The online New York Times has a series of blog and news postings about news from around the world. Nida Najar from India posted a blistering (and well-deserved) attack on the US media’s lack of coverage of India’s election. And the attack was based on a bit done by former The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver: John Oliver on the American Media’s India Blind Spot
And sure enough, a quick Google Search of “Indian Election 2014” does not yield one U.S. media outlet reporting on the election.
In a way this is not surprising. Oliver points to the McLaughlin Group as the only news show that discussed the election, only to have it being dismissed by the host as irrelevant because “it’s not even in our hemisphere.” (For once I found myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan: “It’s 800 million voters! More than 1 billion people!”)
For the political and economic well being of the United States, India matters. (I can be snarky: The importance if India is well beyond tech support. Where do you think you are calling when your computer crashes?)
India is the 11th most important trading partner with the United States, accounting for 1.7 percent of all US trade. That puts it in the same neighborhood as France, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.
Most of what the US sell to India are not raw materials or agricultural products but finished goods that require good jobs:
- Misc. manufactured commodities
- Transportation equipment
- Computer and electronic products
So, yes, the US needs to be informed and aware of what is going on in India, if for no other reason, because our economic well being depends on it.