Where NBC Went Wrong

The network suffers a humiliating bout of confessions and soul-searching after admitting it rigged the crash-and-burn of a GM truck

But for a puff of smoke, it all might have turned out differently. Last week General Motors Corp. might still have been reeling from a $105.2 million jury verdict, awarded to an Atlanta couple whose son died when his GM truck exploded in a collision. NBC News might have been touting itself for having exposed the danger of GM's controversial "sidesaddle" gas tanks in a riveting Dateline NBC segment. Instead the network singed its reputation, and the car company won in the court of public opinion the safety battle it had lost in the courthouse.

Dateline's report on Nov. 17 featured...

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