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
September 18, 2012, 5:16 PM EDT

Norah O'Donnell played up the possible negative impact of the hidden camera video of Mitt Romney on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Regarding the elderly vote, O'Donnell asked 2008 McCain presidential campaign manager Rick Davis, "Did Mitt Romney just insult many of the people who end up voting Republican?"

Co-anchor Charlie Rose led the interview of Davis with a question on the impact of the remarks, and threw in the reported splits in the presidential nominee's campaign: "So, how damaging is this, and all these reports of dissension within the Romney camp?" O'Donnell followed up with her "insult" hint about Romney, as she cited figures from the liberal Tax Policy Center.

September 18, 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford stood out as the only Big Three network journalist to play a clip of Barack Obama's infamous "cling to guns and religion" barb at conservatives, as she covered the recently-released secret recordings of Mitt Romney remarking about the "47 percent of the country who are dependent on government."

Crawford remarked that Obama "spurred similar controversy" with the 2008 comment, but neither ABC's Good Morning America nor NBC's Today mentioned it in their coverage of the Romney video recordings, which were released by the left-wing magazine Mother Jones. [audio of Crawford available here; video below the jump]

September 17, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

Like their colleagues on NBC's Today show, Monday's CBS This Morning forwarded a recent Politico report about supposed "turmoil inside the Romney campaign," which was stuffed with unnamed sources. Norah O'Donnell spotlighted "this finger-pointing that's going on...and whether or not they mismanaged the messaging in terms of Romney's big convention speech." John Dickerson hyped that "what's extraordinary about this, is that it's all happening in public."

O'Donnell also touted "four different national polls that show that Obama now has the lead on the issue of taxes over Romney. I mean, that has traditionally been where most people trust Republicans more than Democrats."

September 14, 2012, 7:43 PM EDT

Bob Schieffer trumpeted "some of the best polling news that the President has seen in quite a while" on Friday's CBS Evening News, a day after NBC's Brian Williams played up poll numbers that were supposedly "ahead of the wildest dreams" of Democrats. Schieffer claimed that "the President's message that he is the one who can best help the middle class does seem to be getting through," even though one poll result is unchanged since July.

The veteran journalist gave these statements just moments after anchor Scott Pelley noted that "a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows just how close the presidential race is. Of the people who told us they were likely to vote, 49 percent said they favor President Obama, 46 percent Mitt Romney; and that three-point spread is well within the poll's margin of error."

September 13, 2012, 4:43 PM EDT

Thursday's CBS This Morning rushed to President Obama's defense over the spat between the Democrat and opponent Mitt Romney over a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt condemning an obscure Internet video about Muhammad. Minutes after Steve Kroft tossed softballs at the President and let him speak uninterrupted for two and half minutes, the show confronted Republican Senator Rob Portman for defending Romney's attack.

Anchor Norah O'Donnell hounded Portman, interjecting five confrontational questions in just over two and half minutes, about the same amount of time that Obama spoke without any disruption. O'Donnell cried, "You're mistaken, Senator," and read statements from Peggy Noonan, Nick Burns, and Mike Rogers to emphasize that "Republicans...are saying that Governor Romney stepped in it." [audio available here; video below the jump]

September 12, 2012, 4:11 PM EDT

Bob Woodward singled out congressional Republicans as the main party to blame for the 2011 debt ceiling showdown during an interview on Wednesday's CBS This Morning and minimized President Obama and Senate Democrats's responsibility regarding the looming fiscal cliff: "The Republicans are like a brick wall, and it's very difficult to deal with them."

Woodward also bemoaned that the press apparently wasn't doing enough to press the budget issue with Obama and Romney: "What's astonishing to me, is it clearly is the key domestic issue. We have a presidential campaign going on....and no one is pressing the candidates – if we had the candidates here, we would say, what is your plan? What are you going to do? This is not something to do by the seat of your pants....we need to have answers."

September 11, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

Eight weeks before the presidential election, Tuesday's CBS This Morning marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by helping Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald forward his accusation that the Bush administration ignored warnings about a possible terrorist strike as early as May 2001. Eichenwald claimed that "the CIA did a spectacular job...the White House and others said, well, they didn't tell us enough. No, they told them everything they needed to know to go on a full alert, and the White House didn't do it."

The morning show also helped the former New York Times reporter promote his new Bush-bashing book, where he hinted at the supposed religious extremism of the former President during the lead-up to the Iraq war: "He [Bush] mentioned something called Gog and Magog, which is very central to the Book of Revelation...[former French president] Chirac didn't know what he was talking about...they went off and got a biblical expert...who then looked at this and said, the President's a fanatic."

September 10, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell let Illinois Senator Dick Durbin forward the Democratic Party's talking points against Mitt Romney on ObamaCare by tossing him softball questions on the issue. Rose acknowledged that "the Obama health care reform was unpopular in the country", but wondered if Republicans would "be on dangerous ground if the debate becomes health care."

Rose merely prompted Senator Durbin for his take on the Chicago teacher's strike: "Quickly turning to local politics in Chicago, the public schools strike", with O'Donnell adding that "in the end, it's the children who suffer."

September 7, 2012, 12:56 AM EDT

The liberal personalities on MSNBC reacted to President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention in the exact same way they did to Bill Clinton the previous evening - with unanimous praise. Ed Schultz's ecstacy was apparent: "He made me feel good tonight. He made the American people feel good tonight, and he gave us confidence....It was a very visionary speech." Al Sharpton trumpeted the President's "epic" address, and declared, "I think that Barack Obama won the election tonight."

Unsurprisingly, Chris Matthews rambled on and on about the apparent greatness of the speech: "I think tonight he did it again, didn't he?...The most powerful statement tonight he made is, I am the President. I am the President, and you're not, and I've had to do the tough things of leading this country, and you haven't....It was a profound statement of, I've got the best position in this country and in this race, because I am doing the job and you're just twiddling your fingers, thinking about what it might be like to be President....What a home run that was." [audio available here; video below the jump]

September 6, 2012, 1:47 AM EDT

MSNBC's on-air personalities were plainly in awe of Bill Clinton on Wednesday night. Moments after the former President finished his speech at the Democratic National Convention, they kept up the praise for almost 20 minutes. Chris Matthews gushed over the "strong offensive" Clinton gave for President Obama. Al Sharpton exclaimed, "Elvis and Bubba showed up tonight."

Ed Schultz was the most enthusiastic for the former Arkansas governor: "Affable, effective - as a Democrat, it doesn't get any better. I'm sitting here - I'm giddy...I just think President Clinton just did Barack Obama the biggest favor he could have ever done." Rachel Maddow and former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt agreed that Clinton's address was "powerful," with Schmidt exclaiming that "I wish to God, as a Republican, we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. We don't. It would be great if we did. Just an amazing performance." [audio available here; video below the jump]

September 4, 2012, 8:48 PM EDT

Andrea Mitchell gushed over Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, labeling her a "political superstar" and "her husband's best campaigner, hardly needing to practice with the Teleprompters or get a feel for the stage." Mitchell went out of her way to point out how Mrs. Obama apparently is "all about hugs, connecting to people with a physical embrace." [audio available here; video below the jump]

The correspondent also emphasized the First Lady's supposed celebrity status by noting how she has "become a regular on late night," and playing clips from interviews she gave to Ryan Seacrest, David Letterman, and to E! News.

August 31, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams touted the stimulus spending that went to renovating the reflecting pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC: "Tourists in Washington this holiday weekend will find water in the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool for the first time in two years. It was actually stimulus funding that paid for the major renovation project - $34 million worth."

Scott Pelley also gave a brief on the pool's renovation on Friday's CBS Evening News, but chose not to play up the stimulus detail, only noting that "the pool was closed, so that workers could fix leaks and stop it from sinking."

August 31, 2012, 12:51 AM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews didn't even wait for the balloons and the confetti to stop falling before laying into Mitt Romney. Moments after the former Massachusetts governor finished his Thursday night speech at the Republican National Convention, Matthews slammed the supposedly "very dark, very jingoistic, very anti-scientific, and, really, Know-Nothing" elements of the address.

The left-wing host concluded that "on science, on war and peace...I personally think this was a bad address for the American people." Matthews later went on a tear on how Romney was apparently "narrow-minded...small and insular and say, we don't care about the planet we live on, which is getting hotter." [audio available here; video below the jump]

August 30, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT

Minutes after Paul Ryan finished his RNC speech on Wednesday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews slammed the Republican vice presidential candidate for supposedly ignoring blacks during his "very constricted, very negative, very nasty speech," and suggested that he was directing the address to racists: "It's clear that Paul Ryan was talking to people who think about rights as something...produced by Thomas Jefferson, ignoring the people for whom the rights only came in the 1960s."

Matthews added that "for some reason, they never mentioned those things, because they're talking to people - let's be honest about this - who didn't feel – the benefit, at all, from those civil rights, and I think that's very important to point out." [audio available here; video below the jump]

August 29, 2012, 12:28 AM EDT

Just like his counterparts at MSNBC on Tuesday night, Fox News Channel political analyst Juan Williams thought it fit to continue forwarding the left's main attack on Ann Romney - that she just can't relate the average American woman. Minutes after Mrs. Romney's RNC speech, Williams bluntly remarked that she "looked to me like a corporate wife...[T]he stories she told about struggles – ah, it's hard for me to believe. I mean, she's a very rich woman. And I know that, and America knows that." [audio available here; video below the jump]

When anchor Megyn Kelly asked the former NPR personality what he meant by this loaded term, Williams claimed that Mrs. Romney wasn't "speaking, I think, for the tremendous number of single women in this country or married women...she did not convince me that, you know what? I understand the struggles of American women in general."

August 28, 2012, 11:26 PM EDT

MSNBC 's immediate reaction to Ann Romney's Tuesday night speech at the Republican National Convention was to stick by the left-wing talking point that she can't relate to ordinary Americans, especially women. Lawrence O'Donnell seconded Rachel Maddow's claim that Mrs. Romney "has not had most women's economic experiences," and went further: "She began her talking about women's struggles in this economy and in life that she, actually, in her life, doesn't know anything about."

O'Donnell then blasted the Republican presidential candidate's wife for supposedly disregarding women who have taken government assistance in their lives: "The one population that was specifically excluded from her discussion of women's struggles in this society was any woman who needed, at any point in her life, to rely on any form of government assistance - be it food stamps; be it temporary welfare assistance; be it any form of support whatsoever that any government has ever provided for a struggling woman at any time in her life. That population was completely ignored in this speech." [audio available here; video below the jump]

August 28, 2012, 6:02 AM EDT

For the second straight night, NBC Nightly News on Monday played the Hurricane Katrina card against Republicans, as Tropical Storm Isaac veered away from Tampa and took aim at New Orleans. Andrea Mitchell hyped that "both Republicans and Democrats...have a challenge - a political challenge here with this approaching storm, especially for the Republicans. No one here can easily forget the iconic picture of President Bush flying on Air Force One...looking down at New Orleans during Katrina." [audio available here; video below the jump]

Anchor Brian Williams also played up how the Romney family has been "forced to talk about their rightfully gained enormous wealth - having been successful in business, the garage for their cars at their home in La Jolla, California."

August 24, 2012, 12:52 PM EDT

On Friday, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported on Twitter that Mitt Romney's campaign was "slamming [the] Obama Admin citing reports of sale of Solyndra headquarters for fire sale price of $90-million," and how "US taxpayers lost $500-million underwriting Solyndra loans." Even with this and other developments in the past month, CBS hasn't covered Solyndra since June 1, 2012 on its morning and evening newscasts.

Knoller noted in subsequent Tweets that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had defended the federal loan guarantee for Solyndra as a "merit-based decision" during an August 2, 2012 press gaggle, after a reporter asked about an impending congressional report on the scandal. Carney also stated during the presser that President Obama "firmly believes that it is the right decision to invest in clean energy technologies."

August 23, 2012, 6:57 PM EDT

Scott Horsley's report on Wednesday's All Things Considered could have mistaken for a three-and-half minute ad from a pro-Obama super PAC. Horsley played up how "Mr. Obama often tempers his speeches with a dose of modesty about what government can and can't do" and how the President "pushes back strongly against the anti-government rhetoric of his GOP opponents."

The NPR correspondent also sympathetically noted that "part of the President's persuading Americans that the people government is taking care of really are our own." Horsley filled the segment with talking points from Obama's campaign and with soundbites from the Democrat and his campaign, and failed to include any from his opponents.

August 22, 2012, 6:08 PM EDT

John Dickerson hinted on Wednesday's CBS This Morning that the only radicals in the abortion debate were on the pro-life side. During a discussion about the furor over Rep. Todd Akin's recent "legitimate rape" remark, Dickerson stated that "Congressman Akin...put a highlight on the extreme end of the abortion debate."
The political director's liberal slant came in the midst of his network's 37 minutes of coverage of the Akin controversy since Monday. By contrast, CBS devoted just under 10 minutes of coverage to Vice President Joe Biden's "put y'all back in chains" smear of Republicans over a similar three-day period earlier in August, a nearly four-to-one disparity.