Saturday, October 07, 2006

The *Real* Reality TV

To Catch a Predator has become a Friday night tradition. Not the family viewing, popcorn bowl in the lap kind of thing, but a tradition started by my Dad, none the less. I am not one who likes to watch violence, horrer flicks or other adult themes so you may wonder why I can't wait to watch.

There is something about human stupidity that is impossible to look away from. Here is the scene. Perverted Justice sets up a house for its sting operation. They use "decoys" posing online as 13 year old girls that chat with adult men on the loose looking for sexual relations with young, underage girls. They agree to meet, at this house. Once there, the decoy welcomes the man in, says she is going to change, and out walks Chris from NBC's Dateline. He then goes on to "interview" the man using the pedophiles own chatroom transcripts as the basis for his crime. Once the "criminal" realizes he's on tv, he'll ask if he can leave, in which Chris says "Anytime you want." Once outside, the criminal is thrown to the ground, cuffed and told his night will be spent in jail unless he posts 30k in bond.

Again, you may wonder why I would enjoy this. Because, plain and simple, it's about time they get caught. Many of these men tell the decoy online about the Dateline series "To catch a Predator" and they are nervous they will get caught. And yet, they still go to this house. The dumbness (is that a word) and stupidity of knowing it is wrong and doing it anyway is amazing. You deserve to be thrown down and cuffed.

What is sad is that the men being arrested include military men on leave, many with wives, newlyweds and in the case of last night, a doctor. One man tried talking his way out of it by referring to himself as a "respectible man in society." Yeah, right. One said he was "faithful to his wife." Oh really? What is universal in all of these men is the reaction once cuffed. "Oh God my life is over" is said repetitevly. And you know what? It should be. If you have a career, wife and kids and you risk it to prey on a 13 year old for sex, you deserve to lose it all and do 5 years.

I cheer for the underdog. I cheer for the good guy winning. In this case, I cheer when a mans own lust leads him right into the web. They walk right into it. That is why I watch.