Bias Analysis: World Magazine article vs. Sojo blog post

World Magazine: “Control Politicians, Not Guns” by Cal Thomas

This article was published on the website of the Christian magazine World on January 15, 2013, and was written by Cal Thomas. However, of you jump ahead to the very end of the article, it says that it was originally published by the Chicago Tribune Media Services. And as you read through this article, there is no mention of Christianity at all (besides the comment about Joe Biden being a Catholic). This could mean that this article was full of enough Conservative viewpoints and opinions that this Christian magazine thought it would fit in with the rest of the content on their site.

The fact that Thomas is a Conservative is evident in some of the sources he references and the phrases he uses. For instance, in the third paragraph, he quotes Rush Limbaugh, a staunchly Republican radio personality. Near the end, he quotes the Russian communist magazine Pravda, saying it “makes sense” in this situation. Also, he places certain things in quotation marks as if to discredit or mock them – like in the fifth paragraph when he says, “Biden calls his gun control effort a ‘moral issue’.” He proposes that Biden “suffers” from “selective morality” and almost insults the Vice President when he says that his views on abortion go against the views of his Catholic faith. Thomas refers to supporters of President Obama and VP Biden not as Democrats, but as “Radicals”, which in some circles has a very negative connotation.

Overall, the tone of this article is very snide and demeaning to those who oppose the views expressed in it. It is not a persuasive piece, nor is it trying to suggest a change of mind – it is simply stating why those who want more strict gun control are idiots and shouldn’t be listened to. You almost feel like you’ve been slapped in the face when you’ve finished reading. Thomas made this a strictly Conservative opinion piece and nothing more; whether or not he meant to do this is a mystery.

Sojo Blog post: “Guns…According to Jesus” by Kristen Marble

This article was written by Kristen Marble and published on the Sojourner magazine’s website, a Christian blog/news site with many different contributing writers and editors. This article, as opposed to the previous one, makes references to Jesus and Christianity as a whole in almost every paragraph, and quotes scripture on a few different occasions. This would lead people to believe at first that there would be an extremely Conservative bias in this piece, but as you read on your mind is changed.

The tone of this article is calm and mildly persuasive, using words like “perhaps” and asking rhetorical questions to make the reader think about things that perhaps they hadn’t thought about before. Marble points out the opposing views and takes them into account rather than completely ignoring them, as Cal Thomas did in the previous article. Marble admits that perhaps what she is suggesting – that we look to Jesus and the Bible for answers on what to do about gun control and other freedoms – may not even do anything, but she puts it out there anyway. I think there is definitely some Conservative bias here, and definitely some Christian bias as well, but I’m getting more of a Moderate-Conservative vibe from the writing, really.

The overall tone of this piece is not harsh and degrading like the previous one, but rather calm and gently persuasive. Marble makes good points – “True Christian freedom isn’t about doing whatever we want” – and addresses the opposing viewpoint on this issue rather than ignoring it. You feel after reading this that you haven’t been slapped in the face, but have rather been handed a Bible and kindly asked to read through it. Much better writing, in my opinion, than the last article.

Person I would listen to: Marble.

Person I think should also listen to Marble: Thomas.

Person I think needs to re-evaluate their “persuasive” writing: Thomas.