In the age of 24 hour Blogging and Social Media, debunking a smear can be proven to be a near impossible task. You can address or "put the record strait", however you cannot make the smear disappear.When you make it an issue, it becomes an issue.
Back in June of 2008, Barack Obama, launched http://www.fightthesmears.com/ a website to report, explain and debunk smears concerning Obama. At the time I wrote: It is a move that has got mainstream media publicity and a great tool to defend against Internet rumors becoming campaign issues.
Lately, I came across http://www.icorrect.com/ which is something like http://www.fightthesmears.com/ for celebrities and people in the public domain. However, Smears exist not because the truth is not available!
You can watch a very interesting interview of the founder of http://www.icorrect.com/ on the Colbert Report here:
This time around, and with the 2012 campaign coming up, it is still very difficult to once and for all make every rumor stop; or even stop people believing and being receptive in smear messages.
On the CNN politics website, there is a very interesting video that breaks down the facts and the myths behind the "Birthers" claims and shows why Obama was indeed born in America.
These rumours came to the attention of the public again since a possible 2012 contender, Donald Trump had recently talked to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux about the issue.
Maybe the only way to debunk a smear is to tackle it the way Jon Stewart does!