Blog Archive

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Appreciation: To Catch a Predator

Journalistically, NBC Dateline's To Catch a Predator was pretty unethical. They abandoned being journalists and started working as law enforcement. After the first investigation, there really was no news value to their investigations. What was it telling the public that it didn't already know? The moralist in me, however, left the room whenever To Catch a Predator was on. It was just damn entertaining television. I've been waiting patiently for it to come back, but alas, the wait may be forever. From the New York Times:

NBC has broadcast only two new “Predator” investigations in the last 12 months, and it appears the televised sex predator stings will not be repeated anytime soon. “Right now we are working on other investigative stories,” Ms. Tartikoff said in an e-mail message.

I loved everything about it. The moment Chris Hansen walked into the room and confronted the men in mock outrage: What are you doing?; the excuses the caught predators gave Hansen: I just wanted to talk to the little girl and tell her that it's not safe to chat with strangers online. little girl voices the the announcers did while reading the transcripts of the online chats--and those online chats with adults who pretended to be minors. They were like filthy poetry. Beautiful.

I did feel bad watching these guys. There was such an assortment of people: rabbis, unemployed folks, immigrants, priests, went on and on. Most of them had no idea what they were in for (some had seen the show before and some even fell for it more than once!). But some of these "predators" were genuinely dangerous. I mean, they may have just looked like lovable losers, but they were showing up at these houses to do the R. Kelly with prepubescent girls. The only ones I felt a little, small, small amount of sympathy for were the socially awkward 18 and 19 year olds who couldn't figure out how to talk to girls.

To Catch A Predator, you provided countless hours of entertainment. You will be missed.


dh said...

An opiate of the people bites the dust.

And it says a lot that some of the dudes had watched the show.

igottheballstoproveit said...

this show will be missed. me and shawty used to tivo it. i remember once we came back from vacation and spent our recovery day sitting in front of the tv catching up on tcap.

but yeah i did feel sorry a bit for some of the "predators".