20/20’s Investigation of Dateline Airs Friday

By Chris Ariens 

ABC’s 20/20 will air its investigation into NBC rival Dateline this Friday. USA Today‘s Peter Johnson writes “NBC executives are anxious about ABC’s piece, reported by investigative correspondent Brian Ross. On Tuesday, they questioned ABC’s motives.”

NBC News president Steve Capus tells Johnson, “I chalk this up to the usual network silly competitiveness, in a territory that deserves much more of a serious handling.” An ABC insider tells TVNewser, “we think Steve’s exactly right, it is a territory that deserves serious handling and that’s precisely what ABC News is doing.”

The 20/20 story looks into Dateline’s To Catch a Predator series, and the suicide of a Texas prosecutor who was also a suspected child predator.

“There does seem to be a pretty concerted effort to pre-spin [the 20/20 story] sight unseen, which is unfortunate,” says the ABC insider. “The only interest ABC News has is doing a fair piece about a very interesting story in which 23 suspected pedophiles can’t be prosecuted because of the interaction between police and Perverted Justice and NBC News.”

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