Hypocrisy is no laughing matter
So let me get this straight: Donald Trump talks about grabbing
women by their privates and is elected president, then a
female comedian makes a joke using the same words and gets
raked across the coals? Welcome to the United States of
Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 30, 2018

So long Hugh Hefner. And thanks for the glorious gig.
My girlfriend hated it, but what could be better than writing
about the Playmate of the Month and the 'blondeness of
Pamela Anderson?'
Bruce Kluger
USA Today, September 28, 2017

I am turning off the TV: Tell me when the Trump circus
has left town
In the nine months since he announced his candidacy for the
presidency, narcissist-mogul Donald Trump has conducted a
self-serving, farcical, downright mortifying campaign, bringing
our elective process down to his demolition-derby level. Tell
me when it's all over.
Bruce Kluger
USA Today, March 7, 2016

For 13 years at 'Playboy,' bods were my beat
Sixty-two years after its founding, Playboy magazine has
announced that it will no longer feature nudity in its pages.
What led to this unexpected decision—and could it be that the
magazine's time has finally passed?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 14, 2015

Limbaugh: Men can reinvent themselves, women can't
Rush Limbaugh's attack on Marlo's Thomas' new book, It Ain't
Over Till It's Over
, points to a troubling question: Why would
anyone find anything objectionable about women who had
reached a point in their lives when they wanted—or needed—
to make a meaningful change?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 29, 2014

From the scene: Still mourning in Dallas
Arriving in Dallas, Texas, for the 50th anniversary of the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy was like going to
a funeral—or, more appropriately, to a house of mourning.
Despite the somber memorials and eloquent speeches, a half-
century later we remain crippled by an incurable emptiness
that, like all deaths of loved ones, leaves us scarred.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, November 22, 2013

Use NFL to help fight bullying
The unfolding drama in the Miami Dolphins locker room has
become fodder for an unending wave of news columns calling
for a fresh look at the culture of professional athletics in order
to get to the bottom of this troubling new event. But that’s the
irony: there’s nothing remotely new about any of this. It’s just
plain, old-fashioned bullying.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, November 13, 2013

Honoring children upon graduation
Across America this month, parents are once again attending
cap-and-gown ceremonies as they escort their children
another click down the road that will one day lead them out of
our lives. And once again I have to ask myself, has it all been
worth it?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 18, 2013

No apology from Cheney
The response to the new documentary film, The World
According to Dick Cheney
, has been nearly unanimous. Critics
agree that while it is meticulous and exhaustive, it's missing
one crucial element: contrition on the part of the subject
himself. “If you want to be loved,” Cheney says on camera at
one point, “go be a movie star.” Some things never change.
By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin
USA Today, March 18, 2013

How "family values" hurt kids
In just the past 16 years, the American Family Association—
whose mission is to rid the nation of “ungodliness and
depravity”—has sprayed its venomous indignation like
buckshot, boycotting any group that bears the faintest whiff of
gay inclusion. But last month, it crossed the line when it chose
a new and more defenseless kind of victim: children.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 9, 2013

When even Santa has to dive for cover
As random gunfire rings out again—this time in a suburban
mall in Portland, Oregon, within yards of the department store
Santa Claus—the question remains: Is there anywhere left that
we can take our children where they are not witness to,
traumatized by, or victims of gun violence?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 13, 2012

Sandy pulls New Yorkers together, once again
As the east coast picks herself up from the fury of Hurricane
Sandy, here in Manhattan we're still assessing the damage.
And yet the City is infused with a sense of community. This is
what New Yorkers do best. We survive. Why must it always
take something like a hurricane, or a terrorist strike, to remind
us of our solidarity?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 30, 2012

Colorado, Hollywood should team up on gun control
The state of Colorado and Warner Bros. motion picture studio
have unwittingly found themselves at the center of another
tragic shooting. Can they pool their considerable resources
and, once and for all, help to stem the unchecked gun violence
that continues to plague America?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 24, 2012

What about the 'war on kids'?
As in most election years, noisy battles have been raging as
the nation’s political armies gear up for what promises to be an
even noisier fall. This means we’ll continue to hear about the
many “wars” America is currently engaged in—from “the war
on terror” to “the war on Wall Street.” But one other aggressive
fight has been brewing just beneath the radar, and it's one that
involves our kids.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, May 23, 2012

Bullying in America: Are we defenseless?
Two days after Christmas, a 15-year-old Staten Island girl
threw herself in front of a bus, in yet another shocking incident
of bullying-related suicide. That this tragedy is now considered
a textbook example of today's bullying epidemic speaks both to
the depth of the crisis and our failed efforts to curb it. This is a
problem without a solution.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 25, 2012

The American family: frayed, but united
Ten years ago, 19 men in four jets tore a fiery hole in history
and, in doing so, dealt a staggering blow to our national family.
But I'd like to believe that, like the closest of families, we have
demonstrated a remarkable resilience—an ability to bicker and
cohere, to bellow and console, to raise fists and join hands.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, September 7, 2011

For kids, a lesson in Amy Winehouse's death
The death of singer Amy Winehouse, 27, came as no surprise,
given her long history of substance abuse—though as a
parent, I feel like I dodged a bullet. The singer's notoriously
dangerous lifestyle didn't appeal to my kids, so I never had to
worry about them adopting her as some kind of a revolutionary
role model. Yet I do wonder about those countless other
cultural influences that rain down on their heads every day.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 25, 2011

Has America lost that loving feeling?
I recently reconnected with an old friend on Facebook, and
confessed to her a long-kept secret: that I'd been in love with
her...in seventh grade. Although I'm happily married, the
incident made me wonder: Is passion always around us—alive
and pulsing—and we’re just too distracted to see it? In other
words, as the old song goes, where is love?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 14, 2011

In Christina's memory, let's refocus on the children
If there was one splinter of hope that arose from the appalling
murder of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, it was to
remind our leaders about their moral obligation to the children
of America.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 13, 2011

You can't capture 'American' in a Tweet
Though we live in a world of sound bites and 140-character-
driven narratives, life is simply more complex than this.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 19, 2010

In the city that never sleeps, terrorism lurks
This week, an unsuccessful car-bombing drew crowds and
rattled nerves in Manhattan's Times Square. But for  locals, it
was business as usual. Especially after 9/11, we New Yorkers
know we're America's canary in the coal mine—and we
wouldn't have it any other way.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, May 5, 2010

The Letterman lesson: Use truth as a weapon
For all the breathless media attention devoted to David
Letterman's bizarre sex-and-extortion saga, here's what I find
most compelling: that Letterman successfully navigated his
way through three explosive crises—personal, professional
and legal—by simply telling the truth.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 8, 2009

Parenting is complicated by adults behaving badly
Like most parents, I try to help my children learn to be decent
and civil, and to guide them to goodness. But for the past
seven days, I’ve felt like putting my foot through my Sony
Trinitron—because every time I turn it, some idiot is
undermining my lesson plan with yet another exhibition of bad
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, September 16, 2009

A story the son must finish
For most, this Sunday will be a day to toast the old man and
celebrate Father's Day as Hallmark intended. But for others—
millions of us—the day is a painful walk down a pocked road. It’
s about writing the ending to an unfinished story.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 18, 2009

A long way from Birmingham
When Barack Obama accepts his party’s nomination for the
presidency next week, a long and complicated chapter of our
national story will draw to a close. The raging fires of racial
discrimination in America will have at last begun to dim.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 20, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth
From The Daily Show to The Colbert Report to Saturday Night
, political satire has come to dominate the presidential
campaign. While it’s tempting to dismiss the comic relief as an
inconsequential sideshow, new data reveal that the late-night
follies have become increasingly relevant to the 2008 vote,
and that its audience is actually a pretty savvy group.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 22, 2008

In Election '08, is there a place for gay rights?
As the entertainment industry conscientiously works to bring
the gay experience into the mainstream in a non-political way,
they also run the risk of neglecting the real-life struggles gays
continue to face.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, February 6, 2008

A Christmas over there, and the pain back here
This Christmas, 184,000 American soldiers are stationed in the
Middle East, honoring our nation with their service while
fighting wars whose consequences have nothing and
everything to do with the humanity at the heart of the holiday.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 24, 2007

No Child Left Alone
There's good reason this country is wringing its hands over
our education system. But what happens when society's
anxiety begins to engulf our children?
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 18, 2007

Films no longer wait for history
Pointed social commentary can be found as easily on the big
screen as in newspapers or online. And, as with the Iraq war,
there’s no need to wait until the dust settles.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 31, 2007

Hear Me Now
Politicians are "on message"; kids are distracted; celebs live by
their own rules. What do they all have in common? They’re not
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 16, 2007

How teachers inspire
For the millions of children who will leave their classrooms for
the last time this month, an educator's good heart or rich mind
will have planted a seed—one that may sprout years after the
last school bell has sounded.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 19, 2007

Racism: What do we tell the kids?
Those of us who grew up in the civil rights era saw things that
sound like cruel fiction when retold to our children. Yet the
progress we see today is only possible because of the pain we
felt yesterday.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, February 21, 2007

It's not all bad
2006 won’t go down as a great year. A bloody war in a far-
away land and political nastiness set the tone. But dig deeper
and you’ll see  a few rays of light amid the clouds of doom.
Humanity, after all, is alive and well.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 2, 2007

Dolls lose their innocence
Thongs, high heels and caked-on makeup. Penthouse? No,
your child’s dollhouse.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 11, 2006

Why your vote does, in fact, count
The conversations that have arisen along the campaign trail
have been fundamental to our democracy—reaching beyond
politics and policies to issues that we carry in their hearts. This
is why our participation in the 2006 vote is so crucial.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, November 7, 2006

A glimpse of grace
The swift blur of tragedy that struck the Amish community last
week should provide a moment of clarity for the rest of us. For
a change, what we saw was religion in its best light.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 9, 2006

Lieberman, 'Snakes' and the seductive mythology of the
If ever America needed a wake-up call about the mythology of
blogging, we got it this month.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 30, 2006

The lost humanity of September 11
Oliver Stone's World Trade Center returns us to those sacred
moments in late 2001, when what really mattered was the love
we felt for one another, and for our country. It is a tragically
beautiful film. (
Sidebar: As Stone Sees It.)
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 9, 2006

Hear them out
Celebrity activists are an easy target. After all, when Hollywood
stars stoop down to help the underprivileged, their efforts often
appear pious or self-serving. The results, however, tell a
different story.  
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 28, 2006

Life's connections aren't all plugged in
Surely technology has brought the world closer together, but
my daughter's pen pal exchanges and our family trip to Disney
made me realize that the most meaningful encounters don't
happen over a keyboard.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 19, 2006

Alter window on our world
From TV to pop culture, negativity is the name of the game—
one that my children needn't learn to play.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 28, 2005

Latching on to Us vs. Them
We don't need to manufacture conflict. There's plenty to go
around. Yet there are those among us who are just itchin' for a
fight. To them I say, sometimes a penguin's just a bird.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, November 8, 2005

'Experts and Geniuses' want to rule your lives
If only we could all be so smart. Their pushiness is merely
annoying when they're your friends or neighbors. But
nowadays the E&Gs are everywhere. Look out.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 8, 2005

A ride like no other: Fatherhood
From that first day in the hospital nursery, I never had a
chance. Two daughters and 10 years later, I see the world
very differently. A child will do that to you.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 16, 2005

'Greatness' in the classroom
One film and one educator can teach us all a lesson or two—
and perhaps guide us—as we talk about reforming our
education system.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, March 24, 2005

When politics, fear and funding cook a rabbit
First, they tell us SpongeBob's gay. Then, just when we think
it's safe to go back in the water...
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 31, 2005

Noisy debate forgets the kids
My daughter's crossfire with a classmate taught me that it’s an
exercise in futility to try to covert the inconvertible—and that,
as a dad, I’d be a lot less frustrated if I minded to my own kids
and minded my own business
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 8, 2004

Amish reality TV show takes the lowest road yet
As TV continues to hunker down in the muddy reality trench,
I've often fretted that some show will ultimately cross the line
into the unconscionable. And it finally has.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 28, 2004

Michael Moore is antidote to the Bush administration
The runaway success of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is
not so much about what its controversial director has to say,
but instead about how hungry America has become for an
alternate point of view.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 23, 2004

Vilified soldier shouldn't be prejudged—just ask her
As the poster girl for the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, Pfc. Lynndie
Englund has become a national joke. But not everyone is
laughing, least of all her mom.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, May 12, 2004

Parents, not politicians, should define family values
At an alarming rate, people who never have laid eyes on our
kids are deciding what's best for them. And all too often,
they're getting it wrong.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 7, 2004

Abduction of one girl chills all parents
The kidnap and murder of an 11-year-old Florida girl reveals a
painful truth about even the most pro-active parents: that we
are often blind to how much—or little—our children understand
about protecting themselves from danger.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, February 10, 2004

Politics 2004: Laugh and learn
Does The Daily Show's astounding popularity spell the end of
democracy as we know it? Not really.The one thing politics
lacks—and desperately needs—is a sense of humor.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, February 4, 2004

Parents: Talk to teens about TV's casual sex
Television has come a long way since Gidget giggled at extra
attention from a boy. But is this new wave of prime time
naughtiness sending a dangerous message to our kids?
Sidebar: Sex on the Dial.)
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 22, 2003

Pop star's arrest creates tough parenting moment
Parents can't afford to sidestep the Michael Jackson
allegations with our kids—especially when we can arm them
with the kind of information that can help protect them from
becoming abuse victims themselves.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, December 2, 2003

Sophisticated Halloweens stifle kids' imaginations
More than just a night of playing dress-up, Halloween is an
opportunity for parents to learn a little bit about the way their
kids think—and for children themselves to discover the true
breadth of their ingenuity
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, October 30, 2003

Real reality TV uses star's death for good
By continuing to broadcast a hit TV series despite the death of
its star, ABC is reminding us that, even after the worst of family
tragedies, life indeed goes on.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, September 30, 2003

Americans focus on iconic heroes, stray from reality
Even as new details emerge about the capture and rescue of
solider Jessica Lynch, her star quality hasn't diminished. After
all, once Americans seize on a headliner, they rarely let go.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 21, 2003

Except on Father's Day, dudes trump dads
I've always believed that fatherhood is undervalued and
overlooked. Looking back at the fleeting "daddy wave" of
recent years, I now understand why. (
Sidebar: Primetime Pops.)
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, June 9, 2003

Let children offer their own insights on war
Separating our agendas from our kids' is a tough but important
job. We need to recognize and support their worldviews,
however simplified, before we begin imposing our own.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 21, 2003

Why do mean-spirited TV shows lure Americans?
Television is capitalizing on the very real notion that Americans
embrace acrimony over civility, and conflict over resolution.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the yin-yang styles of
talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly and Phil Donahue.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, January 30, 2003

Children can conquer their fears
One year later: As we continue to struggle over how to escort
our children through the emotional rubble of 9/11, kids have a
remarkable way of navigating their own routes to safety—
whether they're holding our hands or not.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, September 12, 2002

Back to school, PC style
As our nation's more vigilant watchdogs see to it that select
books are banned, old lesson plans are scrapped and familiar
school traditions go the way of the abacus, the three R's have
never been more PC.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 22, 2002

America loses if Olympics are all about USA
As the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City approach, it's
important for the broadcast industry to resist using the event
simply as a showcase for our snow-blown superstars.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, February 5, 2002

Kids teach us lessons about gays, inclusiveness
Children hold a higher, yet simpler standard for fairness than
adults. To a 5-year-old, everyone deserves the same break. I
learned this from my own daughter.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 28, 2001

Fantasy of full-time fatherhood falters
Well into my second year as an at-home dad, I have come to
learn that, despite our society's impassioned call for more
participation by fathers in the family unit, America isn't all that
crazy about daddydom.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, April 18, 2001

Timeout, young lady! (And don't cross the picket line)
When I look the SAG/AFTRA strike through the eyes of my five-
year-old daughter—who has appeared on TV—I see a bunch
of adults acting like children.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, August 23, 2000

Prying eyes still trail John Jr.
One year after his untimely death, the handsome heir to
Camelot continues to captivate a nation.
By Bruce Kluger
USA Today, July 13, 2000