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Old 08-07-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Dateline's "To catch a Predator"

late last night we were flipping through channels and we came across a Dateline special that they've done in the past. It was the "To catch a Predator", where they have a group of specialists "chat" with these people via a messanger or a chat room and then basically set them up to meet this underage kid the adult thinks they've been talking to.

I can not believe the extent these "predators" went to. Each of them swore up and down that they weren't there for any sexual reasons what so ever, they simply wanted to "talk" to the kid that invited them over (some thought they were there to meet an under age boy, some a girl). A few of these guys flat out said, "If this makes it home, my wife's going to kill me". One even said, "My wife's father has 10 brothers, man. I can't let this get out, it was a mistake". Honestly....that one was my favorite line. I looked at my husband and said "well if that guy even made it home, he's dead now".

Every one of the guys was arrested when they walked out of the "set up house". The cops and the reporter had printed up the conversations that took place on line. One guy had even talked to this "14 year old girl" and told her he wanted to use rope and duck tape on her. Of course he lied to the reporter and said he had rope in the car for something else, but that was it. When the cops searched, he had marajiuna, rope, duck tape, and condoms.
The people were notified they were being recorded for an episode of Dateline.

Whereas every single one of these made me uncomfortable and completely creeped out, the one that I just couldn't......I don't know....let go of(?), maybe, is this 40 year old guy who had a 19 year old son and a 15 year old daughter at home. Now.......what the hell????? The reporter even flat out asked him....what if it were your daughter? What if some guy is at your house now, meeting your daughter, planning on doing God know's what to her???
The guys response...."Well.....yeah I guess I would be upset...."

I can't imagine being a kid of someone like that and having to be told what they'd done. I also can't believe how many creeps are out there. In 3 days they caught over 30 men.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #2
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I think what they are doing is brilliant.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #3
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I'm torn on this show. The actions of these guys is indefensible, but the actions of Dateline/Perverted Justice are a little suspect as well. I feel like in recent episodes Dateline has been baiting these guys even more than they did at the beginning. The guys that sent graphic photos, show up with condoms, etc - arrest them, but in a way I sort of feel bad for the guys that may have had an inappropriate conversation online, pull up to the house, and then decide to walk away, but still get arrested anyways. Maybe I'm wrong for feeling that way, but whatever.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:35 AM   #4
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i hate the show.

the show is about the host, the super smarmy Chris Hansen, you'll notice, and him being some sort of righteous crusader, and notice the amount of attention is given to watching the perpetrators squirm in their seats so you can get some sort of vicarious thrill out of it. it panders to our worst instincs.

and there's more:

[q]In a scathing broadside at NBC’s popular “To Catch a Predator” series, a former producer charges that she was canned last year after complaining that the show violated “numerous journalistic ethical standards” and many of the network’s own “policies and guidelines.” In a breach of contract lawsuit, Marsha Bartel, 49, alleges that her 21-year career at NBC ended months after her August 2006 appointment as “sole producer” of “To Catch a Predator,” which conducts sting operations targeting men seeking illicit liaisons with children they’ve met online. According to her complaint, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Bartel charges that many of the program’s ethical lapses stem from its relationship with Perverted Justice, a shadowy vigilante group that the show uses to “troll for and lure targets into its sting.”

… The identities of the group’s 50-plus volunteers were kept secret from her, Bartel says, adding that Perverted Justice does not provide “complete transcripts from its trolling operations,” so network officials “cannot independently verify the accuracy” of the group’s transcripts. In some instances, Bartel claims, sting targets are “led into additional acts of humiliation (such as being encouraged to remove their clothes) in order to enhance the comedic effect of the public exposure of these persons.” She also charges that NBC has unethically covered up the fact that law enforcement officials have acted improperly while working in conjunction with the “To Catch a Predator” crew, such as “goofing off by waving rubber chickens in the faces of sting targets while forcing them to the ground and handcuffing them.” Bartel says that when she “raised concerns” about controversial comments made by Perverted Justice’s founder, David Corvo, executive producer of the newsmagazine “Dateline,” responded, “We all know they’re nuts.” Bartel, who signed a four-year contract in March 2006, contends that soon after reporting her concerns about “To Catch a Predator” to NBC management, she was terminated effective December 24, 2006.[/q]



the truth of the matter is that most young teenaged children who are coerced into sex with an adult are preyed upon not by shadowy figures lurking in public parks or on the internet, but by adult friends and adult relatives. all this show does is create paranoia while doing little to actually educate parents about how best to help their child protect himself.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

the truth of the matter is that most young teenaged children who are coerced into sex with an adult are preyed upon not by shadowy figures lurking in public parks or on the internet, but by adult friends and adult relatives. all this show does is create paranoia while doing little to actually educate parents about how best to help their child protect himself.
I don't know what the statistics are but that's probably true, it would be helpful to find out. I don't think this show is meant to educate parents though, and it is not a good education in this subject. A course taught by professionals is much better.

Having an inappropriate online conversation with a minor is bad enough, but once they get in that car to go to meet them they know what they are doing and why. They should make the decision to turn around before they get in the car. I think perhaps the best thing about the show is the possible deterrence factor, then again guys keep doing it and keep going to the house. But how many don't because of this show? I don't know. I think to be involved in any situation like that involves massive denial on many levels, so a tv show won't ever really matter. If they want to do it they will, any and all risk be damned.

But it is created to be entertainment and that is creepy. Not as creepy as online predators of children and minors, but creepy all the same.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i hate the show.

the show is about the host, the super smarmy Chris Hansen, you'll notice, and him being some sort of righteous crusader, and notice the amount of attention is given to watching the perpetrators squirm in their seats so you can get some sort of vicarious thrill out of it. it panders to our worst instincs.

Amen.

I think that NBC airs the show for entertainment more than anything. I mean, those guys that visit 14 year old girls for sex are no good, i'm not defending them. But it really does seem like they are out to make money more than to put away these predators.

Chris Hanson has said that the reason he asks the sex predators to sit down in the kitchen and try to make a conversation with them is to understand what goes on in their mind. I think the reason he does that is to make it a good T.V. show.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
I'm torn on this show. The actions of these guys is indefensible, but the actions of Dateline/Perverted Justice are a little suspect as well. I feel like in recent episodes Dateline has been baiting these guys even more than they did at the beginning. The guys that sent graphic photos, show up with condoms, etc - arrest them, but in a way I sort of feel bad for the guys that may have had an inappropriate conversation online, pull up to the house, and then decide to walk away, but still get arrested anyways. Maybe I'm wrong for feeling that way, but whatever.
None of the guys that they showed at least, walked up the driveway and the walked away, all the ones they had in the show actually walked in to the house, but yeah I can see what you're saying about someone who may think twice and walk away. I don't know that I necessarily feel bad for them, they still pretty much showed up and thought twice before they actually met face to face with anyone, but I do see where you're coming from.

I wasnt saying by any means that I liked the show. Actually what I got out of it, and maybe it was an older episode of the show because some of the things you guys are saying about it isn't at all how it came across last night, but I think that it was kind of eye opening for people. Now I'm still in my 20's and don't have kids or siblings in their teens, but I can remember back to when the internet was new and exciting and chat rooms were the "cool" thing and it kind of sends chills down my spine to think that yeah....at times I probably gave out to much information about where I lived or who my friends where, etc. I know my parents think that they knew exactly what was going on all the time, as most parents do, however I have to admit they were alot more involved then I've seen other parents in today's day and age.

If anything I think or hope that the show would wake parents up to realize that sweet little jane or john may actually be a little too informative or may fall in to some kind of a trap with someone pretending to be someone or something they aren't.

I do have younger cousins and there's been a few times that my husband and I have both been a little more than uncomfortable by what we've seen on their myspace pages or facebook, etc. And its not like little petty things.....it does take alot to send red flags up in our eyes and mind.

I think the show is meant to make you completely uncomfortable though. One guy actually stripped down in the laundry room and came walking through the house butt naked---because that was something he told the "underage girl" he'd do when he got to her place.
---for that complete dumb ass.....what the hell would you do if maybe her parents pulled up in the drive way or came through the front door?! yes he assumed she was home alone but um......I think you'd have ALOT more to deal with than Dateline being there if it was a real girl and a real house and if mom or dad came walking in!
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:20 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Kiki


None of the guys that they showed at least, walked up the driveway and the walked away, all the ones they had in the show actually walked in to the house, but yeah I can see what you're saying about someone who may think twice and walk away.
Most of the guys walked in the house. However, I remember there was one guy who was really suspicious, he was about 20 feet from the door and they changed his mind and went back into his car. The cops confronted and arrested him while he was about to start his car.

Even more amazing was this guy who drove by the house but then changed his mind so without even getting out of his car or pulling into the driveway, he just drove past the house, and then the cops arrested him on the highway.

Don't be creeped out that I know all this, its just that I watch the show because, well, I admit, it is fun to watch.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:43 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Infinitum98


Most of the guys walked in the house. However, I remember there was one guy who was really suspicious, he was about 20 feet from the door and they changed his mind and went back into his car. The cops confronted and arrested him while he was about to start his car.

Even more amazing was this guy who drove by the house but then changed his mind so without even getting out of his car or pulling into the driveway, he just drove past the house, and then the cops arrested him on the highway.

Don't be creeped out that I know all this, its just that I watch the show because, well, I admit, it is fun to watch.
at that last comment. Ok.....what if the guy that drove by the house and pulled away without even stopping was at the wrong house? That seems a little more sketchy that the cops hunted him down. Of course if he turned out to really be the guy that was supposed to show up....yeah ok I can kind of see the point in finding him to confront him, but gez I'd feel bad for the pizza delivery guy that pulls in to a wrong drive way to turn around when something like that's going down!!!
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:03 PM   #10
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I can't believe guys are still getting caught on this after all those episodes and everyone knowing about it! Are their egos that huge that they really believe it's a teen wanting their body? The first thing I'd think is that I was being set up. How stupid can they be?

The AIMs go like:

predator: How old are you?
actress: 13 lol

predator: have you ever had sex and what kind do you like best?
actress: anything with you you're so hot LOL

Then once he gets there, here she comes giggling "I made you some lemonade now let me go do the laundry make yourself at home lol"

I can't believe the stupidity of the 'predators'. I have a hard time believing they're all that dangerous if they're that dumb. I think they're just pathetic losers, usually old and fat or young and weird looking, who can't score any other way and for some reason have overblown egos and self esteem, or insanity, to believe these 'lol' girls are really interested.

I do kinda hate to see someone's life ruined on national TV though when he never even followed through with the 'act'.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:08 PM   #11
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Also, I don't know how they can get a conviction to hold up in court for these reasons:

First, since the 'child' they were supposedly coming to have sex with was actually a decoy over 18, how are they actually guilty of soliciting an underage kid online? It was a setup, there was no kid, and they never did anything to nonexistent kid.

Second, how can you positively prove, if they don't admit it, that the AIM messages came from that guy? Even if you trace the IP, even if you could trace it all the way to his own room, that is still no absolute proof he was the one who typed the words. It could possibly have been someone else, a friend, relative, burglar who broke in. There is heavy reasonable doubt IMO.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:51 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Kiki


at that last comment. Ok.....what if the guy that drove by the house and pulled away without even stopping was at the wrong house? That seems a little more sketchy that the cops hunted him down. Of course if he turned out to really be the guy that was supposed to show up....yeah ok I can kind of see the point in finding him to confront him, but gez I'd feel bad for the pizza delivery guy that pulls in to a wrong drive way to turn around when something like that's going down!!!
Well, the guys who drove away, and the guys who pulled in and then drove away, they knew that they were the same guys from the chat becuase in a lot of cases, the guys send their pictures, and sometimes, the decoys ask the guys to bring something with them in order to "mark" each guy. For example, they may say to bring McDonalds happy meal. And if the guy has it on him, they know who he is.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:55 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Butterscotch
Also, I don't know how they can get a conviction to hold up in court for these reasons:

First, since the 'child' they were supposedly coming to have sex with was actually a decoy over 18, how are they actually guilty of soliciting an underage kid online? It was a setup, there was no kid, and they never did anything to nonexistent kid.

Second, how can you positively prove, if they don't admit it, that the AIM messages came from that guy? Even if you trace the IP, even if you could trace it all the way to his own room, that is still no absolute proof he was the one who typed the words. It could possibly have been someone else, a friend, relative, burglar who broke in. There is heavy reasonable doubt IMO.
Well in most cases the guys admit to it. Also, as I said above, Perverted Justice asks them to bring something specific in order to connect them to the online chatters, such as M&M's or McDonald's, etc. Another thing is that a lot of guys start openly talking about sex with the 18 year old girl while in the house before Chris Hanson comes out. On top of that, these guys come with condoms in their pockets. And in rare cases, there have also been guys who take all their clothes off and walk around the house only to be confronted by Hanson.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:02 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Butterscotch
I can't believe guys are still getting caught on this after all those episodes and everyone knowing about it! Are their egos that huge that they really believe it's a teen wanting their body? The first thing I'd think is that I was being set up. How stupid can they be?

I can't believe the stupidity of the 'predators'. I have a hard time believing they're all that dangerous if they're that dumb. I think they're just pathetic losers, usually old and fat or young and weird looking, who can't score any other way and for some reason have overblown egos and self esteem, or insanity, to believe these 'lol' girls are really interested.

I do kinda hate to see someone's life ruined on national TV though when he never even followed through with the 'act'.
Not only are the guys stupid but in a lot of cases, it is an addiction, just like drug addiction. These guys like the idea of having sex with teenage girls because they crave for power and control. So its not always about the sex.

And yes, I agree, I hate to see someone's life ruined like that also. Even though a lot of cases are of guys who are addicts. Some of the guys just happen to be surfing and happen to come accross a chat with someone whom they think is a 13 year old girl looking for sex. Its sad because some of these guys are just regular guys with families and children of their own, but they just couldn't control their sexual desires.

But for those who have seen the show and still go for it are the ones who are addicted and can't control themselves.

In either case, it really seems like Dateline is out there for the $$$ and not necessarily to make parents "aware" of what their children can be up to. It really seems that Chris Hanson is out there to enjoy himself watch these guys get embarassed. He says that he has the guys sit in the kitchen to see what goes through in their minds but the reason he sits them in the kitchen is to make it a good T.V. show and for his own entertainment.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:13 AM   #15
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If only for making potential perpetrators think twice such a show could be a good thing.
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