I'd say the media definately misleads people, as well as politicians to a degree. Politicians bank on keywords like healthcare, education, social programs, and taxes because frankly, it gets them re-elected. As far as legislation is concerned, its not unheard of for governments to pass important resolutions on Christmas Eve under the cloak of a bunch of other documents. Every government has an agenda and tends to over-estimate its effectiveness while sweeping as many errors under the rug as possible. Colbert is great, but non-partisan 'thinktanks' also provide a more realistic glimpse of what is going on. (although sometimes they can have overtly leftist or rightist views as well) The best way to get a good estimation of the truth is to take everything you hear with a grain of salt. When things don't add up, there's usually a deeper reason why.