own rigid beliefs," and against Pope Francis (or, more specifically, the liberal media's spin about him): [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

February 26, 2014, 8:50 PM EST

An unsigned Tuesday article on Yahoo! News could have been mistaken as a press release for PBS's latest TV production attacking the Catholic Church. The unknown author hyped the Church's "horrible year" in 2012 "on many fronts, not just with mounting evidence of financial impropriety at the Vatican bank, but also with incidents of sexual abuse by clergy spreading to more than 20 countries and, further, exposure of church hypocrisy about homosexuality."

The public television channel's Frontline series turned to numerous journalists and activists who have axes to grind against the Catholic Church's moral teachings, and played up hearsay accusing unnamed Vatican clerics of conducting same-sex relationships in secret. The episode also falsely indicated that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invented the Church's doctrine labeling homosexual inclinations as "objectively disordered."

February 25, 2014, 1:19 PM EST

On Sunday, The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker touted Femen's "gangs of attractive, topless women condemning religion, agitating against misogyny, and fighting dictatorship," as she introduced her interview of Inna Shevchenko, a prominent member of the radical feminist group from Europe. Crocker prominently featured a picture of Shevchenko wearing nothing but jean shorts at a protest in an attempt to emphasize this characterization.

The reporter noted how the members of the anti-Christian group refer to themselves as "sextremists," and pointed out some of their beyond crude tactics (which has not only included topless protesting, but also public urination). While Crocker also highlighted Femen's general hostility to religion as a possible "totalitarian instinct," she failed to mention that they have specifically targeted and disrupted Catholic Masses and events.

February 24, 2014, 5:28 PM EST

CNN's Chris Cuomo made no secret of his support of left-wing LGBT activists on Monday's New Day, as he spotlighted the controversy over a proposed bill in Arizona that would protect the religious liberties of business owners. Cuomo berated a guest from the conservative lawyer for her defense of the bill: "You don't need even need this law unless what you want to do is enforce intolerance...That's what it seems like you are doing to me, and it seems pretty obvious."

The anchor, who recently extolled rapper Macklemore's pro-LGBT agenda "Same Love" track, and raved about NFL hopeful Michael Sam's coming out, blasted guest Kellie Fiedorek and the organization she works for, the Alliance Defending Freedom, for their social conservative agenda – or as he spun it, "trying to protect Christians who feel this kind of exclusionary belief": [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

February 21, 2014, 10:02 PM EST

ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.

February 21, 2014, 6:10 PM EST

On Friday, the Washington Post predictably depicted a Catholic hospital chaplain as the aggressor, after the priest denied an ailing, openly-homosexual patient Communion and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The liberal newspaper's Metro-section report on the controversy came less than a week after the section's former editor blasted a Virginia Catholic priest for dissolving his parish's Boy Scout troop over their new pro-LGBT membership policy.

Reporter Michelle Boorstein picked up on the scoop from "America's Leading Gay News Source," the Washington Blade, and hyped how "a Catholic chaplain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center stopped delivering a 63-year-old heart attack patient Communion prayers and last rites after the man said he was gay, the patient said Wednesday, describing a dramatic bedside scene starting with him citing Pope Francis and ending with him swearing at the cleric."