Is dateline's program "To catch a predator" an unethical show? Why are many beginning to criticize the show? Should some families sue the show?
I knew it would be only a matter of time before this show, hosted by Chris Hansen of NBC, would begin to receive negative reviews and complaints. Many are beginning to now question the show's ethical standards.
20/20, Esquire, a former producer of the show, a Georgia judge, and a news reporter and many others are questioning the integrity and ethics of the show according to an article written by David Cassel of Tech.Blorge
If you read a previous article I wrote about dateline, you would have noticed that the main problem I had with the show was not arresting suspects who were clearly visiting the homes of minors with the intent of engaging in sex acts, but my problem was arresting people that came to the location and while still parked and sitting in their vehicles, had a change of heart, realized their stupidity or error, and attempted to leave and was still arrested!
A former, now deceased, district attorney from the state of Texas by the name of Louis Conradt "repeatedly" refused to visit a residence that was "wired" by dateline. It's reported that "they" attempted repeatedly to lure Mr.Conradt to visit the home. He steadfastly refused! Dateline and it's host Chris Hansen, along with a SWAT team then visited Mr.Conradt's residence armed with transcripts of his chats on the computer. Mr.Conradt then suddenly shot himself. His family is suing NBC for $105 million dollars!
A former producer for the show stated dateline has"violated numerous journalistic and ethical standards." When one of the segment producers objected to a particular segment of the show, within three months she was suddenly fired...after working at NBC for 20 years!
A journalism ethics expert from the prestigious Poytner Institute stated that while internet predators is a concern, the biggest concern should be focused on the predators that actually "reside" in the homes of victims and that NBC should focus on that problem."
Of course you and I know that won't happen. It's all about ratings and money in the guise of "doing a public service." Of course I believe predators are a problem, but in my humble opinion, I believe that should be handled by law enforcement only!
Many are also saying Chris Hansen statements that "at any given time 50,000 predators are online" is not true . A few internet magazines reporters are also reporting that the founder of the "decoy" group, Von Erck, is known to "bristle" and get upset when questioned about his company ethics. According to the web site Radar, " Mr.Von Erck is real squirmy when the gotcha "cam" is aimed his way."
Lastly, it's reported that the police officers in one segment, while handcuffing the arrestees, taunted the subjects in some unknown ways. Google the Esquire article called "Tonight on dateline this man will die." Also, you may research Mr.Louis Conradt's story and family litigation against NBC.