False claims and inaccurate statistics about modern families abound. Many of these focus on dads, the most misunderstood part of the modern family. Mainstream media is filled with headlines and references to surveys that get fathers completely wrong.
Mark Twain remains the most frequently quoted American author, which means he is also the most frequently misquoted author. When a good Mark Twain quote is needed to punch up a paper or spice up a speech, it is possible to verify it with a credible source.
Our social contract with the news business is that they hold the powerful to account. In return, we buy the products of news outlets, and give news professionals certain protections, like the U.S. First Amendment and shield laws.
Until mainstream Republicans stand up to that radical view, there is little likelihood that the president can craft a bipartisan deal to avert sequestration--or, for that matter, reach any compromise on any of the pressing issues facing the country going forward.
Now is the right time for a discussion about the deficit and debt, but Social Security does not contribute to either, and so cuts to the program should be off the table. Any discussion of Social Security's finances should take place separately from discussions of the federal debt.
What we have is a gigantic gap between what citizens are expected to know about politics and what is possible. It is by expecting the impossible that we have gotten into this morass of misinformation. Does this mean democracy is an impossible ideal?
This year's debates were just like they always were, but for some reason I expected something different. Debates offer the candidates a rare opportunity, one outside of the arena of platitudes and skewed facts in advertising, to directly make their case to undecided voters.
Obama can't wait for the fact-checkers. The people need to hear directly from his mouth. As soon as the moderator says, "Mr. President, you have five minutes," they need to hear, "Everything he said is a lie, and here is the truth."
It's a strategy that has for the most part gone unpenalized by a media which seems resigned to playing sportscaster when its real duty is referee, having manacled itself with the irrelevance that comes in the service of "balance."