If there was ever an investigative reporting series I hated it was the one run by NBC's Dateline in conjunction with local police agencies. Reporter Chris Hansen fronted a series called To Catch A Predator. The problem was ratings starved Dateline and their willing cohorts were the real Predators.
They used a company to troll the internet trying to entice pedophiles with creative, but fictitious sexy teen bait. When they found a sucker they’d entrap him with a promise of a teen sexual encounter. What would follow was primetime embarrassment and humiliation for the hapless prey. The show and its content were surreal. Was Dateline simply creating crime for the sake of ratings?
I’m in no way protecting pedophiles or the damage they do to children. It’s the really lowbrow investigative methods I have a problem with. Slowly the Internet sex sting cases are being reviewed in appellate courts and convictions are being reversed. The reason is that there was never an intended victim. No teens waiting for seduction as the trolls had promised, just TV cameras and handcuffs.
These cases don’t belong in our courts. Pedophiles that stalk and molest real children need a spin through the criminal justice system and a prison cell.
As for parents there is no excuse for not monitoring and protecting their children. Far too many children who become molestation victims were set up for the crime by their own parents.