I finally watched an episode of “To Catch a Predator”, thinking that it was going to be good, wholesome pwnage of pedophiles. The concept, I thought, was simple: Trick some dopey pedophile into thinking he was going to get some action, and then at the last second pull the rug out from under him and watch him get arrested. Maybe add in some back story of some of them to give the people some fear mongering as to how widespread the pedo demographic is, and call it a day.
So I’m watching this garbage, and at first, that’s exactly what it seems to be. But after a couple of segments, I realize that there is this whole other section (the one that most people seem to love) where Chris “I can’t move my eyebrows” Hanson berates these losers and tries to catch them in lies and cover stories. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are not people I want to hang out with, nor are they people I will attempt to defend in any psychological, sociological, or “nature vs nuture” kind of way, but does this not strike anyone as being odd?
Why does Chris Hanson, this supposedly respectable man, need to take up at least 50 percent of this show by morally grandstanding over one of the most despised segments of our population? Is anyone on the fence about pedophiles? Is there anyone out there watching and going, “hey… yeah,Chris Hansen is right! Pedophiles ARE despicable!” Even those who defend them by saying that they are victims of society or acting on impulses beyond their control are not going to condone their actions. What good is this doing? We aren’t learning anything from this and we aren’t gaining any insight into their psyches, so why do people love this so much? To me (and I’m not alone in this), this seems like bullying more than anything else. Honestly, how hard is it to show that you are better than someone who has brought liquor, condoms, and lube to a date with a 12 year old? Seems kind of like the moral equivalent to boxing a toddler.
This man has never lost a staring contest
This seemed to hint at something else that was going on. Maybe this was about the cruelty. Maybe the whole point of this segment is for people to sit at home and watch these people get tortured. Maybe the audience wants to see the filthy pedophile get burned at the stake. Gone is the attention to the actual issue – that children are being molested – and instead, what we have is morally justified public floggings. At this point, it seems like the point of the show isn’t to address the issue, but to go hunting for people that we feel good about torturing. It isn’t good enough that we just get the pedophile off the street; we have to watch him suffer. Without getting lost in a sea of moral argumentation, this seems to point to an issue in morality that says there is more to it than just looking after the welfare of others. Maybe we are more cruel than we let on, and maybe we use morality as a way to justify it.
Of course, all of this is a fancy way of saying that I think Chris Hanson is a pretentious douche bag, and I resent the fact that he makes me feel sorry for pedophiles. I would like to end this post with a reply that I found on a youtube video for this show.
In one of the most recent comments, Megatrippp says,
i have a great idea !!! >:-)
what if instead of Chris,I come out with a bulletproof vest, brass knuckles in my left and a heavy chain in my right hand and five more people appear with bats.Then i ask him to take a seat, take a seat right over there and i question him until he starts crying and beat him until he starts bleeding out of his ears.then with the help of my associates tie him up and put him somewhere with all the necessary evidence that he’s a pedo and THEN call the cops.