"They fought back hard," said Brian Ross.
It was Friday afternoon, and Mr. Ross, the chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, was on the phone with The Observer. He was discussing NBC's preemptive response to his latest story--set to air that night on ABC's 20/20--which would raise troubling questions about Dateline NBC's hit show, To Catch a Predator.
The buzzy Predator, in which Dateline investigators, working with law enforcement officials, conduct sting operations designed to expose and arrest potential child molesters, has turned into a surprise hit among NBC's struggling prime-time lineup. Now Ross was readying an investigative report that aimed to shine a spotlight on Dateline's sometimes questionable methods.