A Predator

Former 'To Catch a Predator' host Chris Hansen arrested for $13,000 bounced check
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It succeeds by tapping into something that has been part of American culture since the Puritans stuck offenders in the stockade: public humiliation. Hansen regularly gives talks to schools and parent groups concerned about Internet sex predators, and he was even summoned to Washington to testify before a congressional subcommittee investigating the problem, where he and Dateline received effusive praise for their efforts. The Dateline producer Lynn Keller says she first contacted the Perverted Justice group about the possibility of doing a show in January or February of Hansen recalls being nervous that no one would show up and that he might have to explain to the network why he had blown a bunch of money on a flop investigation.

Before he could even reach the house for the first day of filming, Hansen got a frantic call from Keller that the first target was inbound. Hansen beat him there by just fifteen minutes. The Long Island sting netted eighteen suspects in two and a half days. The third show, filmed in early in southern California, drew fifty-one men over three days. The men and to date they are all men are mostly losers who show up packing booze and condoms. It is also undeniably compelling television. Each show follows a similar pattern: after asking the mark to come in, the decoy disappears to change clothes or go to the bathroom.

Then, in a startling switcheroo, Hansen appears from off-stage and directs the man to take a seat. The men almost always comply, concluding that Hansen is either a cop or a father. The marks then proffer comical denials about what they are doing at the house, which never include their intent to have sex with a minor. The mark, now fully perceiving his ruin, usually excuses himself, often pausing to shake hands with Hansen — the cult of celebrity apparently transcends even this awful reality — then exits into the waiting arms of police outside who swarm him as if he had just shot the president.

Though certain individuals from the initial episodes were subsequently prosecuted, the lack of police involvement from the outset made it hard to make cases that would stick. Starting with the third show and in the five subsequent stings, police were waiting to take down the suspects. Hansen would not confirm an amount but said he saw nothing wrong with compensating the group for its services, likening it to the way the news division will sometimes keep a retired general or FBI agent on retainer.

O n the surface that certainly seems reasonable, but it ignores a few relevant points. The police in Darke County, Ohio, where Dateline set up its fourth sting in April , insisted that personnel from Perverted Justice be deputized for the operation so as not to compromise the criminal cases it wished to bring against the targets.

Further, though Hansen and Dateline reject allegations that they are engaging in paycheck journalism by paying Perverted Justice — arguing for a distinction between paying a consultant and paying a source for information — the line looks a little fuzzy. Hence, we obtained a consulting fee. See the problem? And are they really parallel? There is also the question of whether the series is fair to its targets.

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But are they really that dangerous? Hansen himself divides those snared in the probes into three groups: dangerous predators, Internet pornography addicts, and sexual opportunists.

The show has invoked the specter of famous child abduction cases like Polly Klaas. Consider a few of these exchanges. She has agreed to let him come over to watch a movie:. Or this exchange between Jason, a twenty-one-year-old fireman and the decoy, a girl he thinks is thirteen:. After days of chatting, Rob expresses doubts about their age difference and about a sexual encounter, but Shia dismisses his concerns and reassures him:.

Rob came to the Dateline sting house and later pleaded guilty for soliciting a minor online. Entrapment is a legal term best applicable to law enforcement. But as these chats and others make clear, they are prepared to flirt, literally, with that line. Under most state statutes passed to combat online predators, the demonstrated intent to solicit sexual acts from a minor is sufficient to land you in jail regardless of whether the minor is a willing participant. So, as a legal matter, the enticements offered by the decoys are of little importance to the police, or to issue advocates like Perverted Justice.

But journalistically it looks a lot like crossing the line from reporting the news to creating the news. Dateline has run afoul of this distinction before.

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Famously, in , several producers and correspondents were fired for rigging a General Motors truck to explode in a crash test. Hansen would not confirm an amount but said he saw nothing wrong with compensating the group for its services, likening it to the way the news division will sometimes keep a retired general or FBI agent on retainer. O n the surface that certainly seems reasonable, but it ignores a few relevant points. The police in Darke County, Ohio, where Dateline set up its fourth sting in April , insisted that personnel from Perverted Justice be deputized for the operation so as not to compromise the criminal cases it wished to bring against the targets.

Further, though Hansen and Dateline reject allegations that they are engaging in paycheck journalism by paying Perverted Justice — arguing for a distinction between paying a consultant and paying a source for information — the line looks a little fuzzy.

What does an online predator “look like”?

The game starcraft made by Blizzard mimics the 3 races in the Alien and Predator universe the races as follows: Protoss are the Predators the Zerg are the Aliens and the Terrans are the Humans. Hansen regularly gives talks to schools and parent groups concerned about Internet sex predators, and he was even summoned to Washington to testify before a congressional subcommittee investigating the problem, where he and Dateline received effusive praise for their efforts. Analysis of vertebrate predator-prey community: Studies within the European Forest zone in terrains with transitional mixed forest in Belarus. Brown, and Darryl Wheye. This detection zone is taken to be circular in nature see Fig. Dateline told him that it had gotten it from a retired FBI agent who consulted with the show.

Hence, we obtained a consulting fee. See the problem? And are they really parallel? There is also the question of whether the series is fair to its targets. But are they really that dangerous? Hansen himself divides those snared in the probes into three groups: dangerous predators, Internet pornography addicts, and sexual opportunists. The show has invoked the specter of famous child abduction cases like Polly Klaas.

Consider a few of these exchanges. She has agreed to let him come over to watch a movie:. Or this exchange between Jason, a twenty-one-year-old fireman and the decoy, a girl he thinks is thirteen:.

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After days of chatting, Rob expresses doubts about their age difference and about a sexual encounter, but Shia dismisses his concerns and reassures him:. Rob came to the Dateline sting house and later pleaded guilty for soliciting a minor online. Entrapment is a legal term best applicable to law enforcement.

By Jennifer Robison

But as these chats and others make clear, they are prepared to flirt, literally, with that line. Under most state statutes passed to combat online predators, the demonstrated intent to solicit sexual acts from a minor is sufficient to land you in jail regardless of whether the minor is a willing participant. So, as a legal matter, the enticements offered by the decoys are of little importance to the police, or to issue advocates like Perverted Justice.

But journalistically it looks a lot like crossing the line from reporting the news to creating the news. Dateline has run afoul of this distinction before. Famously, in , several producers and correspondents were fired for rigging a General Motors truck to explode in a crash test. Perhaps its most direct counterpart in recent journalistic history is the famous sting operation mounted by the Chicago Sun Times.

The Mirage was controversial in its day, but it seems tame by comparison to the Dateline stings. Dateline told him that it had gotten it from a retired FBI agent who consulted with the show.

To Catch A Predator Caught A Teenager They Felt So Sorry For, That They Didn't Even Air This Episode

Dateline has now disowned the number, saying solid statistics about Internet predators are hard to find, but that the problem seems to be getting worse, a sentiment echoed by lawmakers in Congress. For example, many news reports have cited a Justice Department study as saying that one in five children is approached online by a sexual predator.

According to the study, the number of teens aggressively solicited by adults online was about 3 percent. A more recent study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire found that the number of kids getting unwanted sexual advances on the Internet was in fact declining.

In general, according to data compiled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 70 percent of sexual abuse of children is perpetrated by family members or family friends. The question is whether the level of coverage is proportional to the actual problem.

'Making of a Predator' book to expose Trump's relationships with women

For that reason, the producer notes, the entertainment divisions at the networks never really liked newsmagazines, which they had little hand in producing and for which they received no credit. The traditional investigative reporting on shows like Dateline , or 48 Hours , or Primetime Live is no more.

But the distinction between enterprise and entertainment can be a difficult one. In the process it has further compromised the barrier between reporters and cops that is central to the mission of journalism. If humiliating perverts and needlessly terrifying parents is the best use that newsmagazines can make of hours of primetime television, then perhaps they should be allowed to die and the time given over to the blood sport of reality programming. At least no one would dare to call it news. Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.