Same NBC That Boldly Claims 'Civil War' Can't Always Call Hezbollah 'Terrorists'

November 28th, 2006 2:56 PM

While liberals like Marty Kaplan of the Huffington Post have hailed NBC's boasting usage of "civil war" as the end of "the neo-Stalinist era of American political discourse," some might ask if NBC hasn't been gingerly with other politically sensitive terms. (How about "partial-birth abortion"? Can you imagine Matt Lauer announcing: "After a weekend of discussion, we have decided that since the baby is partially born before it is aborted..." No?) NBC also sometimes fails to describe terrorists as terrorists. On July 18 of this year, Brent Baker captured this problem in the CyberAlert:

NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked on Monday's NBC Nightly News: "What is Hezbollah and what is its end game?" Mitchell first answered that "experts say to prove it can damage Israel in ways Arab countries couldn't." But then she proceeded to refer to "Hezbollah's charismatic leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah," also describing him as "a Shiite populist" who she relayed, over video of kids, "provides social services where Lebanon's weak new government cannot." Mitchell refrained from labeling Hezbollah as "terrorist" -- or mentioning how its real "end game" is the destruction of Israel -- going no further than to say it "operates militias."

To be fair, ABC has seemed most prominent in failing to describe Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorists. At least one of Mitchell's talking heads (all former Clinton officials) used the T word.