I had never seen a "To Catch a Predator"
special from Dateline before, but I won't dare miss another one. The concept of the show is simple. They meet men online by posing as minors. When these men get more and more interested, they often want to arrange meetings with the children, but when they arrive they are in for a surprise. Instead of a 13-year old waiting for them (they chose 13 for the fake profile because it is a felony if the child is 13, a misdemeanor if they are 14), it was Chris Hansen and the Dateline Cameras. However, unlike their previous specials, this time they also had local sheriffs waiting.
I saw it on Friday, 2/3/06, and was amazed. We all know that there are sexual predators online, but I was amazed at how many they were able to catch (50 over a three day period!) It's a disturbing trend, but I am really glad that a news magazine is taking on the issue, instead of the usual benign issues.