Here’s a current screenshot of MSNBC.com:
Highlighted in green is the link to the story on Afghan elections: Afghan ballots brought to counting centers. Well down the page and with a title apparently designed to put readers to sleep. The story spends a fair amount of time on the fact that barely over 50% of voters turned out.
Quick! What was the turnout in the 2000 US Presidential election?
See? They’re much farther on the way to American-style democracy than we give them credit for. It rains in the US and we expect a 10% drop in turnout. What would the American turnout be if terrorists were running around threatening to blow up polling stations and target the families of those with purple fingers?
All they need is a recount of a recount of a recount and a few hanging chads and they’ll be there.
By the way, 51.3% of voting-eligible Americans voted in 2000. That number sky-rocketed to over 55% last year.
When the story is buried and focuses on voter turnout that matches typical US turnout, I think it’s safe to say that things are going okay. Good thing we’re staying the course, huh?
UPDATE: Well, as of the 9:46 am update to MSNBC.com’s main page, the Afghan elections are G-O-N-E. The link has been replaced by one to a story on a train wreck in Chicago. No links to any stories about the Afghan elections. Apparently they either didn’t happen or they aren’t newsworthy.
The link to the story about the Taliban getting help and inspriation from Iraq (pink highlight) remains, though.
A commenter tells me that Afghanistan doesn’t matter because it’s GNP is so low and that it doesn’t send very many people to the Olympics.
I can’t wait until opponents of our invasion of Iraq start to tell us that the good news there doesn’t matter, either, because Iraq doesn’t have “anything to do with anything”.
UPDATE 2: Okay, as of 1:10 PM the Afghan election story is back on the MSNBC.com main page, though much farther down than earlier this morning before it was pulled altogether.
Hilariously, the link now reads After low turnout, Afghan ballots head for counting. You can’t make this stuff up.