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 THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)

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PostSubject: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:56 pm

With the cyber-age upon us, everything is going digital. You can order pizza, play games with friends, and even purchase clothing and the alike over the internet with a single click. This is truly a great time to be living on planet earth. At a moment’s notice, you can look up anything and everything you could ever want to look up with relative ease. But sadly, as with most luxuries created by the human race, there are people who are going to abuse this new technology. The most problematic of these people are called “Internet Sex Predators”. The first time the phrase “Internet Sex Predators” was used was in the mid-1990s; it was seen in a 1995 San Francisco Chronicle article about how the internet helps gay teens to receive support during the coming-out process (Marwick, 12). The term was used to refer to older men who would coax the young men to come over, and then molest and sometimes kidnap them. This was a small problem until the early 2000s, when the internet boomed and was flooded by every kind of person under the sun. Proof of this boom in users that could be categorized as “Internet Sex Predators” is shown in the amount of stories in major newspapers the use the phrase “Internet Sex Predator”. In 1995, it was the one story in the San Francisco Chronicle; but in 2007, it skyrocketed to 457 stories that used that phrase (Marwick, 12). This was clearly a gigantic problem, and someone had to do something about it. Enter Chris Hansen; a journalist for MSNBC news. They began running a story called “Dangerous Web”, its aim was to demonstrate how the internet could be used to endanger our nation’s children and even adults (Marwick, 12). Much to MSNBC’s surprise, the story took off like a horse at the races, and ratings went through the roof. It did so well, in fact, that the story became a weekly special called “To Catch a Predator”. Every Friday, hundreds of thousands of people would eagerly await the new episode’s airing. Throughout their many investigations, Chris Hansen interviewed more than 200 different predators. “To Catch a Predator” was a ground-breaking and eye-opening series the made a deep impact in our society.

“To Catch a Predator” was set up as a sting operation; a deceptive operation designed to catch a person committing a crime. A typical sting will have a law-enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect's actions to gather evidence of the suspect's wrongdoing”(Dateline). So MSNBC teamed up with a civilian watchdog group called Perverted Justice (Dateline). Perverted justice is a group of people that are experts on acting like young children who are promiscuous or curious about sex in order to lure older men (generally from eighteen to late sixties) into having sexually charged chats. In many states, this alone is a felony charge (using the internet to solicit sex from a minor). But because of the natural anonymity of the internet, these men are rarely brought to justice. This is where Chris Hansen and “To Catch a Predator” come in. The idea of “To Catch a Predator” is to “bring them to us, not bring us to them” (Dateline). So Perverted Justice members lure the men to the undercover house to meet up with the decoy for a sexual encounter. The decoy house is rigged with hidden cameras, inside and out. The cameras records the moment the predators drive up to the house to when they leave the property. The men are coaxed inside by a decoy, usually played by a Perverted Justice member or a paid actor or actress. Once inside, they are invited to have a seat by the decoy as the decoy goes to do some task, such as change their clothes or something mundanely similar. After several moments, Chris Hansen (the host), emerges from a nearby door or hallway and beings to interview the potential predator. The men, more often than not, stay and chat with Chris Hansen. In Chris Hansen’s book, he explains that many of the men don’t stay because they know who he is, but because they believe he’s the father of the girl or boy, or that he is law enforcement. The men often give ludicrous excuses to why they are at the house, excuses such as “I’m here to mentor the boy/girl” or “I was passing by and got waved in”. An integral part of the show and its popularity is the razor-sharp wit of the host. He often fires back witty remarks or one-liners. For example, one episode’s main focus was on one predator who was a teacher. Chris emerged from behind a door and asked, “So what was in the lesson plan for today?”. Chris Hansen states in his book that he has to walk a very fine line, because of the serious nature of the subject at hand. After the men are interviewed, Chris Hansen tells them that they’re on the show “To Catch a Predator”, similar to how Candid Camera did, but nobody is laughing. The men, ashamed, often try to cover their faces, not realizing that cameras have been rolling the entire time. The men then leave the house, and that’s where law enforcement takes it into their hands. In the beginning of “To Catch a Predator”, law enforcement was not involved. The men would simply walk out of the decoy house and go about their business. In the third investigation, however, law enforcement got involved. As the men came out of the decoy house, police would subdue and arrest the men. After driving them to a police station in generally unmarked cars, the men are booked and put in jail for the night until they can go to trial. Many men plead not guilty, but some men plead guilty and are usually charged with several felony accounts, accounts such as “attempting to solicit sex from a minor”, “attempting to use the internet to solicit sex from a minor”, “using the internet to send harmful material to a minor”, and the list can go on (Dateline, W). Sometimes there are follow-up stories on some of the men, such as one man who showed up at a decoy house, left (this investigation was one that law enforcement wasn’t involved in), and then got caught again the very next day trying to meet up with another Perverted Justice decoy at a fast food restaurant. This is the end of MSNBC’s involvement in the process, and then the next man is introduced and it happens all over again, in an eerily similar matter.

Over twelve different investigations and over ten and a half hours of footage, over two-hundred men are arrested, and a majority are found guilty and put away for a long, long time. The way that they legally pin these charges on these men are generally with two different approaches. One staple approach is simply having the chat-log from the sexually charged online chat with the decoy posing as a minor. In most states, simply talking to the minor in a sexual fashion counts as “’soliciting a minor online for sex’ is a federal crime, even if no sexual activity ever occurs” (Marwick, 14). You may be thinking “Wait, but there wasn’t an actual minor on the internet, so it’s not legitimate”, this is not the case in all the states that these investigations took place in. In all of these states, even an individual who is portraying an underage kid counts as a real underage kid. The other staple that they use to pin the charges on the men is if they show intent based on the chat-logs. What the decoy can do in the chat is to ask the predator to bring something specific, such as a certain kind of alcohol, condoms, or (in one case) pie. When the men show up with the specified object in hand or in their possession at all, it shows that they were willing and were going to act upon what was discussed in the chat. So if the men talked about having sex, it is reasonable to think that they were going to also have sex with the decoy. Many people criticize the show, claiming that it’s entrapment and completely bogus. Well, these people who claim this is entrapment are wrong. Chris Hansen writes in his book that entrapment is conduct by a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense that the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit. He also states that in many jurisdictions, entrapment is a possible defense against criminal liability. He continues with the statement “However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime.” For example, it is not entrapment for a government agent to pretend to be someone else and to offer, either directly or through an informant or other decoy, to engage in an unlawful transaction with the person. So, a person would not be a victim of entrapment if the person was ready, willing and able to commit the crime charged in the indictment whenever opportunity was afforded, and government officers or their agents did no more than offer an opportunity. So because Perverted Justice is a civilian group and not law enforcement, it is in no way entrapment.

Great things have come from the “To Catch a Predator” investigations. For example, one of the men arrested had committed multiple felonies dating back from the late eighties to the early 2000s. His name was Thomas Bogner. He worked in a boys and girls club as a counselor, and he was sought out by the mother of three members of that boys and girls club for a relationship so the kids could have a father figure. He was a great man, until he started molesting all four of the children. He molested the eldest daughter, the second oldest son who was mentally retarded, and the other younger sons. The eldest daughter was tracked down by MSNBC and interviewed. She said that she would wake up from a deep sleep to him kissing her. He was finally sent to jail for life after he was caught on “To Catch a Predator”. This show also brought the issue to the mainstream. It made the issue of “Internet Sex Predators” to everyone’s attention, and it made everyone realize that nobody was safe from this sort of thing. Not only did they inform people of the issue, but they gave advice and help on how to make it so our nation’s children would be safe from the predators on the internet. “To Catch a Predator” was a show that really aimed to fix something. It stood for something, and not many shows nowadays can even say that. The only bad thing that came from “To Catch a Predator” was a related suicide. A district attorney in Murphy, Texas (one of the locations of “To Catch a Predator) was caught trying to solicit sex from a minor via the internet. When police went to confront him, he pulled a gun out and ended his life with a pull of the trigger (Dittrich, 1). Regardless of who and why, the death of a fellow human being should always be mourned and never celebrated in my opinion.

“To Catch A Predator” was a tour-de-force of television. It brought up a relevant issue in today’s society and tried to fix it. Sadly, the show stopped airing in 2007 after the Kentucky investigations. But I have a theory on why it’s going to come back and soon. I think they’re waiting for the show to be out of the forefront of people’s minds. In the Kentucky investigation, they got significantly less people than normal, and a lot of the men that were chatting online refused to come because they thought it was a sting operation. So once people forget, it will burst back onto the scene with unparalleled fervor. As a big fan and religious watcher of the series, I eagerly await the return of Chris Hansen and the utterance of the iconic line, “Will you please take a seat?”


TL;DR- To Catch A Predator is the greatest show of all time, bar-none.


Last edited by Batman on Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Needed to indent paragraphs)
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:05 pm

"I like rape" ~Chris Hanson
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:11 pm

/thread
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:53 pm

xD But seriously, I'm so sad that Chris Hansen doesn't wanna do more TCaP yet, because he wants to work on his new show "The Hansen Files". D: I heard it was good, I have to get my hands on it.
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 am

Well naturally. Plus his point about too many people being too aware of it is pretty valid.
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:28 am

True, but the research showed that it barely affected the actual criminals, and some of them didn't even care.

o.o Super scary.
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:23 pm

Batman wrote:
"The Hansen Files"
Sounds like CP, would not watch.
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PostSubject: Re: THE GREATEST SHOW THERE EVER WAS, EVER. (TCaP)   Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:18 pm

StephenColbert wrote:
Batman wrote:
"The Hansen Files"
Sounds like CP, would not watch.

Well, apparently it's really good.
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