Dateline Internet Predators

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Stan, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    NBC has done several of these shows. Basic premise is male pedophiles get into an internet chat session with someone they think is a young girl or boy and arrange to meet the kids at their home at a time when the parents will be out. When the pedophile arrives at the home, they're "busted" by the NBC host, sit down and talk about things, eventually the pedophile leaves and is arrested by police as they exit the house.

    The pedophiles and their behavior is really repulsive, but I've got some questions about the show.

    Aren't the chat sessions considered entrapment? The pedophiles are wrong of course and I'm not defending them, but it seems like they're being lured into these situations. The "Perv Patrol" or whatever the group that handles the chat sessions is called, seem to be setting these guys up.

    Also, once they're busted, why do they sit there, talking to the host, knowing they're being filmed, and just spilling their guts to national TV?

    They must realize they're destroying their careers, especially the teacher and the fireman/paramedic shown last night. Their friends, family, neighbors, fellow workers, etc. will all eventually know their "secret".

    Why do these guys allow everything to be filmed and later broadcast? Even with cheesy shows like COPS, don't people have to sign some sort of release to allow the film to be shown? If not, don't their faces get blurred out?

    And how can any of the footage be used to prosecute them? The filming and confessions are done before they're actually arrested and their "rights" are read to them.

    I must admit, I missed about 15 minutes of last nights broadcast, so possibly some of this was explained. But just curious as to other opinions.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You must have missed last week's episode where the guy (once he realizes he's being taped) pull his shirt over his head to hide his visage (all the while having his sister wait for him in the car so he can pick up an underaged girl). The truly disturbing one was where some guy brought his 5 year old son into the house with him, and that's when the reporter just stopped any form of coy pretense and just had someone escort the child (face blurred) out of the house, and the officers arrested the father on the spot. People are freaks, and the online chatroom are filled with them.

    Some of these guys will admit to having a problem, but they still can't quite stop themselves from arranging these rendezvous.

    I'm sure the producers of Dateline have all the red tape sorted out before they air their stories.
     
  3. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    As as father of 3 little kids. I don't care how or what they do. But, if it gets these sickos off the street even for a short time its a good thing.
    And what was with that dude stripping down naked and walking around?

    And on a side note..My older daughter(11yrs) has an email and im account. She is real good about not opening or talking with anyone. And is not allowed onto myspace or chat rooms. Anyways, someone IM's her and starts asking all of these questions. She calls me and I answer them back telling them that I am her father and stop im'ing. He keeps asking. So I block him and report him. Sick!
     
  4. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    I have some of the same questions.

    It seems that Dateline has now turned this into a regular segment, probably due to ratings and the shock value. After watching a few however, I felt both sad and sick. Watching obviously mentally ill people have their lives shredded in front of the world seems a bit much. I also think baiting these guys on the net and begging them to come over is borderline entrapment at best. As much as I think these guys need to get help, I cannot get behind what has become a new reality show several times a week - watching mentally ill people implode on national TV. I also think the predator network people look a little too excited baiting these guys. Do we really need to hear the sorrid details of sexually depraved people broadcast at 8 PM, re-enacted with cheesy voiceovers and text on screen?
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It's "entrapment" if the cops do it. Reporters don't count. I think. When the police do stuff like this, they have orders from a judge or whatever it is they need. (Always bear in mind that the twists on TV lawyer shows do NOT necessarily reflect actual laws.)

    Why some of these guys don't do something to get help instead of continuing to follow the impulses that they claim to recognize are wrong is beyond me. How about that one guy who got caught by Dateline MORE THAN ONCE?

    I also wonder why the pedophiles seem so willing to sit and talk on camera.
     
  6. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    I too wondered if it isn't skirting the entrapment laws, may not technically be, but some of these decoys put a lot of pressure on the perps to go thru with it, when they were ready to back out, based on reading all the stories at msnbc.com.

    I also wondered why they just kept sitting there and talking.

    I know one thing, if I ever did try to hookup with anyone on a chat line, I'd be saying repeatedly, "hey I'm only looking for someone over 18" and "if you're under 18, fuggehdaboutit". [​IMG]
     
  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I agree, this stuff does not belong on TV. I'm embarassed for Dateline, that they've essentially become a spin-off of Jerry Springer just for ratings.
     
  8. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    I haven't seen this show, but by reading your posts I know what to expect. However, I assume they confront the suspect when he arranges to meet the under age girl, right? If so, although the suspect is sick, digusting, and definitely needs help, what is the crime that has been committed since they didn't actually have sex? It is conspiracy to commit a lewd act with a minor or something? Just curious.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Perhaps it's characterized as solicitation of a minor. Sort of like when vice books the perp for soliciting for adult-oriented services even if the services were not rendered.
     
  10. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    The actual crime, according to the show, occurs when the internet discussion occurs. Once the chat room discussion continues and the target is told the person is underage, a crime has been committed in some states. They could probably be arrested when tracked by IP address as the crime has already occurred. Instead, the police get a chance to search the car, get video evidence, publicly humiliate the offender and boost Dateline ratings.
     
  11. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    According to the MSNBC website, they don't need releases because Dateline is a news show and not an entertainment show. I see.

    More, including blogs from Chris Hanson:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11103248/
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The FCC regulations don't apply to news organizations. The FCC knows that if they tried, the courts would throw it out and possibly some of their other untested powers as well. A free press is essential to a thriving democracy and all of that.
    Most times when faces are blurred or put in shadow it's either an agreement between the network and the interviewee or an act of good faith by the news network. Once the prevs come in front of the camera, and see the camera, then it's implied consent.
     
  13. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    "For the defense to be successful, the defendant must demonstrate that the police induced an otherwise unwilling person to commit a crime. However, when a person is predisposed to commit a crime, offering opportunities to commit the crime is not entrapment, such as in the widely held misconception that policemen must answer questions truthfully if they are asked the same question three times, or that they must say "yes" if asked if they are a police officer." - Dictionary

    The people that know they are sick, might acknowledge their sickness is wrong, but still like it too much to seek help.
     
  14. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I believe that this only applies to Dr Evil's henchmen.
     
  15. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    These episodes are quite certainly sensationalistic, but these guys are true criminals who need to be locked up.

    Regarding Stan's concerns:

    1. Entrapment occurs when an arm of the state gets you to do something you weren't predisposed to do in the first place. Clearly, these guys are predisposed to enticing young children.

    2. These guys don't need their Miranda rights before being interviewed. Miranda only applies custodial interrogation. At the time of the interview they are not in custody.
     
  16. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Maybe the alleged pedophiles should read up on Washington press practices and the meaning of on deep background.
     
  17. David Hobbes

    David Hobbes Stunt Coordinator

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    While i can understand your POV, i disagree with it.

    Anything that gets these bastards off of the street is fine by me and putting it on TV brings more awareness to what goes on.
     
  18. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I agree. Their are many parents who may not watch Springer. But, do watch and pay attention to shows like Dateline. So if the show prevents one kid from becoming a victim...Its worth it.
     

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