Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blowing the Lid Off the NSVG

Ladies and gentlemen, it's official: I just found the most partisan flyer ever to masquerade as unbiased. It's called the National Student Voter Guide, and I'm sure you can pick up a free copy at colleges across the nation. The things are practically flooding the streets at West Virginia University.

Why is this so biased, you ask? Well, for one, it has information in it that's just not true. Pages 2 - 3 contain a breakdown of Bush and Kerry's views on everything from homeland security to health care. At first, it looks reasonable enough. But as you read down page 2, the descriptions of Bush's stances sound increasingly accusational. By the time you reach the bottom of the "Social Issues" section, the guide shows where each of them stand when it comes to the Supreme Court by declaring, "[Bush] has cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia as model Justices." This obviously isn't a stance; heck, it sounds like that must be a bad thing. Oh wait...Thomas and Scalia are both Republicans. Real falsehood doesn't show up until the army size section under "Defense," where Bush supposedly "supports the draft being implemented if deemed necessary, this time including women and college students."

Wait just a minute! Didn't Bush say just recently, "We're not going to have a draft"? Hasn't the NSVG already seen how the blogosphere reamed CBS when they used a draft scare on CBS Evening News? Or does the NSVG believe every chain e-mail that goes through the inbox? Considering this paper's only been out for around two weeks, there's no way I believe that the whole thing isn't more college-centric propaganda. Ironically, you can't find the part about the draft on; apparently, somebody wised up and took that part out of the breakdown. The draft scare still lives on under the "Get Informed" section of the website.

But the thing that really bugs me is the obvious editorial slant throughout the "paper." None of the editorials are pro-Bush; in fact, most of them openly attack him and his policies. Bizarrely, the header of the flyer has an excerpt from the First Amendment, as if freedom of speech makes sacrificing non-partisan integrity okay. The real clincher is the Editor's Note under the Table of Contents:
In an effort to represent many different views, opinions and hold up the fundamental rights of the first amendment, the NSVG includes many editorials and opinion pieces. The inclusion of these pieces are meant to generate debate and conversation, and are not necessarily the opionions (sic) nor endorsed by the National Student Voter Guide.
Riiiiiight. And I'm the Easter Bunny. When all of the articles your website links to feature liberal viewpoints, and all of your affiliates are anti-Bush in some form, then chances are good you are a liberal organization. That wouldn't bother me so much except for one tiny little detail: You want me to think you're unbiased. Just check out the "Get Involved" portion of the website, where the group seems to assume you want to help the Campus Democrats. I wonder why that could be?
If you want to show them the mistake they're making by giving unknowing college kids this single-opinion garbage, send an e-mail to I'm sure they'll listen to whatever you have to say. After all, it's your First Amendment right.
UPDATE: Blogger Lancelot Finn was kind enough to link to this post. His website is here: (The link is in the Blog section)


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