Matthew Balan was a news analyst in the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division.
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.
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Kristen Welker stood out on Friday's NBC Nightly News as the only Big Three journalist that spotlighted how Hillary Clinton returned to using one of her discredited statements about her e-mail scandal. Welker reported how Clinton's attempt to "clarify" her "debunked" spin on what FBI Director James Comey disclosed about the issue. She added that the Democrat "then [brought] back one of her previous explanations" — that she "never sent or received anything that was marked classified." The journalist countered this by playing a clip of Comey himself retorting, "That's not true."
Friday's Morning Edition on NPR spotlighted Hillary Clinton's "very few and far between" press conferences during her presidential campaign so far. David Folkenflik pointed out how it's been "more than two months" since Mrs. Clinton was confronted about her lack of pressers, and how she "suggested there are other, better ways to hear from a candidate." Folkenflik contended, "Clinton may have a point." He also speculated that "why that's the case may have something to do with [her] debacle" during a March 2015 press conference where she stumbled over her e-mail scandal.
On Thursday's New Day, CNN's John Berman did his best to defend the Obama administration's secret shipment of $400 million to Iran right before the Islamist regime released four American prisoners. Former Rep. Mike Rogers criticized the payment, but Berman countered that "the President...said money was going there...We did not have the details about the plane...the euros — things like that." He later underlined, "Isn't the key to diplomacy...that everyone gets to declare victory?"
CNN President Jeffrey Zucker tried to dispel his network's liberal reputation in a Tuesday interview with Variety's Ramin Setoodeh. Zucker underlined that "if everybody is a little upset at the end of the day, we're probably doing our job." Setoodeh spotlighted that "part of that job, per Zucker's mandate, also has been to make CNN feel fair to viewers in red states." He added that "Zucker...tries to keep the coverage impartial. 'I think our air, as opposed to others', is truly fair and balanced,' Zucker says."
CNN set aside nearly half of its air time on Wednesday's New Day to various recent controversies involving the Trump campaign — 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 18 seconds over three hours. By contrast, the program clearly didn't think much of the Wall Street Journal's Tuesday revelation that the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran. John Berman gave a 27-second news brief to the report, but didn't mention that the payment was sent on "an unmarked cargo plane." New Day, therefore, devoted over 187 times more coverage to Trump than to the millions to Iran.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria ripped Donald Trump with an uncensored expletive on Monday's Wolf program over the billionaire's recent remarks about Russia: "Every time it is demonstrated that Donald Trump is plainly ignorant about some basic public policy issue....he comes back with the certain bravado and tries to explain it away....This is the mode of a bullshit artist." Zakaria also likened Trump's stance on Russia's annexation of Crimea to Nazi Germany before World War II: "[It] is the same argument that Adolf Hitler made about the Sudeten Czechoslovaks."
On Monday's CNN Newsroom, Patricia Smith hammered the media over their clear double standard between the often-negative way they treated her anti-Hillary Clinton speech at the Republican National Convention versus their hyping of Khizr Khan's anti-Donald Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention: "I was treated like dirt. I don't think the Khan family was treated that way. But I was treated like dirt. I was called a liar." Anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Smith to condemn Trump's counter-attack on Khan and his wife.
ABC's World News Tonight on Friday revisited the health care scandal at the Veterans Administration and pointed out the recent revelation that the federal agency spent millions of taxpayer money on abstract art. Correspondent Mary Bruce spotlighted how the V.A. defending the spending by claiming that the art pieces foster "a healing environment."
Maja Czarnecka hyped in a Monday item for AFP that unnamed "experts" predict that Pope Francis "will have a hard time winning over hearts and minds" in Poland due to the legacy of Pope John Paul II. Czarnecka played up that "howls of criticism -- and even hate speech -- went up in ethnically homogenous, conservative Poland when the Catholic faithful saw Francis washing the feet of three Muslim asylum seekers." The journalist repeatedly emphasized the supposedly "arch-conservative" and "rightwing" climate among Catholics in the country.
CBS and NBC's evening newscasts on Thursday hyped Chelsea Clinton's planned speech introducing her mother, Hillary Clinton, at the Democratic National Convention. CBS's Vinitia Nair played up that Clinton "uses her mother's smarts and her father's flare." Nair trumpeted that "the girl named after a Joni Mitchell song, 'Chelsea Morning,' will finally have her night." NBC's Kristen Welker also touted the presidential daughter's "strong presence on the trail," and later claimed that Clinton is "already making her own mark on history."
CNN has clearly favored Democrats during their convention by playing more of their pre-produced videos during its first three days than they did during the entire Republican convention. So far, the liberal network has played 16 video montages and anti-Donald Trump featurettes totaling 47 minutes and 53 minutes of air time — all during their prime time coverage (8 pm Eastern to midnight) of the political confab. By contrast, CNN only played three of the Republican convention's videos, which added up to 14 minutes and 17 seconds of air time over four nights.
On Wednesday, ABC's World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News both played up President Obama's planned speech to the Democratic National Convention as a key moment to promote Hillary Clinton. ABC's Cecilia Vega touted the President as "her most powerful ally." NBC's Andrea Mitchell counted the chief executive as one of "Clinton's heaviest hitters" and spotlighted his "most critical moment" at the convention. Kristen Welker contended that "there is...no more critical speech than the one he'll deliver tonight."
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell trumpeted the "almost universal praise" for Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention. Mitchell played up how Mrs. Obama's words brought "people to tears about her husband's place in American history," and spotlighted how "even an unlikely source, Donald Trump...'thought she did a very good job.'" She later claimed that the address was "speech so compelling, some wonder whether, despite denials, she could become the second first lady to run for office."
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both spoke to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but CNN took clear sides in their coverage (or lack thereof) of their addresses. On Monday, the liberal network aired 19 minutes and 20 seconds of Mrs. Clinton's speech uninterrupted during the 11 am Eastern hour. The news channel didn't break away to carry any of Trump's speech during the 9 am Eastern hour on Tuesday. Instead, CNN went to correspondent Sara Murray, who reported live while the billionaire gave his speech.
Michelle Miller gushed over Michelle Obama and her seven and a half years as first lady on Monday's CBS Evening News. Miller trumpeted Mrs. Obama as "her husband's biggest advocate; a mother fiercely protective of her daughter's privacy; champion for healthy eating and staying fit — using her bare arms to redefine fashion; and her voice to comfort the country." Miler later spotlighted how the first lady's "climb has not always been up a crystal stair," but also played up how "now, with an approval rating of 68 percent...you'll see more of her personality."
Time magazine's Sam Lansky equated the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in Orlando and Donald Trump's pick of Mike Pence as his running mate in an interview of Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto published on Thursday: "In the wake of the attacks in Orlando and Trump picking Mike Pence as his running mate, does it feel like a frightening moment to be a gay American? It does for me." Quinto replied, in part, "it's just a bleak and dangerous moment in our geopolitical landscape right now."
CNN didn't disappoint on Friday's AC360 when it broke the news about Hillary Clinton choosing Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate. Jeff Zeleny stuck to liberal media's talking points about the vice presidential pick, labeling Kaine "more moderate than the liberal strain driving today's Democratic Party." He added that the Virginia Democrat's "views on abortion are far more conservative than most Democrats."
Lester Holt pressed Donald Trump, Jr. on Thursday's NBC Nightly News on whether his billionaire father can show his emotional side: "We...sometimes look for our leaders to be compassionate — to console us during national tragedy. We saw President Obama in Dallas a week or so ago. We haven't seen that Donald Trump. Is this a man that can cry? Can he emote? Can he wrap his arms around the country in times of crisis?" Holt later repeated his question on whether the elder Trump can cry.
On Thursday's Situation Room, CNN's Scottie Nell Hughes claimed that Ted Cruz's controversial speech at the Republican National Convention "killed conservatism" or "severely damaged it, at the very least." The Trump supporter outlined that "those that were...sort of, in the Cruz movement" caused an "embarrassment;" and that supposedly, Cruz "not only ended his career, but...ended the Tea Party...[and] everything that he represented" with his speech. Amanda Carpenter and Kevin Madden pushed back against her claim.
Wednesday's CBS Evening News used the recent heat wave in the United States to hype climate change. Mireya Villarreal featured a meteorologist who contended that "this is such a massive problem — and even if we were to completely stop all carbon emissions right now, we would still have a very serious situation. We've passed the tipping point." Villarreal underlined that "2016 is the hottest year ever recorded," and that "this season, fires are more intense; drought conditions are growing; and the arctic sea ice is melting sooner."