I saw the following news digest by Voice of America:
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brunei to Send Women to Olympics
Voice of America, Jul 13, 2012 - Move marks new chapter for three Arab countries which traditionally have been represented by male athletes only.
I didn't know Brunei is an Arab country! When did we move? And when did our mostly Malay people suddenly became Arabic?
To be fair, I did read the full article and in the article there was no mention of Brunei being an Arab state. So where did the news digest get 'the three Arab countries'? Someone obviously have not done their homework.
At this point, it would be typical to bring in many other examples of American ignorance. From my experience of staying in America for a year, if you watch the news, there would hardly be any foreign news. There are so many things happening in America, be it politic, sports etc, that it would have to be something extraordinary happening elsewhere outside America would it make the news. In some sense, the Americans do not know what goes in in other parts of the world.
Anyway, when it was almost time for me to go home after a year of studying in America, I wanted to book a ticket back to Brunei and went to a travel agent in Boston. After spending a year in America, I don't expect the typical American to know whether Brunei existed, let alone where it is located. But I expected something better from a travel agent as that is their business. Apparently not. Their ignorance is just as bliss. I finally found one travel agent who knew where Brunei was, and that was simply because she was an Asian American. Compared to my experience in Moscow a few years ago. I went to a crafts market and one of the sellers was very curious as to where I came from. When I told him, I was from Brunei, that Russian knew exactly where Brunei was.
That wrong news digest was from the Voice of America, the equivalent of the BBC. Had it been the Daily Bugle or Krypton Mail or something, it would not have been as bad. But The Voice of America? And especially when the VOA Charter specifically states: "VOA news will be accurate, objective and comprehensive." Ooops...