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 Washington Post followed the example of The New York Times with a Thursday article that played up the role of conservative Catholics in the release of a former Vatican diplomat's recent "testimony" against Pope Francis. Michelle Boorstein emphasized that "conservative Catholic media outlets have become power players by conveying the anti-Francis point of view." She also zeroed in on the role of "powerful Italian conservatives" in breaking the story.



The Associated Press and the New York Times both tried to spin a Catholic archbishop's recent exposé about the Church's sex abuse scandal as an ideological attack on Pope Francis from the right. AP's Nicole Winfield touted how Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano turned to "ultra-conservative media that have been highly critical of Francis' mercy-over-morals papacy." The Times write-up highlighted how "some conservative American bishops swiftly came to Archbishop Viganò’s defense."



A Friday article from NPR drew attention to three teenaged artists, whose politically-charged work were recently featured at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education. L.A. Johnson detailed how a non-profit organization chose the creative activists as part of an exhibit that "gathered the work of student artists" on the subjects of "empathy, tolerance and acceptance." Johnson interviewed the three artists on their "queer" poetry, "androgynous" painting, and portraits memorializing victims of police violence.



On Thursday, CNN.com's Hunter Schwarz spotlighted the recent victory of Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and underlined that the left-wing congressional candidate's electoral win could be a sign that future millennial politicians "might include Democratic socialism" in their platforms. Schwarz pointed out that "for many cash-strapped millennials in debt, Democratic socialism isn't radical, it's a way to fix a system they believe failed them." The journalist also cited a two-year-old poll that found that "Millennials are OK with socialism."



Tuesday's All Things Considered on NPR targeted the Supreme Court's decision that upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban. Host Mary Louise Kelly touted that "the Court's conservatives plac[ed] few limits on presidential power" on the issue. Nina Totenburg lined up three legal experts who all expressed "distinct disappointment" in the high court's ruling. Totenburg also spotlighted that the first version of the ban caused "chaotic scenes in airports across the globe."



NPR shamelessly slanted leftward on Weekend Edition Sunday, with a segment that spotlighted a drag show in Vermont that was sponsored by a local veterans hospital. Correspondent Britta Greene zeroed in on a VA social worker who "transformed into his drag persona, Britney Queers, in a plaid miniskirt and long blonde braids." Greene also emphasized a claim that "the effects of 'don't ask, don't tell' and bans on transgender service linger," despite this outreach to LGBT veterans.



On Monday, the Associated Press launched a series of planned articles marking the 30th anniversary of former NASA scientist James Hansen's "opening salvo of the age of climate change," as Douglas Brinkley it. Seth Borenstein and Nicky Forster trumpeted how "we were warned" by Hansen's June 1988 congressional testimony, and underlined that "thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right." Borenstein also filed a glowing accompanying report about Hansen, which cited just one critic of the academic turned climate activist.



On Wednesday, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and David Crary of the Associated Press hyped that the "the Trump administration is remaking government policy on reproductive health — moving to limit access to birth control and abortion." The pair spotlighted how "social and religious conservatives praise the administration,'" but failed to give an ideological label for the "women's-rights activists...[who] view the multi-pronged changes as a dangerous ideological shift." The journalists also slanted towards the pro-abortion side by quoting six critics of the Trump policy shift, versus just three supporters.



Havard Professor Khalil Muhammad claimed on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that President Donald Trump is a "really big part of the problem" for a spate of recent incidents where "white people [call] the police on people of color for insignificant reasons," as host Lulu Garcia-Navarro put it. Muhammad summaried the issue as "a problem of white fear being weaponized." Garcia-Navarro wondered if "the base of this...is a sort of cultural conversation that says black people in white spaces means there's something criminal going on."



On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR predictably hyped the impact of scandals involving the Catholic Church during their coverage of Ireland's abortion vote. Correspondent Alice Fordham noted that "during this ferociously noisy national debate [over abortion], the Church's role has seemed muted." She emphasized that "the Church's credibility in Ireland has suffered, after investigations uncovered child abuse and institutional abuse of unmarried mothers." Fordham later underlined that "many of those affected by the...abuses hope this referendum will mark a decisive defeat" for the Church.



A Wednesday article from CNN touted the involvement of young American volunteers during the final days of a pro-life campaign in Ireland. Correspondent Kara Fox zeroed in on how Irish pro-abortion activists blasted one pro-life couple for their supposedly "deceptive" ways. Fox later spotlighted that "some Irish are outraged by foreign groups...arguing that American campaigners are using their vacations to stage a proxy war on women's rights in their country." She also failed to mention the involvement of Americans on the pro-abortion side.



NPR's All Things Considered on Thursday promoted an activist's own spin about her abortion campaign in Ireland, which likened the cause to the 19th-century effort that helped slaves escape bondage in the Southern United States. Lauren Frayer spotlighted how "there's a sort of modern-day underground railroad discreetly shuttling thousands of Irish women to abortion clinics" outside of the Emerald Isle. This is the same phrase that Mara Clarke of the Abortion Support Network used during a soundbite later in Frayer's report: "You could call it an underground railroad. I prefer to think of it as sisters doing it for themselves."



On Friday, NBC's Ken Dilanian praised Washington Post editor Ruth Marcus on Twitter for her "courageous" column that defended the "right" of women to abort their unborn babies if they have Down syndrome. Dilanian underlined his agreement with Marcus after another Twitter user cited how his child has the genetic condition: "And you made the right choice for you—a choice to be celebrated and respected...She [Marcus] is affirming her legal right to make a different choice for her own family."



NPR couldn't be bothered to include pro-gun rights talking heads in their Monday coverage of boycotts targeting the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. Morning Edition featured pro-gun control activist Shannon Watts during their report on the "more than a dozen companies...cutting ties with the National Rifle Association." However, the program merely read an excerpt from a NRA statement responding to the corporate moves. Hours later, All Things Considered turned to two gun control supporters — California state treasurer John Chiang and Avery Gardiner of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — during a segment on the anti-gun manufacturers campaign. The evening newscast followed its sister program's lead in leaving out gun rights suppporters from the report.



Raoul Peck, the director of the new film, The Young Karl Marx, acclaimed the 19th-century radical leftist on Sunday's All Things Considered on NPR: "Today, his [Marx's] analyses are even more urgent and necessary than before." Anchor Sarah McCammon pointed out, "But hasn't this been tried before many times? I mean, Marx's ideas pervaded, for instance, the Soviet Union." Peck denied this historic reality: "It did not influence the Soviet Union. Marx and Engels would have probably been the first one to be shot....this incredible monster that was fabricated after the Russian Revolution has nothing to do with their ideas."



The Intercept's Peter Maass hyped on Saturday that the war film 12 Strong is just latest example of "problematic" Hollywood productions that "model a cliched form of masculinity that veers from simplistic to monstrous." Maass, a former journalist for the New York Times, lobbied the movie industry to "turn away from war movies that...perpetuate a model of masculinity that does violence to us all." He later asserted that many of the successful military-centric films were "masculine nonsense."



On Friday, Glamour magazine's Evelyn Wang marveled over a leftist's eyebrow-raising edit of the critically-acclaimed war film Saving Private Ryan. The activist created a two-minute-long "manfree" version of the Academy Award-winning movie in response to a "douche who edited all the women out of #TheLastJedi." Wang touted how "the new cut...has since achieved viral acclaim," and hyped the creator's "solid sophomore...edit of The Shawshank Redemption....Beautiful."



NPR's All Things Considered on Thursday zeroed in on a pro-life organization that tries to get the employees of abortion facilities to end their participation in the killing of unborn babies. Despite the surprising attention on former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson and her group, And Then There Were None, the public radio program still inserted slanted language into their report. Sarah McCammon labeled the organization an "anti-abortion group." McCammon later noted that Johnson has "gradually been embraced by the anti-abortion rights movement."



Professor Travis Reider of Johns Hopkins University boosted population control as a solution for climate change in a Wednesday op-ed for NBCNews.com. Reider, an assistant director at the school's Berman Institute of Bioethics, hyped that "having a child is a major contributor to climate change," and asserted that "the logical takeaway here is that everyone on Earth ought to consider having fewer children."



AP's David Crary filed a slanted report on Thursday that spotlighted the complaints of left-wing organizations regarding hate crime laws that, in their view, are "rarely used to prosecute the slayings" of "transgender" individuals. Crary zeroed in on a murder case in Missouri where " a transgender teen...was stabbed in the genitals." He used the homicide as a jumping-off point to cite several activists, who bemoaned that the "[hate crime] provisions have led to few prosecutions."