The Media’s Lackluster Reporting on Afghanistan

A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with my friend and journalist, Tracie Powell, about the recent WikiLeaks debacle. In our conversation I noted that in my opinion, there’s a certain apathy within the general public towards the war in Afghanistan. I told her that I thought the media had a lot to do with it. Although I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that we’re not as inundated with war coverage in Afghanistan as we were with Iraq under the previous administration. Am I wrong about that?

Not only were we assaulted with coverage of our infamous war for oil, which came up a tad bit short on the hunt for those ever elusive WMDs. There was hardly ever a news broadcast which did not feature the angst of the general public as captured by war protests. Oh how funny things have changed from one president to the next. Last July is on record as being the deadliest month to date as far as U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, but you’d hardly have a clue of this fact if you haven’t been following Afghanistan specifically.

So what is it? Could it be true that the Obama administration has some secret lock on the mainstream media as some of our friends on the right espouse? Or is it that we’re so past 9/11 and the tragic events of that day that this war meas nothing, similarly to the fight for health care for New York’s first responders? Does someone in the halls of Congress have to go into an enraged conniption fit the likes of Congressman Anthony Weiner to bring this home for the public at large via the media?

The war has surpassed the Vietnam war as America’s longest running tactical engagement. I bet some of you weren’t aware of that fact. But I suppose if there was a draft like the good old days this pointless war would be on the forefront of the minds of many, more-so than it is right now. Say what you want about a draft, but if more rich kids were dying in war, somebody would be sure to make this nightly news. Which is ironic in itself considering that while there was recent debate on unemployment extensions, $80 billion was easily approved to further finance this never-ending war, and the bottomless pit that is Afghanistan.

I have a very good friend from college who is on his third tour in Afghanistan after having served two in Iraq. Hopefully he makes it home to his wife and kids soon, and safely. Hopefully he doesn’t have to go back; because frankly, I’m tired of looking for his face on my TV screen every chance I get at night. One thing’s for sure though: I’ll never see his dead or mutilated body on the cover of Time Magazine, and I suppose that’s a good thing(?).