Matthew Balan

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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

Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia blasted Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson on Monday's CNN Newsroom for referencing Monica Lewinsky at a recent campaign event for the Vermont socialist: "I think it was stupid. The reason I think it was stupid is because there just aren't many votes in the Democratic primary for invoking the name of Monica Lewinsky." Anchor Carol Costello replied, "So why didn't Bernie Sanders just come out and say, you know what — Monica Lewinsky's name has no place in Democratic politics at this time?"


CBS and NBC's evening newscasts on Friday were too busy covering the sudden death of pop musician Prince to set aside any air time to the Democratic governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, taking executive action to restore the voting rights of over 200,000 felons inside the commonwealth. Both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News led with the Prince story. Together, they devoted nearly 11 and a half minutes to the Purple Rain star. ABC's World News Tonight also hyped the celebrity's death, but still aired a 23-second news brief to Governor McAuliffe's move.


NBC Nightly News on Friday returned to hyping the new bathroom law in North Carolina. Hallie Jackson zeroed in on President Obama's slam of the "transgender bathroom ban," as she put it, during a trip to the U.K. She also spotlighted Donald Trump's "criticism" of the legislation, and underlined that "Trump's considered one of the more LGBT-friendly Republican candidates," even though he "hasn't talked much about those issues on the campaign trail."


Justin Moyer contended that ESPN's firing of former baseball pitcher Curt Schilling "seemed destined" in a Thursday article for the Washington Post, which detailed the supposed "radicalization" of the former Phillies player turned "conservative loudmouth." Moyer spotlighted how "Schilling went fangs out" after Tweeting out a controversial image that "many deemed transphobic." However, the reporter didn't disclose his possible stake in this issue, as he moonlights as a cross-dressing musician in a rock band.


On Wednesday's At This Hour, CNN's Kate Bolduan lobbied Bernie Sanders's senior media adviser, Tad Devine, to lighten up in his campaign's attacks on Hillary Clinton, following the Vermont senator's loss in the New York primary: "Bernie Sanders said there's no change in strategy moving forward. But when you look forward...do you need to have a change in tone? The Clinton campaign is furious over what they call false character attacks from your campaign leading up to New York....You guys are basically helping Republicans here."


Vanessa Schipani ran to Bill Nye's defense in a Monday item for FactCheck.org, and underlined that "former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin falsely said she is 'as much a scientist' as Bill Nye...Nye has multiple credentials that make him more of a scientist than Palin, including a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Cornell, experience working with NASA and various patents." Schipani also touted that the former PBS host "also has six honorary doctorate degrees, including Ph.D.s in science from Goucher College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute."


CNN's Chris Cuomo hounded Bernie Sanders on Monday's New Day over his opposition to litigation against gunmakers and dealers. Cuomo spotlighted the lawsuit by some of the families of the Newtown shooting victims and wondered, "Why did you give such a quick no on...whether or not they should be sued?" Cuomo pressed him again about the Newtown case specifically: "Do you think they should be able to sue?...many people said you were on the wrong side of that issue."


On Friday, ABC and CNN's morning newscasts hyped a Connecticut Superior Court judge's decision to let the families of nine Sandy Hook victims continue their lawsuit against gunmakers and sellers. On New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo echoed the language of the pro-gun control Brady Campaign: "A big development — a major win this morning for families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims: a lawsuit holding gunmakers and sellers responsible for the shooting rampage will not be dismissed."


Esquire's Charles Pierce unleashed on Paul Ryan on MSNBC's All In on Monday during a panel discussion on a possible presidential bid by the House speaker: "I think he's as ambitious as Satan. I think he doesn't want to go out in the country where he was already deemed not worthy of the vice presidency, and try to run for president. But if they offer him the crown, he would loathe to lay his hands off it. So, yeah, I think he's running."


Kurt Eichenwald deemed himself an authority on the Bible and Christianity in a Monday item for Newsweek, as he lectured Mississippi Christians on their new religious liberty law. Eichenwald blasted the "the rogues' parade of Bible-thumpers who know nothing about what the Bible actually says" in the state, and contended that orthodox Christian theologians had gotten it wrong about sexuality and marriage for nearly 2,000 years: "They don't want to know what the Bible actually says about gay people because it might force them to examine their own behavior, rather than castigating someone else's."


On Friday, the Big Three networks' evening newscasts gave a collective yawn at the latest development in the Obama administration's Fast and Furious scandal: the White House "turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records" related to the gunrunning debacle to a committee. ABC's World News Tonight actually used the "Fast and Furious" phrase at the top of the program, but not in reference to the controversy. Instead, they mentioned it as they teased a one minute and 30-second segment on the latest police chase from Los Angeles.


On Friday's The Lead, CNN's Tom Foreman hyped how Hillary Clinton had a "bumpy ride" and a "rough start," as she "opened the door for a lot of first ladies to do a lot of different things." Foreman only vaguely referenced the Whitewater scandal and Vince Foster's suicide as he noted that her role in Bill Clinton's win in 1992 "spurred scrutiny uncommon for a president's spouse — over her ties to the legal profession, a real estate deal — even the suicide of a family friend." An on-screen graphic reenforced this superlative: "Uncommon Scrutiny For An Uncommon First Lady."


CNN's Alisyn Camerota repeatedly touted the New York Daily News's lowbrow anti-Ted Cruz headline on Thursday's New Day. The anchor first cracked, "Look at how helpful the Daily News is being, though, for Ted Cruz. They're giving him helpful subway directions about how to get out of the Bronx. They're suggesting that he 'take the F.U. train.'" Camerota then spotlighted it in a segment about the "piranha pool of the New York media." She later mentioned it not once, but twice during an interview of the Cruz campaign's national manager.


On Wednesday's Legal View, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield deplored part of Mississippi's new religious liberty law. Banfield played up that "there was one other piece of language...it's odd....The law in Mississippi protects from discrimination claims from anyone who believes....that sexual relations are reserved solely for marriage." She asked legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, "Does that mean that cake-baker could refuse a couple that just lives together?"


It's fair to conclude that when an article's title carries the preface "don't laugh," what follows could easily be ridiculed. Lauren R. Taylor's Tuesday online blog item for the Washington Post certainly fits that bill, as the title continued that she has "a serious reason for raising my cats gender-neutral." Taylor revealed how she once accidentally called her two female cats "boys," and used this mistake as a jumping-off point to start regularly using "gender-neutral language for the humans in my life."


CNN's Michaela Pereira drifted into the realm of the politically incorrect on Tuesday's New Day during a panel discussion on the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. Pereira noted that one of her guests spotlighted how "this base of the [terrorist] network dates back some 15 years — back to 9/11." She wondered, "I hate to even think this. Is it just too ingrained in the fabric of the culture there — a culture they can't seem to penetrate — the Belgium authorities?"


The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham devoted a Monday item to trumpeting the study of two Illinois political scientists, which supposedly determined that "racial prejudice could play a significant role in white Americans' opposition to gun control." Ingraham spotlighted that the professors "found that whites were significantly less likely to support gun control measures when they had recently looked at pictures of black people, than when they had looked at pictures of [whites]."


On Friday, the Associated Press oddly spotlighted that the childhood home of an infamous serial killer is available for rent to those attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The unsigned short article, which was promoted by CBS News's Twitter account, reported that "the former Bath Township home of Jeffrey Dahmer is one of several private properties that real estate company Howard Hanna has made available for rent while the convention is underway in Cleveland in July."


CNN's Don Lemon acted more like a socially-left activist than a journalist on Friday's New Day, as he moderated a panel discussion on a proposed religious liberty law in Mississippi. Lemon twice misrepresented what the law actually says, and asked a LGBT activist, "Religious liberty — is that just a code for discrimination — I don't want to provide services to certain people? Isn't that just a code?" He was more explicit later in the segment: "People in certain professions...wouldn't have to serve certain people — which, at its base, is discrimination."


CNN's Don Lemon refreshingly went after Hillary Clinton on Thursday's New Day over her smear of Republicans/conservatives on Wednesday's AC360. Clinton used Donald Trump's stumble on the abortion to attack pro-lifers in general: "They all want to dictate a women's reproductive health care decisions...Now maybe, they aren't quite as open about it, as Donald Trump was earlier today. But they all have the same position." Lemon contended that "to say that all conservatives feel the way that Donald Trump feels about abortion, I think, is a bit much."