NBC’s morning anchor Matt Lauer delivered the news:
LAUER: For months the White House rejected claims that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war. For the most part news organizations like NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characteritized as civil war.
After the statement, Lauer interviewed retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey who said it would be “nonsense” to call the sectarian violence anything but a civil war. Lauer, who is no stranger to the straw man, said NBC consulted with “a lot of people” in their decision to call the situation in Iraq a civil war. I wonder if Keith Olbermann or the Democratic party were members of this “lot of people” who were asked.
LAUER: “Is the situation in Iraq a civil war or is it something else? Retired general Barry McCaffrey is a military analyst for NBC News. We should mention we didn’t just wake up on a Monday morning and say let’s call this a civil war. This took careful deliberation. We consulted with a lot of people. You were one one of the people we talked to. Why did you weigh in on the side of calling this a civil war?”
Newsbusters analyzes further.