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Defending “To Catch A Predator”

“To Catch a Predator” is a “precious success” for Dateline NBC, the Observer’s Rebecca Dana writes:

“Sure, it may be showy at times. It may be a tad exploitative — ‘And we’ll tell you what he planned to do with that teenager, when Dateline returns’ — and it may verge on the absurdly theatrical, as when, at the climactic moment of every ‘sting,’ two NBC technicians rush out from the shadows, one carrying a handheld camera, the other a boom mike, even though the room is already outfitted with 13 hidden cameras (including one ‘coconut cam’ in a palm tree outside) and countless microphones. It may even be indistinguishable from reality television. ‘But there is a solid journalistic element to each one of these things,’ said [correspondent Chris] Hansen.”

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