NBC Slams ABC for Claiming ‘Exclusive’ on OJ Tapes It Aired in 1999

ABC News was forced to apologize for claiming an exclusive on OJ Simpson deposition footage that actually aired on NBC News 16 years ago — and NBC called them out for it on Twitter Friday morning.

At issue is a 1997 deposition involving Simpson in a civil trial over the deaths of Nicole Simpson — his ex-wife — and Ron Goldman. On Friday’s Good Morning America, the network ran a report by correspondent Elizabeth Vargas in a preview for 20/20, claiming that the tapes had been “gathering dust” for 20 years and were newly uncovered by producers at A&E and LMN. The story ran with a chyron labeled: “never-before-seen videos revealed.” Here’s that report, via ABC:

“For the first time, we hear Simpson’s chilling testimony about his relationship with his ex-wife, Nicole,” GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos said while introducing the story. In her report, Vargas said the videos were “long-lost” in an “underground storage facility” for two decades.

However, as The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple notes, NBC’s Dateline aired that same footage. “This videotape has never been seen on television until now,” host Chris Hansen said, adding that his team had to go “to court to get the tape released.”

For their part, ABC realized its mistake, relaying the following statement to Wemple: “We were wrongly under the impression these deposition tapes were exclusive and had not aired before at length. We learned this morning portions did air 15 years ago. We apologize for the mistake.”

The official Dateline Twitter account decided to have a little fun with the blunder, posting on Friday morning:

[Disclosure: Dan Abrams, who appears in the above video, is the founder and publisher of Mediaite.]

[Featured image via screengrab / Twitter]

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