I will not speak to the media attention paid to the AS crash vs, to the Kenyan crash, but I would like to talk about why the Coast Guard and NTSB are spending so much money on the Alaska crash while the Kenyan one "may never be solved".
It is as simple as this... responsibility. The Alaska Airlines MD-83 crashed in an area for which the US Coast Guard has search and rescue responsibiliy. The fact that it was an AS jet is irrelevant. Had it been any other airline, the USCG would still have been responsible for the search and rescue operation. As for the NTSBs time and money, again, it is the NTSB that is reponsible for this investigation. It was an American jet operated by an American carrier that crashed in international waters. This leaves investigation responsibility to the NTSB. The simple fact is this... The US cares more about aviation than some other nations do. I don't mean that offensively, but some nations have more important things to worry about. In the case of the AS crash, the US has a doubly vested interest - the interest of Boeing (is their airliner safe), and the ineterest of AS (are thier operations safe). Because of this, it is worth it to the US to invest the miney needed to solve the accident.
In the case of the Kenyan crash, however, the US has no responsibility what so ever. Because this crash also occured in international waters, it is Kenya that has the responsibilty to investigate. I don't know off hand who is in charge of search and rescue operations in that part of the world, but itis far enough from NA to be the United States. Because the US has no authority in this matter, we are not even at liberty to participate in the investigation. If we for some reason wanted to (if, for example, it had been a Boeing aircraft, giving the US a vested interest in knowing the cause), we would actually have to ask the government of Kenya for permission to take part in the investigation. Further, the nation of Kenya is free to ask for the help of the NTSB, much as Egypt has in the investigation of EgyptAir 990. I don't know whether we would actually devote our resources to the Kenya crash, though, because the United States has very little to gain by learning the cause. It was not an American carrier, it was not an American aircraft, it was not in American territory. If it were more important to Kenya, they would have invested the time and money to salvage the wreckage. Again, I don't mean this offensively toward Kenya, but they have more important things to worry about than luxuries like aviation.