Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Critics worried about hidden camera
pedophile busts... are they worried on a personal level?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen journalism professors and TV critics express concern about a series of "Dateline" reports that feature the luring and busting of child-rapists (or maybe just would-be child-rapists).

The reasons for why they're upset has mostly been because "Dateline" supposedly paid those who set up the sting, although some have also been bent out of shape over the lengthiness of the reports.

It seems to be that ANYTHING that raises awareness of the sort of sub-human scum that are out there intent on raping kids, and ANYTHING that gets these creatures into the justice system where they belong, is a Good Thing.

I can't help but wonder... is the real reason these professors and critics are upset is that they're nervous if they're going to head to a house for a little under-age nookie only to find TV cameras and cops waiting for them?

NBC Draws Fire for "Dateline" Pedophile Reports

NBC plans to air four special editions of its magazine show "Dateline" on Wednesdays beginning tonight and continuing through the May sweeps.

The specials show "stings" in which alleged pedophiles operating in Internet chat rooms are lured to houses in several cities, only to be confronted by "Dateline" correspondent Chris Hansen and then arrested by local police -- all captured by hidden cameras.

The new broadcasts follow three similar ones that aired during "Dateline's" regular time period earlier this year. TV writers could not recall any previous television news magazine devoting eight entire programs to a single subject.

While drawing praise from groups like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the programs have also been roundly criticized by several journalists' groups, particularly, the Poynter Institute, the respected journalism school based in St. Petersburg, FL. Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the school, told today's (Wednesday, April 26) "Los Angeles Times", that colleagues were particularly concerned about tonight's episode in which members of the group Perverted Justice, who are paid by NBC to pose as juveniles and lure marks to the house, were also deputized by the local sheriff.

"By working with a group that has been deputized, "Dateline" is essentially partnering with local law enforcement," McBride said. "Even if the outcome is a desirable outcome, in the long run it undermines their ability to serve as a watchdog."

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