What has happened to the media? How many new-school journalists actually apply to their craft what they’ve learned in journalism school? Why is it that truly socially relevant stories go ignored while platoons of writers and photographers rush to cover what some celebrity-of-the-moment is wearing to walk her purse-pooch through Central Park? I don’t know. What I do know is that, even in this age of virtually all nonsense all the time, a single person with uncommon resolve and the right approach can bring about monumental change. Sometimes, it boils down to that.
The welfare of my children is worth every abrasive post, reasonable reference, revelation, taunt or stunt or any other price I might have to pay to bring attention to our plight. The American divorce/support/custody complex is a largely outmoded, corroded, grotesque, asinine system that frequently denies involved fathers and their kids the right to be whole after the courts have arbitrarily torn them asunder. It is time responsible fathers of our era stopped paying the price for the deadbeat dads of the 20th century. Who of the media dare to address this topic proactively and extensively rather than allow it to remain the backstory to myriad examples of antisocial behavior?
I know that common sense today is as fashionable as top hats and tails, but the decades of evidence that broken families tend to produce broken people glow in the dark like plastic skeletons on Halloween! The American media need to wake up, pull their heads out of Kim Kardashian’s backside and do their jobs! Start observing, culling data and telling the truth about what divorce courts, judges and lawyers are doing to good fathers as a matter of rote rather than acting in the best interests of kids!
In many states, divorce, custody and support matters are churned through a feudalistic machine where gender, money, convention and the whims of lawyers and judges routinely outweigh truth and the actual circumstances of any given case. That people in position to make changes, including the media, legislators, lawyers, judges and even beaten down fathers, some of whom happen to be members of the aforementioned groups, do nothing to fix this dysfunctional system is positively shameful and contributes to the degradation of the American family.
Given what many young men have seen happen to their own families or those of friends, it’s a wonder any would want to walk off the same cliff that previous generations of men have. Family values are clearly in decline and the punishment meted out to fathers for simply having been part of failed relationships is often excessive and inequitable.
Am I just a disgruntled soul ranting about some perceived injustice, the kind of guy to be avoided when choosing a place to sit at a favored pub? No, because first, I don’t go to pubs and second, I’m addressing concerns that far outweigh my personal struggle. I’m challenging American journalists to investigate the decline of the American family and the alienation of the American father as aided by laws and the parties charged with upholding those laws. This is not only relevant news but a long-perpetuated social injustice demanding the kind of activism that spawned movements to protect women’s rights, civil rights, immigration rights or any rights systemically denied a targeted group in this country.
For the purposes of sports broadcasts and fantasy leagues, a legion of statisticians are making a very good living generating data that contribute as much to our society as, well, Kim Kardashian’s backside. What would happen if the same kind of focus were applied to something that actually mattered, like the emotional impact of court-imposed separations and lop-sided custody orders on kids and loving fathers? What story would 10 years of data tell about the effects of inflexible, arbitrary support demands on fathers forced to either abandon their pre-divorce standard of living or face incarceration? God knows the internet and social media are teeming with the testimonies of dads whose rights are not only denied, but practically extinguished. The only question is: Who in the media will finally stop pretending that this isn’t a national crisis?