Earlier this year, we asked if you remembered Afghanistan. The answer then, obviously but somewhat unofficially, was no. Now, with the release of several news organization's year-end top stories lists, we know that, objectively, no one gives a shit about the 11-year-old war.
As the New York Times reports, the Afghan war was barely mentioned in Associated Press's annual poll of its editors and news directors, and it failed to make Yahoo's list of the top news stories of the year (or its list of top international stories of the year). The war was also absent from the Pew Research Center's list of the year's top 15 stories.
Why? A combination of lack of interest and coverage.
"We are in a period where the American public is intensely focused on domestic economic concerns," said Michael Dimock, the associate director for research at the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. "On top of this, the public is having a hard time staying focused on foreign engagements that have been ongoing for over a decade."
Basically, we don't notice or care about the fate of American soldiers, unless a whole lot of them die at same time.
The exceptions to what he called this "war fatigue" are mass killings of Americans in the war zone, "which continue to draw public focus for short periods of time," he said.
But, for better or worse, there were few, if any, events like that this year. Also noteworthy: Americans were equally bored with "the secret American campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia."
So what was the top story of the year, according to the Associated Press? Another terribly depressing story, the shootings in Newtown.
[Image via AP]