The Daily Nightly from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

About this blog

The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

Monday outlook

I am posting today from a black van on the Jersey Turnpike, heading back from a memorial service for a member of the extended NBC News family. Some viewers may have noticed a small graphic at the conclusion of Friday's broadcast, marking the death of Jean Capus, the mother of NBC News President Steve Capus. We had a large delegation there today, in support of our friend and his family.
We have just concluded our afternoon editorial meeting, which our traveling delegation monitored by speakerphone from the road. The top of the broadcast is in a bit of flux, and some of it will depend on the readout we will get from David Gregory, who has spent much of the day on board Air Force One with the President. The aircraft has landed in Estonia, and the "en route" reporting is trickling out right now.

We'll update the situation in Iraq, where today the curfew was lifted. We will also reference our decision today (after much consultation over the weekend with our colleagues, fellow journalists, historians, analysts and members of the military, both present and former) to describe the fighting in Iraq as a Civil War. We believe it is a more accurate reflection of what is happening there, and there was a fair amount of reaction to the decision today... even though a number of news organizations have already made a similar call.
Also tonight, we will cover the story dominating the news in New York -- the fatal police shooting that resulted in 50 rounds being fired. We'll look at retail sales, and we will continue our series on "What Works."

We hope you can join us for our Monday night broadcast.

Editor's note: For more on NBC's decision to characterize the situation in Iraq a Civil War, click here. And for additional insight from NBC Middle East Bureau Chief Richard Engel, please click here.

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civil war


1. A war between factions or regions of the same country.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from InfoSoft International, Inc. All rights reserved.

I read the coments I liked them all we hope you succed.

Stop making news and just report it. Enough said.

From the wires today: "Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday that Iraq's violence meets the standard of civil war and that if he were heading the State Department now, he might recommend that the administration use that term."

Case closed.

Thank you for calling Iraq what it is and has been for at least the past year: a civil war. Just because this administration decides to live in a State of Denial about the war and refuses to call it as it is because of their political motives, doesn't mean the rest of us have to be delusional also.

The War Profiteers are not ready to cut off their money stream. But the American people can take back their country and do the right thing for America and for Iraq. We must have a plan for an exit strategy from Iraq...this administration says nothing but "Stay the Course" by their inactions. I am not calling for an immediate withdrawal of all troops, but let's at least create a plan that we can work towards. Our troops and the Iraqi people are still dying and being maimed beyond belief. We all deserve better than this. And who can do reconstruction Iraq with all of this escalating violence. God help us, please.

It is not the place of NBC or any other media outlet to "decide" what to label the situation in Iraq. Things are bad in Iraq, no doubt...but being bold and labeling it a civil war says something about NBC. You wouldn't want to come off as biased, right?

Let's stick to reporting the news...leave the foreign policy decisions to Bush and his crew. Thanks.

It is a civil war and its been one for over a year. I see the pro-war people and pro-bush people still have a hard time grasping the reality of the situation but this has always been their way. They have always said that "you never report the good" when after 4 years its obvious there is no good!

My kids and I just spent our 3rd thanksgiving in a row with their dad and my husband because he is a PROUD American soldier, doing the job he is told to do.

I personally would like to see the war called OVER so we don't have to spend next Thanksgiving alone.

This debate over whether or not to call the situation in Iraq a "civil war" reminds me of the line, "Just because your doctor has a name for your condition doesn't mean he knows what it is."

There comes a time when journalists need to step forward and take a stand for an important issue. I think this is one of those cases and I salute NBC News for its diligence in describing to viewers the change in terminology when talking about the War in Iraq.

I understand there is a war going on. I have friends involved one way or another. Does it matter what we call it? People are dying and no one seems to want to debate why or collectively present ways in which it can end. I am just curious as to how long our collective focus as a nation (both media, political, and common folk) can stay trained on something other than our country. When do we realize we are hurting not only those in the military, but we are hurting our civilians also. When will the news shift from dramatic news to news worthy news? What is our congress doing? Why should it be of concern to the whole country that police in New York shot fifty or so bullets at some seemingly unarmed men? Sounds terrible. Give'em the needle. Is our system so corrupt that the media has to play watchdog over everything? Think about it. If the media wasn't a threat to expose corruption, just think where our society would be. Thanks, but lets talk about things that directly influence our lives.

Our Government ( The Cheney Administration ) has but one agenda, Make the rich richer, and sacrifice anything that doesn't forward that agenda, including the brave men and women in our armed forces. A war within a war doesn't forward that agenda.

Where would Halliburton be without the fortunes being accumulated in Iraq! They might even have to pull out in the face of an acknowledged Civil War in Iraq! So...don't look for Cheney to allow his puppet White House to acknowledge factual information.

I mean if the Government would state the facts, instead of creating convenient what-if scenarios, we would get rid of the puppet and political generals now in Iraq, and get down to the business of winning the war, instead of managing the war for financial and political gain!

It's obvious to me that our Generals now in Iraq spend far too much time looking for ways to exploit weakness in the enemy, and far too little time examining their strengths. We will only win this war by overpowering the enemy, not by exploiting a weakness. Hint: We will not win a Religious War, we will not win a Sectarian War, nor will we win a Civil War.. If there is any longer a war to be won in Iraq, it's a military war where we engage strategists, not politicians or political appointees !

Interesting comments about the civil war in Iraq. I just wonder for all those following President Bush's dream of it's not a civil war, what will they say if the draft bill was passed and their loved ones were called to be sitting ducks in the middle of what they say isn't a civil war. Some always follow the wrong leader until they are called then the out cry from all will be GET OUR TROOPS OUT NOW. Until then if your love ones aren't putting their lives on the line some Americans believe that stay the course story. All talk little action all I heard is how much Americans/White House support our troops as day after day our soldiers are dying and even asking what they are doing there yet as I read this blog American could care less it only what the President says they believe. My daughter tells me honor stories that the White House wont say so until all the Bush followers stand up and put a love one in harms way for the invasion of Iraq I say put your loves ones in this so called war then tell what you think of civil war in Iraq. As for Brian being elected he is a journalist and still we have the constitution that says American have a right to truthful news, if that's a problem then work with Bush on destroying the United States Constitution as he is doing now.

HI Brian,
Why don't you compromise and cann it an UNCIVIL WAR??

The United States Civil War was fought due to states rights, which eventually also included slavery. Not every civil war is fought due to slavery. When will you people get this: Iraq is fighting a religous civil war because the Sunni's want their power back, and the Shiia's are the majority of the population now in control. President Bush needs to stop blaming everyone else and come to the fact that this war is over.

You are a news reporter. Report the news, just the facts please, and stop creating the news.


NBC knows more than anyone! It's a civil war! Dan Rather lives! Just not as many wrinkles (yet). Opinion wins over fact once again!

If you're one of "those people" who thinks seeing flag draped coffins being unloaded would make a difference tell everyone to watch the News Hour on PBS. You can see the faces, names, ages, & states.

Regarding a previous poster's saying we should follow the "Pottery Barn Rule" in Iraq by agreeing to fund rebuilding her infrastructure:

1.) Haven't we already been attempting to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, only to have what we're rebuilding knocked down by being attacked by insurgents? So as long as the civil war is going on, any rebuilding we do there will be a monumental waste of work and money.

2.) The part about having neighbors help partly defray the cost of the rebuilding sounds good--but even better would be for the cost to be totally split among the neighbors (especially the more oil-rich ones such as Saudi and Kuwait who would have deep pockets), the United Nations, and the European Union.

The American taxpayer should not be forced to do this because obviously we're having trouble rebuilding our own country. Take a look at how poorly we're handling rebuilding New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the rest of the area affected by Katrina. Much of New Orleans' infrastructure is in war zone-like conditions with large parts of the city looking worse than Baghdad. We should put our tax dollars to work there, instead.

Whether President Bush and his staff call a civil what it is, should not be a factor for news organizations. I am surprised it has taken so long for the major news organizations to accurately name what this fight has become. It will be freeing to our troops because they can fight and prepare the right kind of fight and get home from Iraq long before they declare the "Long War" over.

NBC's decision to call the conflict in Iraq a civil war is yellow, liberal, smug journalism at it's best.

It, at best, demonstrates an abject misunderstanding of the facts, history and human nature and, at worst, it demonstrates a desire to see failure in Iraq.

Mr. Roby is Right On!.

Small business in example is part of what made America great, but Congress finds it easier to deal with, and I might add appeal to, the fortune 500 rather than the unfortunate 15,000,000 + struggling small businesses! We need to take the "Easy Button" away from Congress.

We need to put "Represent" back in Representative, and give a majority voice to the people, not big business. Congress needs to re-couple Work and Ethics together again, and we need to come to the realization that a small business can't operate and survive under the same guidelines as a big business.

NBC calling the current conflict in Iraq a Civil War sounds like a political move to me. It appears that NBC, and other news organizations, are trying to live in the past (I. E. Calling the War in Vietnam "Unwinnable") and change the beliefs of America itself. But the question we should be asking is, "What does the current Government in Iraq consider it?" Doesn’t it make more sense to hear from them instead of the talking heads on the Evening News or the paid political websites they call news sources?

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NBC Declares Civil War As of yesterday, NBC has decided to start referring to the conflict in Iraq as a "civil war." The decision...

Posted on Nov 28, 2006 8:32:09 AM at: Gawker