AP Photo/The Dothan Eagle, Jay Hare
An armed man storms on to a bus loaded with school children and, at gunpoint, demands that the bus driver turn over two children. The bus driver refuses and tries to stop the armed man. The armed man shoots the driver, killing him, then grabs one of the children as the others flee. The armed man takes the 5-year-old child, who is autistic, to an underground bunker on his property where a week-long crisis begins. As negotiators try to convince the man to release the boy, they are allowed to deliver toys and medicine to him via a pipe to the bunker. Finally, after managing to lower a hidden camera into the bunker, officials are alarmed by what they see and storm the bunker. The kidnapper is killed, either by agents or by his own hand, and the boy is miraculously rescued, unhurt.
It's a tense, dramatic story, one that seems like it would captivate a nation just as it was captivated by stories like a girl who fell down a well. Had it happened in a large city - New York, Dallas, even, God forbid, Chicago - the coverage would be constant, a 24-hour surveillance with every media outlet descending on the city. A story that touches on all the socio-political hot points in the wake of the Newtown tragedy - gun control, safety of school children, mental health - would surely draw nation-wide, if not world-wide, attention.
But it didn't.
The above story really happened and, for the entire week the crisis lasted, few Americans were aware of it at all.