NBC News criticized over custody battle

SPJ: Chartered plane for Brazil trip 'checkbook journalism'

NEW YORK -- A professional journalists' group is condemning NBC News for chartering a plane that carried a New Jersey man involved in a bitter custody battle home from Brazil with his son.

The Society of Professional Journalists called it "checkbook journalism" and said the arrangement damages the network's credibility.

NBC said it invited David Goldman and his 9-year-old son, Sean, on a plane that had already been booked to carry its own employees home for Christmas.

The network says its invitation did not persuade Goldman to give an exclusive interview to Meredith Vieira on NBC's "Today" show that aired Monday. Spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said the interview was booked before Goldman was invited on the plane.