I wonder why "helplessness" is never seen as a reason for disproportionate media coverage.
Israel is a democratic power that has many extremely close ties to the United States. We can sanction, we can report, we can protest, we can implore, we can impune. Hollywood comes down on both sides of the issue; commentators come down on both sides of the issue. A public debate about Gaza comes with the feeling that all the talking might actually do something. After all, we've been deeply entrenched in the Israeli peace process since Israel was a suburb of Jaffa.
Syria is a non-aligned Islamic dictatorship. Most years we don't even have an ambassador there. Assad isn't going to listen to us and the guys who oppose him are ethnic cleansers. I'm reasonably well-read on Islam (for a Western white dude) and I'd have a hard time explaining Alawite vs. Sunni. More than that, I know that nothing the United States says or does is going to change things one iota in Syria until there are boots on the ground, drones in the skies and craters in the cities.
We saw this movie. It was called Black Hawk Down. You send US troops to keep the peace and unless you're willing to invade, Midwestern kids are gonna get dragged through the streets on CNN. And if you are willing to invade, pallets of Benjamins are going to disappear off C-130s and Halliburton is going to get rich. Meanwhile we saw the Arab Spring and near as anybody can tell, it replaced unstable agnostic autocracies with unstable Islamic theocracies. Coverage of Syria necessarily takes the form of
Factions you don't understand killing each other over places you can't find on a map for reasons we don't have time to explain
and before too long, Kim Kardashian's wedding ends up taking all the column inches.
Gaza? Those are English speakers who worship at the same church as your neighbor who will take John Kerry's call. There's a level of accessibility that Syria will never have.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat for Chechnya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Liberia, Libya, Kurdistan, Belarus, Myanmar, Ceylon, Peru, Columbia, Nicaragua, etc.