Dateline 11/4/05: "To Catch A Predator"

Anybody watch this?

Some of it was informative and interesting, but something about it bugged me immensely. I agree pedophilia and child molestation are horrendous crimes, but something about the set-up made me wonder about the legality of a situation where people pretend to be children offering/consenting/being convinced to have sex with adults.

Also, how come they didn’t have to do the whole blurred face thing? These men agreed to have their faces on TV?

Some of this report’s appeal was clearly the surprise factor when the Dateline reporter sprung out from behind a curtain and confronted the (alleged) pedophiles. I’m sure people were watching this, gleefully laughing (okay, I laughed a little too, especially when they had to explain why they were there) but I thought one psychologist made a great point - it shows you how powerful and consuming this drive is, as these men are willing to risk their liberty and livelihood.

I’m sure a whole bunch of folks have the “throw in jail and toss the key” attitude about these criminals, but I think this points to the importance of treatment. This country has a really fucked up way of dealing with crime and the factors that influence crime, and we just don’t think about how we can prevent crime from occuring in the first place… anyone who came up and and said, “We should try to treat pedophiles, especially before they victimize children,” would be committing political suicide, but would such a stance actually prove more successful than our previous “tough on crime” approaches?

Well, first I think you should do away with the notion that teenages can’t consent to sex. Dateline’s tactics specifically, though, are almost as creepy as the visitors themselves. This paragraph especially:

…had me rolling my eyes. Poor baby. Ratings are a demanding mistress, aren’t they?

Some teens can consent to sex whereas others can’t. It’s clearly a subjective issue but we have to draw the line somewhere. That’s why we have (and need) an age of consent.

Dateline, Primetime…
God they suck.

Probably because they walked into someone else’s house. It’s not like they were out in public, plus I doubt many of those guys would try to sue Dateline because they’ve probably have to testify.

Maybe, but most treatment I’ve read about doesn’t work well. I was kinda torn while watching the program too, but I was more shocked by how widespread the problem is.

My husband and I watched this and, like Hippy Hollow commented, we were shocked that these people allowed their faces to be on TV–especially the Rabbi. I was particularly troubled by the guy who got busted by Dateline at the house and then the following day showed up at the McD’s for another meeting. These people are so unbelievably sick. What was also terribly disturbing was how normal these people actually look. I knew this problem existed, but not to the extent that was reported. Frightening.

i saw clips of this on the abrams report.

i was rather stunned by the naked guy. what person goes into someones house and just immediatly strips??!! (the did blur some parts but not faces.)

there was one guy who ran away. he had a really strange running style. kinda like a cartoon character who’s legs are moving faster than they are.

I didn’t see the broadcast, but after reading the article, they found a picture of that rabbi with two other rabbis who’d also been busted for child solicitation. Yikes. These guys work in teams?

I think the way they walked into the houses showed how confident they were, like they had done it before or were just not worried about getting caught–or just plain stupid and not knowing they were being trapped.

Dateline wasn’t doing anything that that group hasn’t done for a while. I don’t think it was just for ratings, I think it helped to educate people too. And even if it was for ratings, I still like watching shows like this, and like last week with the dynamic duo of White racist teenage girl singers. Opens my eyes.

There were a couple purposes to the broadcast. One was to show parents how easy it is for their children to get into hot water via unsupervised internet, and the other was how you really don’t know anyone. There’s only so much protecting a person can do without crippling a kid’s development. Certainly, there are precautions every parent should take, but when you start shielding them from every stranger out there, you stunt their ability to use gut instinct and limit their exposure to the good “rabbis”, “counselors” and other types of people who were caught red-handed by Dateline’s cameras.

I caught this on MSNBC and I was horrified. A special ed teacher? An ER doctor? A rabbi?

I’d be very interested in a follow-up…I know the special ed teacher has been fired, and the rabbi has resigned.

“First time I’ve ever done this,” yeah, right. :rolleyes:

This is why we have our computer out in the living room, where we can keep an eye on where the kids are surfing.