CNN published an analysis on the political ramifications of Wal-Mart’s shift on gun sales, entitled, “How Walmart became an unlikely champion of gun safety,” which analysis highlighted the network’s stance on gun rights and gun control.
The mainstream media, by professional standards, should remain impartial and neutral on policy issues, such as gun rights and gun control. But this particular CNN analysis is a reminder to the American public that CNN is not an impartial media outlet, but a biased cable television network.
The analysis appeared to encourage political activism on the part of Wal-Mart when noting how the store has evolved from “an historically conservative company whose founder was an avid hunter” to “an unfamiliar side of the gun debate.” CNN quoted a pro-gun control advocacy, Ed Scruggs, who heads the advocacy group Texas Gun Sense. That group advocates for universal background checks, which in some polls is opposed by a significant amount of law-abiding gun owners.
Wal-Mart announced it will stop selling some guns and ammunition types, which led to a response from the gun rights advocacy group National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA called the action “shameful” and said law-abiding gun owners will soon turn to other stores to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The CNN analysis then highlighted many liberal and pro-gun control advocates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the aforementioned Ed Scruggs, the president of gun control advocacy group Brady United, and a Wal-Mart employee who started a petition to push Wal-Mart to end gun sales.
Other than an excerpt from the NRA’s statement, CNN’s analysis did not include quotes from gun rights advocates, which would balance the analysis. Instead, CNN’s readers received mostly a one-sided analysis on Wal-Mart’s recent decision to stop selling certain guns and ammunition in its stores.