Guacamole Lawsuit Contributes to America’s Sue-Happy Image

Are people crazier in other parts of the world? Obviously, the answer is, “Yes.” Just watch the news sometime and compare the coverage of local, national, and international news. Local news in Minneapolis on TV breaks down into something like 10 minutes for weather, 6 for sports, 3 for local stories, 1 for national stories, and 1 for international stories plus commercials. When you only have a minute to cover the world (okay, it’s more like 90 seconds), you’re probably not going to go with a story about the 3-day walk in Bangalore.

Of course, the same thing happens across the world. For example, here is a story from The Independent newspaper in the UK via a national US political blog based in Washington, DC linked to by a writer in Paris:

“A Californian woman is taking on the giant food companies that, she says, are pushing “fake guacamole” to a public increasingly hooked on Mexico’s avocado-based staple.”

Imagine if that was the only story they featured about the United States in the Americas section of The Independent? In this case, it wasn’t. They also ran a profile of Lindsay Lohan. And yesterday they ran single US story was on . . . Lindsay Lohan.

Okay, this probably isn’t entirely fair in the case of the United States. The Independent carries plenty of important stories involving the United States right on the homepage including stories regarding Afghanistan, Barack Obama, US/Iran relations, and US currency rates.

What I wonder is: what’s the best source for Americans interested in truly understanding what life is really like in other parts of the world? How do you get past the sensationalism to see what a day in the life of people in other places is really like?

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