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11 Aug, 2009 09:16

US media leaves Ossetian war anniversary untouched

On the first anniversary of the war in South Ossetia, many in the region are taking time to reflect. In the US, however, there’s almost no mention of the conflict, so heavily covered just a year ago.

In August 2008, the American media proclaimed an unrelenting commitment to covering the war in South Ossetia.

It dominated the front pages of newspapers for weeks, playing a pivotal role in the presidential election.

Back then, candidate Obama and his opponent John McCain flexed their foreign policy muscles defending Georgia.

Never mind the fuzzy facts, Russia was seen as the aggressor in the court of public opinion, while Georgia was the little democracy that could.

One year later, the blanket reporting has halted. In Manhattan, the epicenter of the message and media capital of the country, there is no mention of South Ossetia on news tickers or plasma screens.

Health care, finance and Obama dictate the current news cycle, and the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict is just old news in the US.

And while the Caucasian country struggles to be rebuilt following Georgia’s invasion last August, the Americans are left in the dark about the anniversary.

Meanwhile, South Ossetia is not the only news story that the American media has dropped once it’s gone off the boil. The coup in Honduras and the conflict in Gaza have also slipped below the radar.

So the Americans shouldn’t be surprised that the domestic media has divorced itself from last year’s global story.