One of my favorite programs on television is the NBC series “To Catch a Predator.” Unlike other reality shows, this series doesn’t rely on exotic locations and nail-biting eliminations to excite its audience. Instead, it simply poses the age-old question: How fast can a ‘perv’ think up an unconvincing lie with a camera in his face?
Pretty quick, it would seem.
On the show, investigators confront sexual predators who attempt to contact children online. Trained professionals pose as children and if contact is made, a sting operation is set up in an undercover house.
The ‘perv’ arrives at the home, believing he is about to hook up with a fifth-grader and is led to the backyard, where a malnourished actress offers him lemonade and tells him to “get comfortable.”
She skips away and “Dateline NBC” correspondent Chris Hansen swaggers out from behind a magician’s curtain, holding a stack of papers full of dirty e-talk.
Chris Hansen: How can you deny that you came here to have sex with a thirteen-year-old?! I have an e-mail you sent in which you said that you wanted to “teach her all the things a woman should know.”
‘Perv’: Um I was going to give her cooking lessons. I’m a cook.
Chris Hansen: With Courvoisier and a box of condoms? What where you planning on cooking? Sex?
‘Perv’: UmI just came here to talk.
Chris Hansen: Why aren’t you wearing any pants?
‘Perv’: I just came here to talk.
My favorite part of the show is when the young-looking, 18-year-old actress offers them lemonade. I’m always curious to see if they will drink it. Don’t ask me why.
I am even more amazed by the distance many of these men are willing to travel to date a toddler. I saw an episode where one guy caught two buses and a cab, just for a chance to do it with a latch-key kid.
Just curious, do you think living in a neighborhood where NBC films the police purposely attracting sexual predators would drive property value up or down?