Most of reality TV and most of the investigative exposes on TV are horribly boring. When 48 hours investigates or 20/20 does get something right, it can be enthralling and sometimes bone chilling as the camera brings a hidden truth in society to light. Even as a child, I enjoyed a good John Stossel report on 20/20 or the occasional murder mystery on 48 hours investigates that showed how many people involved could be the killer. One show that attempts to be a serious investigative report but is more entertaining than anything else is NBC Dateline's To Catch a Predator.
Considering the subject matter, busting pedophiles, it is amazing just how comical the show is at times. Chris Hansen hosts the show, and is a prick at times to these perverted criminals. The natural hate towards child predators seems to be focused to a condescending and sharp point in Hansen. He is pretty quick on his feet to come up with something as a comeback to a predator's excuse or phrase. Despite his lines or questions being very sarcastic and funny, Hansen manages to keep a straight face through the entire question and answer period. My all time favorite comment might be when he asked the school teacher if the perverted man-boy love the teacher sought was described anywhere int he Bible and asked if it was in the old or new testament. He delivered this all with a straight face. A conversation between him and Stephen Colbert could break the dead pan delivery scale.
Besides Chris Hansen and the never-ending parade of losers who seek sex with a minor, the show has a totally creepy vibe to it. It is rather shocking the number of men that this show can bust in 2-3 day spans in one city in our great nation. How many of these guys are lurking in neighborhoods, apartment buildings and in the cubicle next to you? Some of these guys seem genuinely conflicted with their feelings, and others get right to the point. Having read Nabokov's Lolita, yuo can see how some of these guys would know they are sick and try to get help. You could also see how others would throw away all hang ups and run wild with their impulses in true pervert fashion.
On the flip side, how many arrests do you recall of perverts busted for online activities? I recall 2 in my home state in while I was in college. Two. Discussing it at work, nobody has sympathy for these asshole perverts, but there is a common concern over entrapment. Some of the guys have vague conversations, while others are very blunt with what they want the teen to do. The DA in Texas who killed himself was pretending to be a 19 year old talking to a volunteer adult pretending to be a 13 year old. Something seems a bit odd about it all when one person ends up dead. I am disgusted by these perverts, and enjoy watching them caught on tape. I only wish that the bastards didn't get probation or protective custody when they do finally go to jail. "Prison Justice", while grotesque, does appeal to that dark side of human nature that wants to see bastards like these perverts get what they deserve.