“Civil War:” Seven Days Later, NBC’s Decision Is Still Reverberating

By Brian 

NBC’s decision to call Iraq a “civil war,” announced last Monday, is still being talked about. Here are a few examples:

> David Zurawik‘s lede in Sunday’s Sun: “That so-called dinosaur, network TV news, let forth a loud roar last week. Who knew a fossil could make so much noise? The bellowing began Monday when NBC announced that it had decided to call the conflict in Iraq a civil war…”

> Interesting item from Variety’s Michael Learmonth: “NBC News staffers got a morale boost last week when the network bigs opted to start calling the fighting in Iraq a ‘civil war.’ Peacock sources say the change in nomenclature… ‘vindicated the reporting’ in Iraq and provided a boost to a group dispirited by weeks of layoffs…”

> The TV Week Insider says Bob Wright “was informed only after the decision was made by a network group that topped out with NBC Universal Television Group CEO Jeff Zucker.” Wright was said to be very “supportive” of the decision…

> David Carr in Monday’s NYT: “On closer inspection, what seems like a bold, transgressive step by the media is considerably less…”

> Time’s James Poniewozik: “So, O.K., NBC’s declaration may have no effect on the war in Iraq. But it was a signal moment in the war between the Bush White House and the media.” Read the rest…