NBC is being called the “Nothing But Crock” network by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who claims he was defamed by a “Dateline NBC” segment alleging he offered legislation to benefit a drug company in which he held a financial stake.

Hatch, in a recent statement on the Senate floor, called the report “false and deceptive.” He said he is “sick and tired of journalists with the morals of jackals. There are a lot of good journalists, and I respect them. And they suffer from the taint left by smear artists like the ones responsible for ‘Dateline NBC.’ “

An Aug. 3 report claimed Hatch offered an “unusually specific bill” that would have benefited Pharmics, a Salt Lake City firm in which Hatch — through a limited partnership — owns just over 1% of company stock.

The show claimed Hatch’s legislation “could have given Pharmics part of a $ 17 million government program” to salvage unused pharmaceutical shipments.

Hatch told lawmakers Pharmics “was not, is not, and has never thought of being in the (drug) salvaging business.” He claimed his bill was actually introduced after his office was approached with the problem of unsalvaged pharmaceutical shipments by another Salt Lake City entity — APG — a company in which Hatch said neither he nor Pharmics owns stock.

Hatch demanded an apology and full retraction from NBC News. Citing the infamous “Dateline NBC” episode in which the program staged a phony explosion in General Motors trucks, Hatch said he is “convinced that certain persons at NBC News are engaged in a campaign of malice.”

NBC claimed its report was “fair and accurate” and that it has “strong documentation that Pharmics, by its own admission, is in the drug-salvaging business and therefore could have benefited from the senator’s bill.” Hatch declined repeated requests for interviews, according to the web.

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