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

On Sunday, the Washington Post's Anthony Faiola spotlighted how Pope Francis is supposedly "the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI" with regard to his consistent teaching on the Devil. Faiola underlined that "Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil's image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call."

The liberal newspaper's London bureau chief also pointed out how the pontiff "praised a group long viewed by some as the crazy uncles of the Roman Catholic Church — the International Association of Exorcists," much to the dismay of dissenting Catholics inside the Church who want to downplay or deny the existence of Satan:


Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."

Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."

Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Politico's Darren Goode surprisingly highlighted the skepticism of many on-air meteorologists in a Monday item about President Obama's interviews with "some of television's most popular celebrities — weather forecasters — to ratchet up the volume on the administration's latest scientific assessment of climate change." Goode pointed out that "not all broadcast meteorologists have been conducive to the climate science message."

The writer cited Weather Channel founder John Coleman, who labeled global warming "the greatest scam in history" back in 2007. He also outlined the reason for many of the weather personalities' skepticism:


CNN's John King, along with the AP's Julie Pace and National Journal's Ron Fournier, targeted President Obama from the left on Tuesday's New Day over the issue of climate change. King highlighted Obama's interviews with meteorologists in order to "push his agenda for climate change," and wondered, "If the President has this power...through executive authority, and this issue is so important to him, why did they wait so long? Why not do this in the first term?"

The two guests seconded the correspondent's question, with Fournier hyping how the apparent crucial nature of the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


John Heilprin of the Associated Press played up how the Catholic Church supposedly "sought to limit its responsibility for the global priest sex abuse scandal" in front of a United Nations committee on torture. Heilprin repeatedly underlined how the Holy See underwent a "grilling" by the UN panel for allegedly violating an "international treaty against torture and inhuman treatment" in its handling of the scandal.

However, the correspondent glossed over the committee's ideologically-tinged slam of the Church's longstanding stance against abortion, which it labeled "psychological torture." By contrast, Reuters' Philip Pullella and Stephanie Nebehay mentioned this attack near the end of their Monday report on the meeting:


On Friday, CBS Evening News caught up with its Big Three competitors and reported on the latest developments on the controversy surrounding the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. CBS also finally mentioned its own president's family connection to a White House official involved in the Obama administration's handling of the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Nancy Cordes gave a full report on how the "the White House released previously unseen e-mails" about the federal government's response to the terrorist strike, which led to House Speaker John Boehner forming a new select committee to investigate the attack. Scott Pelley also disclosed that "Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor mentioned in Nancy's story, is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to set aside any air time to a mass abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from a school in northern Nigeria on April 16, 2014. Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram raided the government-run institution and forced the students into vehicles. On Thursday, the girls' parents and their supporters led a demonstration to pressure the government into action.

The last time the Big Three networks covered the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria was on the April 14, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams gave a 26-second news brief about Boko Haram's bombing in the capital of Abuja, which took place mere hours before the jihadist group kidnapped the students. Nine days later, CNN's Wolf Blitzer devoted a full segment on his Wolf program to the school incident with correspondent Vladimir Duthiers: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


On Wednesday, Jake Tapper set aside a full segment on his CNN program to Rep. Bennie Thompson's "Uncle Tom" insult of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Tapper spotlighted the "racially-charged" and controversial" remarks, where the Mississippi Democrat also denigrated Senator Mitch McConnell and opponents of ObamaCare in general as "racists."

The anchor turned to correspondent Dana Bash, who pursued Rep. Thompson about his attack on the prominent official. Bash reported that the liberal politician "doubled down" in particular on his inflammatory labeling of Justice Thomas: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


ABC, CBS, and NBC have set aside over 146 minutes of air time on their morning and evening newscasts to the controversy surrounding a racist tirade by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. However, as of Wednesday morning, the Big Three networks have yet to pick up on a Tuesday scoop from Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who discovered "shocking racial comments" by a sitting Democratic congressman.

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson unleashed on Senator Mitch McConnell and Clarence Thomas, and Republicans in general, on a radio program of the New Nation of Islam – a sect that holds that "intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited" and that blacks should be "allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own - either on this continent or elsewhere." Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends on Wednesday devoted a full report to Rep. Thompson's bigoted remarks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw lamented how the movie depictions of Spider-Man and other superheroes are all "straight, white men" in a Tuesday item on Salon.com titled "America deserves better superheroes: Why a straight, white Spider-Man is no longer a real underdog." Baker-Whitelaw, a "fandom and Internet culture" reporter for the website The Daily Dot, zeroed in on the supposed "ramifications of having eternal underdog Peter Parker remain a straight, white man."

The writer also complimented Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays the title character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for wondering why the superhero "can't...be into boys," and contended that Sony, the studio releasing the upcoming movie, "might benefit from listening to...Garfield's comments on the potential hypocrisy of portraying Peter Parker as being marginalized by society." She later hoped that superhero movies would catch up with the "reasonably progressive and diverse representation of real-life America" in present-day comic books:


Rheana Murray's Saturday article on ABCNews.com omitted key details about how the Catholic Church determines which saints' feast days are observed by Catholic parishes all over the world. Murray noted that the Church "removed 93 saints from the universal calendar and revoked their feast days in 1969," but two out of the four examples she gave still have "optional" feast days on the calendar.

The journalist's write-up, which was also posted on Good Morning America's page on Yahoo!, cited Kean University's Christopher Bellito, who pointed out that these saints "weren't actually de-sainted, just downgraded." Professor Bellito explained that the Church "decided to remove particular feast days of those saints whose origins were shrouded in more mystery than manuscripts."


ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the issue of child sex abuse by priests on their Saturday morning and evening newscasts – twenty-four hours or less before the Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. CBS and NBC both uncritically turned to the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), but didn't mention her controversial affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.

CBS and ABC also hyped how "some of the faithful have complained the canonization process was fast-tracked." ABC's Terry Moran even inserted some slanted labeling of the Catholic practice of venerating the relics of saints on Saturday's World News, and wondered if modern people could relate to the Church's examples of holiness: [MP3 audio from the networks' reporting available here; video below the jump]


Michael Tomasky chided conservatives in a Monday item on Daily Beast for connecting L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his reportedly racist comments to the Democratic Party, playing up that Sterling's political affiliation is not "established fact at this point," as it is "based on two political contributions he made many moons ago" (Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times discovered Sterling's Republican registration several hours after Tomasky published his item).

Tomasky used the controversy as a jumping off point to downplay examples of racism/racial insensitivity from Democrats, such as past remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Harry Reid, as their political party has supposedly improved the lot of racial minorities:


Friday's CBS Evening News was the lone Big Three evening newscast to spotlight how the State of Oregon decision to scrap its multimillion dollar health exchange website, and join the federal government's HealthCare.gov. ABC's World News was too busy covering violence over spots at mall parking lots to notice, while NBC Nightly News zeroed in on baby Prince George's first trip to Australia.

Scott Pelley underlined how "the State of Oregon said that after months of trying, it cannot get its state health insurance website to work. It hasn't signed a single customer, and it is pulling the plug. It is the first state to do that." Nancy Cordes pointed out the "$248 million failure," but didn't mention President Obama by name or ObamaCare as a term during her report. She merely made a vague references to the "federal" role in providing relief to the debacle: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Norah O'Donnell pursued Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday's CBS This Morning over the controversial land dispute between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government. O'Donnell asked Perry, "What do you make of this standoff? What do you think of Clive Bundy? Do you think what he's done was a good thing?"

When the Republican politician replied that Bundy is a "side story," and that "rather than sending armed troops....I hope our government officials...use common sense when it comes to these issues of conflict...dealing with something...in a substantially-less confrontational way," the CBS anchor followed up by spotlighting the rancher's racially-charged remarks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Tuesday's World News on ABC stood out as the only Big Three network evening newscast to cover a new "watchdog report" that found that the IRS "handed out more than $1 million in bonuses to employees who were delinquent on their federal taxes." Jeff Zeleny also pointed out how "more than 1,000 IRS workers, who didn't pay their taxes, received not only cash bonuses, but extra time off." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Tuesday both devoted air time to the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. NBC's Brian Williams also gave a 28-second news brief on Prince William and Princess Kate's visit to Ayers Rock in Australia, where they posed at the same spot as the prince's parents during the 1980s:


Jill Abramson of the New York Times denied that her newspaper has a liberal bias during a Monday interview with Marlo Thomas of Huffington Post. Abramson asserted that the Times "reflects a very cosmopolitan, inclusive outlook, which can strike some readers as liberal," and later claimed that "the news pages are not ideological."

The executive editor zeroed in on the issue of gun control as her example of how the New York Times is supposedly balanced: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


On Sunday's This Week on ABC, CNN's S.E. Cupp called on social conservative Christians to drop their opposition to same-sex "marriage" and adoption: "I will say conservatives have got to move on gay marriage....[and] on gay adoption. If abortion is the abhorrent option – and I believe it is – then adoption by any two loving people has got to be the better option."

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile agreed with the atheist Crossfire host, and took the opportunity to attack conservatives by implying that they are somehow against human rights and in favor of human trafficking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Conan O'Brien apparently couldn't resist making a pedophile priest joke on his TBS program on Wednesday, after Pope Francis took two school boys on a ride around St. Peter's Square during his weekly audience: "The Pope let two 11-year-old boys ride in the Popemobile with him...Afterwards, the Vatican told the Pope, that's not the kind of publicity we're looking for today. What the hell is that all about? Kids, get in – come on!" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue (Media Research Center president Brent Bozell serves on the organization's board of advisors) took the comedian to task for his "below the belt" jab at the pontiff: