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.
Latest from Matthew Balan
NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday followed the lead of the New York Times and boosted a recent article published by an ally of Pope Francis that targeted "ultra-conservative" Catholics for forming a so-called "alliance of hate with evangelicals." Host Lulu Garcia Navarro turned to Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter for his analysis of the article, but failed to mention his publication's heterodox/left-wing stances on many Church issues. McElwee contended that these "right-wing" Catholics are "operating in the exact opposite way of the Pope — which, for a Catholic, is obviously a very strange thing."
Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern hyped in a Wednesday item for Slate that "hard right" Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's "fingerprints are all over" the Trump administration, due to the fact that many of his former clerks now hold "high places" there. Litchwick and Sterm played up that Thomas's "once-fringy ideas are suddenly flourishing," and touted that he is "close buddies with Rush Limbaugh...[and] fringe radio dogmatist Mark Levin."
NPR aired a completely one-sided segment on Wednesday's Morning Edition that targeted the Attorney General Jeff Sessions's leadership of the Justice Department. Carrie Johnson played up that a possible Justice Department initiative targeting colleges' affirmative action policies on admissions was " just part of a broader rollback of Obama-era priorities in civil rights, from protecting LGBT people to drug policy to policing." The program exclusively turned to a former Obama-era official at DOJ, who bashed the attorney general for supposedly having a "decidedly anti-civil rights agenda."
The author of a Tuesday column on CNN.com called on companies and organization to make "gender-neutral" language mandatory in the workplace, as American society supposedly needs to "move beyond the assumption that everyone should assimilate into the categories of male or female." Heath Fogg Davis, a transgender academic, proposed that employers should "require that everyone adopt a gender-neutral pronoun." Fogg Davis contended that such language would "minimize the opportunities for others to evaluate our gender and risk getting wrong something so important."
On Monday, Julie Watson and Christoph Noelting of the Associated Press spotlighted the plight of Captain Jonathan Sims, an officer in the U.S. Army who came out as transgender in April 2017. The two journalists hyped how Captain Sims, who now goes by the name "Jennifer," felt "unease" and "uncertainty" in the wake of President Donald Trump's Twitter post on Wednesday announcing he would reinstate the military's ban on transgenders. The pair cited sympathetic family members and colleagues of the serviceman, but failed to include any quotes from supporters of the President's policy proposal.
On Wednesday, NPR's All Things Considered sided with opponents of President Donald Trump's proposal to bar transgender people from serving in the military. Host Kelly McEvers interviewed veteran Jordan Blisk, who served in the Air Force Reserve before then-President Barack Obama's administration lifted the previous ban in June 2016, and came out as transgender after leaving the military. However, McEvers failed to mention that Blisk is now a LGBT activist in Colorado. The public radio program also didn't bring on any supporters of the new policy.
NPR's Morning Edition on Monday zeroed in on a pro-life group's ongoing protest outside Kentucky's last abortion clinic. Correspondent Lisa Gillespie featured three pro-abortion activists during her report versus just one pro-lifer. Gillespie also let one of the abortion backers smear pro-lifers as potential terrorists. Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation contended that prosecuting those who use the controversial tactic of blocking abortion clinic entrances prevents "the kinds of arsons, bombings, and murders that we've too often seen."
On Monday, Lisa Marie Pane of the Associated Press refreshingly filed a positive report on gun ownership, which detailed how a National Guard veteran trains her fellow African American women to use firearms in self defense. Pane spotlighted how "Marchelle Tigner is on a mission: to train at least 1 million women how to shoot a firearm." She also noted that "Pew surveys in recent years have shown a growing acceptance of firearms among African-Americans."
The Wednesday edition of NPR's All Things Considered spotlighted 15 teenaged Latina activists who protested a new law in Texas that allows law enforcement in the state to investigate the immigration status of individuals in police custody. The young women dressed in formal dresses during their demonstration outside the state capitol in Austin, and performed a choreographed dance. Correspondent Vanessa Romo identified the group that organized the protest, but failed to mention their liberal ideology.
A Tuesday report from the Associated Press played up climate change's apparent impact inside the African country of South Sudan. Correspondent Sam Mednick acknowledged that the civil war in "the world’s youngest nation" was a factor, but still touted the "devastating effects of climate change" in the country.
On Tuesday, NPR's All Things Considered channeled its inner millenial by airing a full segment on smartphone apps for singles in the U.K. who are opposed to Brexit. Lauren Frayer played up how "many British singles...have started posting how they voted — 'leave' or 'remain' — on their dating profiles." She also spotlighted the "Better Together Dating" app, which apparently "bills itself as Tinder for the 48 percent. That's the proportion of British voters who chose 'remain' in last year's EU referendum."
Diane Stopyra attacked the new phenomenon of gender-reveal parties for pregnant women in a Sunday item for Cosmopolitan. Stopyra contended that such celebrations are "potentially damaging to said tiny humans," and that they exclude "a cross-section of the population out, adding to a culture of trans and intersex shame." The feminist writer also took aim at baby showers in general, and claimed, "We'd be better off showing the little girls in attendance that changing the world is every bit as much a female prerogative as bedazzling onesies."
On Friday, AP's Michael Virtanen and Alan Fram touted the apparent conundrum that Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito faces in her state of West Virginia, as the state is "one of the...sickest states in the U.S., relying heavily on Obama's 2010 statute [ObamaCare], which Trump and top Senate Republicans want to repeal and replace."
Aditi Natasha Kini blasted Hollywood portrayals of interracial couples in a Thursday item for the feminist website Jezebel — specifically, two movies about "a brown man wanting to date a white woman." Kini asserted that the films were "masturbatory fantasies." The writer singled out these movies for their depictions of "brown" women as "caricatures...and/or the butts of a joke." She contended, "Representation isn't a checklist, or an excuse for exclusion of more minoritized people. 'Representation' like this furthers white supremacy."
Wednesday's All Things Considered on NPR touted how a conservative portion of California supposedly needs ObamaCare to stay, despite the personal opposition of the people there. Robert Siegel played up that "a lot of people there have benefited from a law Republicans are trying to roll back — the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare." April Dembosky of local affiliate KQED spotlighted how "clinics in the northeast corner of the state are lobbying local officials to take an unpopular position in this conservative land: defend ObamaCare."
Monday's PBS NewsHour spotlighted the low trust in the news media, according to the results of their latest poll. Only 30 percent of those surveyed by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist trust the press "a good deal" or "a great amount." The Trump administration scored seven points better in the same poll. Guest Stuart Rothenberg bemoaned the "horrible trend" towards distrust of the media over the past several decades.
On Monday, NPR promoted a demonstration of 200 ObamaCare supporters, who gathered in a county in Texas where President Donald Trump almost got 80 percent of the popular vote. Despite this statistic, the public radio outlet couldn't find any conservatives for their report on All Things Considered. All but one of the sound bites during the segment came from ObamaCare backers. The remaing clip came from a libertarian, who watched the demonstration from his workplace.
USA Today played up the Supreme Court's decision on Monday to hear the case of a bakery owner in Colorado who refused to participate in same-sex couple's wedding ceremony by baking the pair a cake. The newspaper spun the judicial branch's move in the lead sentence of their Monday article: "The Supreme Court agreed Monday to reopen the national debate over same-sex marriage." The publication also forwarded this slanted interpretation in a Monday post on their Twitter account.
NPR blatantly slanted a story against a Catholic bishop in Illinois who recently instructed his priests to deny the Eucharist, last rites, and funerals decree with quotes from four activists who dissent against the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality. While the article included excerpts from the cleric's document, as well as from a statement from his diocese, they failed to interview anyone conservative or orthodox to provide more balance to the four dissenters.
On Friday, Slate's Christina Cauterucci bewailed a new iPhone app released by a pro-life organization as a "discomfiting invasion of privacy or a gigantic lie." The program helps pro-life activists pray for pregnant women who are considering abortion. Cauterucci used the app as a jumping-off point to condemn the existence of crisis pregnancy centers and lament the New York Times' decision to publish two pro-life opinion pieces in 2017.