Ever wonder why "Joe the Plumber" and all the other "Joes" seem ignorant? Maybe this helps…

American Vs. International News: Time And Newsweek

Americans are notorious for their ignorance of global issues and international news.  This may be because Americans aren’t interested or it may be that our news outlets feed us fluff and focus us only on the U.S.  Probably it’s a vicious cycle.

Dmitriy T.M. pointed me to some stunning evidence of this phenomenon.

The cover story for Newsweek magazine’s September 2006 edition was “Losing Afghanistan” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  It was “My Life in Pictures,” a story about the photographer Annie Liebovitz in the U.S. (via):

newsweek

The cover story for Newsweek magazine’s October 2006 edition was “Global Warming’s First Victim” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  It was “Off Message,” a story about Republican Congressman Mark Foley’s sexually suggestive emails and IMs to teenage boys (via):

frogs

The cover story for Time magazine’s April 2007 edition was “Talibanistan” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  It was “Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public Schools” in the U.S. (via, also see Time):

Capture2

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Long ago, far away, in another universe that looks just like this one, I worked in the Defense community. During my stint doing what I originally thought was my “Patriotic Duty” the United States decided to assist a country named Kuwait with a rowdy neighbor. First ‘Desert Shield’, then ‘Desert Storm’, then Wow, what a mess… it was all played out in the American Media. Except for a little detail… the information I was getting unofficially was very different from the information the American Public was getting. Funny… BBC was much more accurate.

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