Yes, President Bush's better half is in town stumping for Sweeney ---but for me, the real star today is NBC's Chris Hansen. He's here
to talk about Dateline's hugely popular To Catch a Predator
stories. That's where they trick a creepy guy into showing up for a meeting with a child he met online. Media watchers (and competitors)
have talked the Predator stories to death; others condemn them
for going way over the top:
"To Catch a Predator" is monstrously exploitative -a Television Age Roman coliseum where freakish criminals are publicly humiliated for bloodsport and ratings. Granted, these are bad men, and it's a good thing they are being stopped, hopefully, from hurting actual children. But they can be stopped -and are stopped all the time by local police stings -without parading them across our television screens for titillated and enraged audiences to gawk at between commercial breaks.
I say parade away.