Pot kettle black

September 4, 2007

America, you decide: the Police / Courts / Constitution, or Chris Hansen

In case you missed it, here’s a great Esquire article about the immoral piece of schlock that is NBC’s “To Catch a Predator.” Nevermind it’s clear ethical concerns, I thought we all learned our lesson in 10th grade English (when we read Nathaniel Hawthorne) that Scarlet Letters are no great thing, let alone when self-righteous hosts and ratings-driven (read: money) TV execs are the ones bestowing them.

And the strange irony is that somehow Chris Hansen believes he is on the side of the right here. Nobody wants a child molester. But Hansen’s crimes are just as innoble, just of a different stripe — he, for the sake of fame and fortune, masquerades as the Law when he, in terms of knowledge, training, and legitimacy, has no right playing the part. And what does it mean that some people actually watch this? Cue the cliche alarm, but when we, as Americans, have turned to this sort of mass broadcasted life destruction of deeply-troubled everyday citizens as entertainment — and please, I know these guys are criminals, that’s not the point — perhaps this is an area where the line between reality TV and real life has been blurred to an uncomfortable degree.

Then again, if I’m going to decry life destruction broadcasted to the masses, maybe I should stop watching MTV dating shows.

Either way you see it, who wants to bet that Chris Hansen has a big old stack of child porn stashed away in his garage somewhere?


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