A transcript posted at the blog Think Progress quotes NBC as factoring in a story from now-discredited source Jamil Hussein about Sunni worshippers being burned alive as a major factor in NBC's decision to declare a "civil war" in Iraq [emphasis added]:
The news from Iraq is becoming grimmer every day. Over the long holiday weekend bombings killed more than 200 people in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. And six Sunni men were doused with kerosene and burned alive. Shiite muslims are the majority, but Sunnis like Saddam Hussein ruled that country until the war. Now, the battle between Shiites and Sunnis has created a civil war in Iraq. Beginning this morning, MSNBC will refer to the fighting in Iraq as a civil war — a phrase the White House continues to resist. But after careful thought, MSNBC and NBC News decided over the weekend, the terminology is appropriate, as armed militarized factions fight for their own political agendas. We’ll have a lots more on the situation in Iraq and the decision to use the phrase, civil war.
It's too bad that NBC and the rest of the mainstream media apparently haven't put much thought into validating sources and confirming their stories. It's especially appalling that NBC has decided to start using the phrase "civil war," which they concede will erode support for the war, based at least in part on information from an untrustworthy source.
It's not just NBC. Since the Adnan Hajj/Reutersgate/fauxtography scandal during the Israeli/Hezbollah war led to grave questions about the current state of Western journalism, it has become increasingly obvious that there is something basically wrong with the way the major media companies are covering events in the Middle East.
Via Curt at Flopping Aces who has been continuously updating the story.