Lest anyone accuse the staffs of network news magazines of being humorless old duffs, Dateline has issued a hearty, avuncular Twitter slam to its ABC counterpart 20/20 for billing a 16-year-old video as an “exclusive.” The footage in question—depositions of O.J. Simpson during the investigation of the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson—was being touted by ABC as “never before seen” footage, a nice hook that was only slightly deflated by the fact that it had, in fact been seen, three times, over on NBC.
Rather than immediately rushing themselves to the burn ward for treatment, ABC instead issued a sheepish apology, before insisting that their program was still as good and timely a bit of journalism as a discussion of O.J. Simpson in 2015 could possibly be:
Dateline’s account issued back another friendly joke, and then the friendly little feud ended amicably, presumably as the two social media interns waging it realized that neither of them had even been born when Nicole Brown Simpson was killed. ABC issued an apology for the mistake, and later promotions for the episode instead pushed the footage as “forgotten,” although clearly not by Dateline, which, like the noble elephant, never, ever forgets.