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
February 7, 2012, 5:20 PM EST

Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.

Writer Frank James began his article for, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.

February 7, 2012, 1:37 PM EST

CBS This Morning on Tuesday led its broadcast with the Obama re-election campaign's decision on Monday night to reverse its opposition to super PAC fundraising. Charlie Rose teased the report by noting how "the White House...flip-flops on controversial super PAC donations." ABC's Jake Tapper used the same term on Good Morning America. NBC's Today show completely ignored this breaking development.

During his report on the CBS morning show, correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama's "denunciation of that Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited fundraising" and played a clip from his 2010 State of the Union address where he ripped the Citizens United decision in the presence of several of the justices who handed it down [audio available here; video below the jump].

February 6, 2012, 5:45 PM EST

ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."

The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).

February 6, 2012, 10:28 AM EST

When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories. A  Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.

February 2, 2012, 6:05 PM EST

The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."

The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may]  pay the biggest price" for the move.


February 1, 2012, 5:26 PM EST

On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.

Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.

January 31, 2012, 9:46 PM EST

Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.

Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?"  The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.


January 31, 2012, 1:50 PM EST

Scott Pelley simply got it wrong on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, when he claimed that the Republican presidential candidates "have finally arrived in a state that was very hard hit by the great recession and has been suffering for a very long time. The unemployment rate here is about 10%." In reality, South Carolina, the state that held the last GOP primary, has about the same unemployment rate, at 9.9% [audio available here; video below the jump].

Two weeks earlier, on the January 17 edition of his CBS Evening News program, Pelley introduced a segment with John Dickerson, who was in the Palmetto State, which referenced the national unemployment rate. But neither on-air personality mentioned the specific unemployment rate inside the state:


January 30, 2012, 3:19 PM EST

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hammered Newt Gingrich on the issue of the opposition his presidential campaign was receiving from some prominent conservatives: "Why are so many conservatives, including...Drudge and Ann Coulter, attacking you?" Rose also spotlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."

The anchor started relentlessly pursued Gingrich not long after he began the interview. He asked the Drudge and "get even" questions in quick succession after getting the former House Speaker to reply to a recent comment from opponent Mitt Romney. Later, the CBS journalist pounced when the Georgia Republican raised what George Soros said recently, that "there isn't all that much difference" between President Obama and Romney [audio clip available here; video below the jump]:


January 27, 2012, 6:46 PM EST

Charlie Rose boosted a jaw-dropping line from Politico's Roger Simon on Friday's CBS This Morning, which concluded that the Republican presidential debates were hurting the party's chances at defeating President Obama: "It is said that in Chicago, where they are running the Obama campaign, that they're so giddy that they want to run naked in Millennium Park" [audio available here; video below the jump].

Simon's actual sentence in his Thursday piece was more graphic:

January 26, 2012, 3:51 PM EST

Yahoo! News, which recently entered into a partnership with ABC News, somehow thought it fit to use its "Destination 2012" site for the 2012 election to highlight a new study that found a purported link between conservatism and low intelligence. The headline for the story by's Stephanie Pappas exclaimed, "Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice."

Pappas wasted little time to note that apparently, "low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found." She cited the study's lead researcher, Gordon Hodson of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, who claimed that "those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote."

January 26, 2012, 1:46 PM EST

On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose took issue with Senator Marco Rubio recently attacking President Barack Obama for being 'divisive.' When Rubio tried to point to the President's State of the Union address as an example, Rose interrupted and replied, "I saw him honoring the military of America and a lot other things where we should be coming together. That doesn't seem to be divisive."

The Florida Republican continued by trying to cite the chief executive's use of class warfare as a tactic "What about the part that basically implies...that the only way that some people in America can be better off is for other people to be worse off? And that's not true to our heritage." The CBS anchor, however, cut the potential vice presidential candidate short just 11 seconds after he began his answer, in an apparent rush to get to the local weather reports [audio clip available here; video below the jump].

January 25, 2012, 8:18 PM EST

Alex Wagner made an eye-popping remark on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, as she hinted that she agreed with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton's assertion that Ronald Reagan would feel out of place in today's GOP. When Burton claimed that "Reagan wouldn't have a chance in this Republican primary right now," Wagner stunningly replied, "I think he'd be a Democrat probably" [audio available here; video below the jump].

The anchor, a former employee of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, also touted a quote from Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of AEI, who claim in an upcoming book that the Republican Party has become "an insurgent outlier- ideologically extreme...scornful of compromise...and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."

January 24, 2012, 6:58 PM EST

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Erica Hill played up the "overwhelming majority" that apparently support raising taxes on the rich, and urged Rep. Paul Ryan to consider supporting such a tax hike: "68% of people support raising...taxes on incomes of $250,000 and higher. Is that something that you could, perhaps, at least have a conversation about?" [audio available here; video below the jump]

Co-anchor Charlie Rose also suggested that Ryan and congressional Republicans had refused to work with President Obama, and that the Democrat needed to try to bring them on board. Rose asked White House advisor David Plouffe, "What can the President say this evening that might bring Paul Ryan to work with him on issues that concern the country?"

January 24, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

One way the left-leaning media like to downplay the annual March for Life is to play up how both sides of the abortion debate showed up in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, when the reality of the matter is that hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers outnumber their opponents by a very large margin every year.

On Monday, CBS's local site for the DC area took that form of bias to another level. Their photo essay, titled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life On Roe v. Wade Anniversary," completely left out the March for Life participants. Instead, the outlet put up seven photos of the handful of "pro-choice" demonstrators that showed up in front of the Supreme Court.

January 20, 2012, 5:02 PM EST

John H. Cushman, Jr. of the New York Times almost completely slanted to the left in his Friday article about the Obama administration's decision to force religious organizations to include free contraception in their employee insurance plans. Cushman quoted from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, liberal Senator Barbara Boxer and the president of notorious pro-abortion "Catholics for Choice," but only included a six-word quote from the other side of the debate.

The writer led his post on the liberal paper's political blog, The Caucus, by noting that "the Obama administration said it would give religious organizations one additional year to comply with a new policy requiring employers to provide free contraception services in insurance plans. Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders had protested the new rules, which were announced in August."

January 19, 2012, 6:39 PM EST

Charlie Rose ripped a new liberal line of attack on Mitt Romney right out of the New York Times on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he interviewed top Romney backer Chris Christie. Rose played up that Romney "seems to be dancing around the idea of what his wealth is. This is the New York Times today: 'Romney riches are being seen as new hurdle; complex web of assets is difficult to assess.'"

Midway through the segment, the anchor held up the copy of left-leaning publication and read the headline for the front page, above-the-fold article by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. He continued by citing the New Jersey governor's own rebuttal to this class warfare tactic: "Your philosophy seems to be, tell him how much you're worth, and say you're proud of it. Every American wants to be rich."

January 18, 2012, 3:31 PM EST

NPR  harped on Mitt Romney's "provocative tax detail" on Wednesday's Morning Edition, highlighting that the GOP presidential candidate "disclosed he's in the same low tax bracket as the billionaire [Warren] Buffett." Correspondent Scott Horsley later used clips from President Obama to accent liberals' class warfare spin about the rich paying a lower tax rate than "millionaires and billionaires."

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford also referenced the Buffett tax issue eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, during a report on the Republican presidential race in South Carolina. She used the same label as the NPR journalist: "He [Romney] revealed that he pays a relatively low rate on his investment income. That's the same low rate that billionaire Warren Buffett pays."

January 17, 2012, 5:34 PM EST

Dean Reynolds filed a glowing report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning promoting comedian Stephen Colbert's mock campaign against super PACs. Reynolds led the segment by stating, "Before we say that a comedian could have no serious impact on a presidential campaign, let us remember that six days after a poll came out here showing Stephen Colbert slightly ahead of Jon Huntsman, Jon Huntsman quit the race."

After inflating Colbert's supposed impact, the correspondent continued by claiming that "so far, Colbert's effort is not displaying what you would call a light touch." Reynolds then played a clip from an ad released by the comedian's "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" super PAC, which blasts GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a "serial killer. He's 'Mitt the Ripper.'"

January 17, 2012, 1:18 PM EST

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted Newt Gingrich should apologize for a supposedly racially-tinged comment he recently made: "I want to give you an opportunity, because the point was made...about it's better for black Americans to seek a job than it is to seek food stamps, and many people stepped forward to say, isn't that simply true for all Americans who are desperately looking for jobs?"

Rose ended his interview of the former House Speaker with the controversy over a remark the presidential candidate made on January 5 during a campaign stop in Plymouth, New Hampshire: "I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps."