Matthew Balan

Matthew Balan's picture
Contributing Writer


Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center from February 2007 until February 2017. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He is an alumnus of the University of Delaware.

Latest from Matthew Balan

The Big Three networks' morning newscasts on Tuesday all failed to cover the Associated Press's early Tuesday report that revealed the 72 mass graves inside current or former ISIS territory. Instead of spotlighting ISIS's mass murder, ABC's GMA aired a 50-second news brief on a unicyclist's stunt on top of a 840-foot tower in Romania. CBS This Morning set aside 43 seconds of air time to a race car in Bolivia jumping over a dog that wandered into the road. NBC's Today devoted 38 seconds to a Colorado teen soccer player's running flip over a goalie.


On Monday's MSNBC Live, Steve Kornacki refreshingly spotlighted Hillary Clinton's utter lack of press conferences in 2016. Kornacki used a "Most Important Number of the Day" segment to point out that Mrs. Clinton's last presser was "268 days ago [as of Monday]...on December Fourth of last year — December Fourth of 2015." The anchor also noted that there were "17 news conferences, so far, for Donald Trump in this campaign — in the 2016 year of this campaign; zero for Hillary Clinton."


CNN's Marc Lamont Hill sided with Colin Kaepernick on Monday's New Day, after the NFL quarterback used the national anthem to protest the apparent oppression of blacks in the U.S.: "When black people...critique America, a certain label gets put on that doesn't get put on other people." Hill also played up how the anthem was written before the abolition of slavery, and derided criticism of Kaepernick as "another example of white people defining for black people what's most important."


ABC's World News Tonight on Friday led its broadcast with a preview of a special 20/20 report that detailed how the parents of ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller tried to free her before she was killed in captivity. Carl and Marsha Mueller disclosed that President Obama "made a promise to help the foundation they set up in her name, and then broke it." Mueller's parents also revealed their "belief that the government failed their daughter."


On Thursday, CBS and NBC's evening newscasts played up the "controversy exploding around the world over so-called burkinis," after several French city governments banned the Islamic swimming garment. CBS's James Brown previewed the subject by trumpeting, "Nuns go to the beach in their habits; so why has France banned the burkini?" NBC's Kelly Cobiella spotlighted protests against the ban, and gave a slanted description of the burkini: "A bikini that's more like a burqa, covering almost everything, and designed to give Muslim women more freedom."


ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts on Wednesday all punted on mentioning USA Today's above-the-fold scoop about how an "Istanbul-based college professor...accused by the Turkish government of coordinating last month's failed coup attempt, is at the center of a group of suspicious 2014 contributions to a super PAC supporting...Hillary Clinton."


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called for further government spending as a solution to racial inequality on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday. Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, Jr. asked the basketball great, "How do we muster the courage to look the ugliness of what we are squarely in the face?" Abdul-Jabbar replied, "I think...people don't want to reach in their pockets. This is going to be expensive...and people try to avoid that — especially politicians. They don't want to tell their constituents that...taxes are a necessary evil if we're going to have the society that we want."


On Monday's New Day, CNN's Alisyn Camerota hounded Mike Pence over supposedly signaling he was "wrong" about supporting free trade his "entire professional and public life" due to his running with Donald Trump. Camerota wondered, "You supported TPP. You supported CAFTA. Donald Trump has said about those things that the U.S. is being taken to the cleaners by these trade deals. Which one of you is right?" Camerota also hyped how "Steve Bannon...he's known as a street fighter. He's known as a flame-thrower. He was the head of the far-right website, Breitbart."


ABC and NBC's evening newscasts on Thursday barely mentioned the Clinton Foundation's announcement that it would stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president.  ABC's World News Tonight set aside 25 seconds of air time to the news. NBC Nightly News devoted 26 seconds to the story immediately before a segment on the Clinton campaign blasting "conspiracy theories" about the Democrat's health. CBS Evening News didn't cover the story until Friday, but aired a full report that lasted one minute and 42 seconds.


Rachel Maddow gave covering fire for President Obama on her MSNBC show on Thursday over his initial decision to stay in Martha's Vineyard instead of visiting flood-stricken Louisiana. Maddow spotlighted the "scathing editorial" from a Lousiana newspaper criticizing the Democrat over the move, but defended the President by pointing a finger at former Governor Bobby Jindal.


Marisa Kabas, a reporter for Univision-owned website Fusion, devoted a series of Twitter posts on Thursday to forwarding the wild theory that Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte displayed his "white privilege" in his dubious claim that he was robbed at gunpoint while in Rio. Kabas targeted Jason Howerton of The Blaze, after he Tweeted, "Seriously, how did you did make Lochte **allegedly** being a jerk about his skin color? It's impressive." Kabas retorted, "your white privilege is what's most impressive."


ABC became the first Big Three network to cover the felony conviction of the Democratic attorney general of Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane, on the early Wednesday edition of Nightline. Byron Pitts spotlighted the downfall of the "rising star in Pennsylvania's Democratic Party," who went from being endorsed by Bill Clinton to being a "convicted criminal." ABC's morning and evening newscasts still haven't covered the Kane story, nor have their competitors at CBS and NBC.


CNN's Chris Cuomo heralded American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad as a "global phenomenon" on Tuesday's New Day. Cuomo gave Muhammad the kid glove treatment by failing to ask her about her anti-Israel posts on Twitter and her controversial criticism of the "climate of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States." Instead, the anchor prompted her to respond to unnamed "critics" who attacked her hijab as "a symbol of extremism." He also wondered, "What do you want people to know about what it is to be American?"


On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts, along with CNN's New Day, all failed to cover a jury convicting Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general, Kathleen Kane, on two felony charges of perjury and seven other criminal counts. MSNBC covered the breaking news of the verdict on The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday, and on Tuesday's Morning Joe. Fox News Channel gave news briefs on Kane's conviction on Tuesday's Fox and Friends.


Haaretz's Chemi Shalev bemoaned the state of the GOP on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday, and compared Donald Trump's remarks on "Second Amendment people" to the political climate in Israel in 1995 before the murder of major political figure: "It reminded me of the months preceding our late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination." Shalev later added that if "somebody...tried to hurt or harm Hillary Clinton tomorrow, I don't think anybody would be surprised."


The New York Times on Saturday gave Rabbi Mark Sameth a platform to boost his radical interpretation of Hebrew scripture — that the God of Abraham is a "He/She," and that many in the ancient world practiced "gender fluidity." Sameth rehashed his eight-year-old theory that "the God of Israel...was understood by its earliest worshipers to be a dual-gendered deity." He also contended that Adam, Eve, and other biblical figures had "well-expressed gender fluidity."


On Friday, the Big Three and Spanish broadcast networks' evening newscasts all reported on Hillary Clinton releasing her joint tax returns with her husband, Bill, and how much they gave to charity. However, ABC and Univision conspicuously left out that the Clintons made almost all of their 2015 charitable donations to their own foundation. NBC's Kristen Welker (along with CBS and Telemundo) reported that the couple "donated just over $1 million to charity — virtually all of it to the Clinton Foundation."


On Thursday's Legal View, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield zeroed in on Donald Trump recently using President Obama's name, including "Hussein." Ali Velshi replied that "we ought not be all that surprised; because...not so long ago, Donald Trump had still not let go of his idea that Barack Hussein Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim. As a Kenyan-born Muslim, I can tell you he's not one of my people." Brian Stelter played up that Trump is "using coded language."


MTV's Ana Marie Cox invoked the Founding Fathers on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom as she argued that the unsavory elements of Donald Trump's presidential campaign were a more serious issue than Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal: "I think that the violence and bigotry of the Trump campaign are more important than the Hillary e-mails....our founders could foresee the kind of controversies...and the kind of corruption that Hillary Clinton's engaging in. Like, that's part of government, you know?"


MSNBC went into spin mode for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, after the father of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen was seated behind the Democrat at a rally in Florida. Stephanie Ruhle replied to the development by stating, "I don't know what I think, but it's definitely noteworthy." Thomas Robert remarked that it was "very interesting," and hyped that it was "certainly a reflection of the Clinton camp to respond so quickly about what that means."