Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Foul play at the Peacock Network

I will confess to watching Datelines's To Catch a Predator from time to time. Chris Hansen's smarmy self righteousness is a perfect compliment to the lowlifes and sexual miscreants he snags. It's a guilty pleasure which I am drawn to as the Hansen's victims are drawn to the jailbait decoy. Fortunately, there is no law against trash TV. But I'll never see NBC's schtick the same after reading Luke Dittrich's piece in this month'sEsquire Magazine about a Dateline bust that went very, very wrong.

NBC is being sued by the sister of a man who committed suicide after he was caught in a Predator sting operation. The victim, a career Texas prosecutor named Bill Conradt, shot himself after he saw Hansen and the Dateline crew on his property, and just as a SWAT team was closing in. This is going to be very embarrassing for NBC, as the facts of the case come to light.

It's a long article, but exceptionally well written and worth it.

Sexual predator and Fox blowhard Bill O'Reilly, who hates NBC, is oozing schadenfreude over the case, but he's not smart enough to understand this is about legal due process and vigilatism disguised as entertainment. O'Reilly and his mad dogs at Fox think due process is for suckers, while the vigilante mindset is a fuel that keeps the Fox News engine running.

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