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
CNN's Van Jones revisited part of his infamous "white-lash" rant during an interview of coal miners in West Virginia on Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360: "As a Christian couple, how can you support a Donald Trump when you know the fear he strikes into the hearts of American Muslim children; American Latino children? How do you round that circle?" During that Election Night rant, the former Obama administration official touted how he had "Muslim friends who are texting me tonight — saying, should I leave the country? I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight."
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Van Jones offered his theory about the controversy over the size of the crowd that attended President Trump's inauguration: "Ordinary leaders rely on the Constitution as a source of their legitimacy. But you get these kind of leaders that have these more authoritarian overtones — it's not the power of our constitution; it's the size of their crowds. The legitimacy doesn't come from these documents. They come from the fact that I represent something." Jones later added, "When you diminish his crowd size, it's...a blow to his sense of legitimacy."
CNN's David Gergen and Martha Pease gushed over the anti-Donald Trump Women's March in a Sunday op-ed for the news network's website: "It was certainly a magic moment -- hundreds of thousands of women pouring hour after hour into the Mall in Washington." Gergen and Pease contended that "Trump may have done something that...even Barack Obama could not do: spark the creation of a progressive movement that massively resists an America that goes backward."
Friday's NBC Nightly News hyped how President Donald Trump supposedly lobbed "verbal grenades" in his inauguration address, as Hallie Jackson put it. Chuck Todd contended that the speech was "shockingly divisive for an inaugural," and quickly added that it was "unnecessarily divisive." Todd later underlined that Trump "insulted almost every living president that was there...which, to me, was so stunning."
During MSNBC's Friday coverage of the inauguration, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow played up a report from the Huffington Post claiming that President Trump's transition team requested military hardware for the inaugural parade. Matthews wondered, "Wouldn't that look like a little shades of Pyongyang?" Maddow added, "It would be a little Red Square to do that." Minutes later, Maddow revisited the supposed request for a "Red Square-style show of military force," and lamented, "It's embarrassing — to be the only president with no public service or military experience being the one who wants to most show off the military."
David Gergen and Douglas Brinkley gushed over President Barack Obama during a panel discussion on Wednesday's CNN Tonight. Gergen played up the Democrat's defense of the media during his final press conference, and later claimed that Mr. and Mrs. Obama "didn't have a big scandal...That's very rare." Brinkley touted how "the press/media loves Barack Obama right now," and contended that "what's helping Barack Obama's legacy with the press is Donald Trump....By comparison, he's like St. Augustine up there talking to the flock." USA Today's Kirsten Powers countered by spotlighting the chief executive's hostile actions towards the press.
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo ripped a proposal to let health insurance companies compete across state lines. Cuomo pointed out to Matt Schlapp that Rep. Marsha Blackburn cited "one of my favorite bills — let's open up the state lines, and let all the companies compete....not only do we have some of that in the system already, but there is no proof...that that would guarantee access for everyone." He wondered, "Is that the best answer they have right now?" However, Cuomo left out that Rep. Blackburn also disclosed possible other components of ObamaCare replacements.
Marc Lamont Hill launched an inflammatory attack on another guest on Monday's CNN Tonight as part of a diatribe against Donald Trump. Hill claimed that the President-Elect's meetings with African American celebrities were "demeaning" to blacks: "Bring some people up there with some expertise...don't just bring up people to entertain." The BET News host unleashed after Trump supporter Bruce LeVell defended the billionaire: "It was a bunch of mediocre Negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump's exploitative campaign against black people. And you are the prime example of that."
CNN's Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter blasted Donald Trump on Thursday's New Day over the President-Elect's treatment of the media at his Wednesday press conference. Acosta, who got in a face-off with Trump, expressed his "hope...that Donald Trump can get past this...'Clinton News Network, CNN sucks' mentality that we saw out on the campaign trail." Stelter bewailed how "the environment right now is so far from normal."
Tuesday's All Things Considered on NPR played up the long-term effect of the anti-ObamaCare "death panel" talking point and labeled this phrase "fake news." Don Gonyea let President Obama; Anita Dunn, his former communications director; and a talking head from the left-wing Center for American Progress decry the "dishonest" message from ObamaCare opponents and lament the "lasting negative effect" of the "early disinformation campaign" against the law. He touted that "the false claims of death panels would be named the lie of the year by the fact-checking organization PolitiFact."
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning's anchors hounded Kellyanne Conway over an appendix to a recent intelligence report given to Donald Trump that supposedly highlighted Russia's attempts to compromise the President-Elect, as well BuzzFeed's unsubstantiated document dump related to it. Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King repeatedly tried to get Conway to verify something that she wasn't privy to — whether or not Trump read the classified appendix. The guest blasted BuzzFeed for "really violating basic journalistic standards" by their release. O'Donnell agreed with Conway, but still pressed the Trump aide on the issue.
On Tuesday, Ira Madison III, culture writer for MTV News, launched a multi-post rant on Twitter attacking Senator Jeff Sessions during his attorney general confirmation hearing with a racially-charged Tweet about the Alabama Republican's multi-racial granddaughter: "Sessions, sir, kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys 'R' Us you stole her from." Madison added in a later post that the child was a "prop," because supposedly, "There is no reason for that child to be in his lap in a hearing other than to send an 'I'm not racist message' (sic)."
Toure gave a spirited defense of Meryl Streep and the Hollywood left on Monday's MSNBC Live, after the actress gave an anti-Donald Trump speech at Sunday's Golden Globes. The 9/11 truther contended that movie stars are "just everyday Americans who did very well." He added that "they make up a significant and valuable portion of America....they are real Americans just as well." Toure also repeatedly rebuked Trump for his counter-attack against Streep: "He should not be attacking specific Americans and dissing them as if this is some playground."
CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News both waxed ecstatic on Friday over Michelle Obama's legacy and her final official speech as first lady. Both newscasts emphasized how she got "emotional" at the White House event. CBS's Julianna Goldman touted how Mrs. Obama "turned into the Democrat's not-so-secret weapon" during the 2016 presidential race, and spotlighted how she "used her celebrity to inspire physical fitness." NBC's Andrea Mitchell played up the first lady's "unique voice," and that she is apparently "a political orator in a class of her own."
On Thursday, ABC and NBC aired their first reports on the beyond disturbing Facebook video of a racially-tinged attack by African American young adults on a mentally-disabled white man in Chicago. Good Morning America and Today, along with CBS This Morning, aired full reports on the heinous kidnapping and torture. All of the morning newscasts featured the "anti-Trump rhetoric," as Today put it, of the suspects. The CBS show stood out, however, for failing to explicitly mention the race of the assailants.
Danielle Kurtzleben played up in a Tuesday item for NPR's website that "just one of the 535 members of the new Congress" is nonreligious. Kurtzleben underlined that "the nation's top legislative body remains far more male and white than the rest of the U.S. population...but religion is one of the more invisible areas where legislators in Washington simply aren't representative of the people they represent." However, the correspondent later revealed that this members of this demographic hold some responsibility for this under-representation.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer boosted the NAACP's protest of Senator Jeff Sessions at his office in Mobile, Alabama. Blitzer set aside over five and a half minutes of air time on Tuesday's Situation Room to an interview of the liberal organization's president, and gave him a platform to attack the attorney general nominee. The NAACP leader even likened his sit-in to the famous 1965 civil rights march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The following morning, ABC's GMA spotlighted the protest during a 28-second news brief.
On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello played up the possible fining of the congressional Democrats who organized the pro-gun control sit-in on the House floor in June 2016. Costello asked one of the sit-in participants, Rep. Steve Cohen, if he was "afraid" of the proposed punishment, and boosted a liberal talking point on the issue: "Some people might say that Republicans are trying to exert total control over the Congress, so they can get things done, and marginalize Democrats. Do you think this is all part of that critique?"
The Washington Post and The Daily Beast targeted the dogma of the virgin birth of Jesus to Mary of Nazareth, mere days before Christmas, the holiday where Christians mark this central tenet of their faith. Ruth Everhart claimed in her December 16, 2016 item for the Post's Acts of Faith site that the Christian churches have turned Mary's story into an "idol of sexual purity." Heterodox scholar Candida Moss followed two days later in a Daily Beast article that touted the question of whether or not Jesus's mother was actually a virgin.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning deemed a Facebook post from Senator Bernie Sanders worthy of a 55-second short report. Norah O'Donnell noted how the left-wing politician "criticized some of the Cabinet picks" from President-Elect Donald Trump. She quoted from Sanders, who asserted that "the American people are going to have to organize and fight back against this reactionary movement toward oligarchy." Alex Wagner also cited how the Vermont senator "singled out" two of the nominations in particular, and zeroed in on how the EPA pick is "a skeptic of climate change."