Dateline NBC: To Catch A Moron

Chris Hansen’s To Catch A Predator series has undoubtedly been great television. I think it even attracted an actual predator or two, such as the sketchy guy who showed up at 4AM with tape and rope in his trunk and whispered through the screen for her to come out… ok, I grant you, that’s a bona fide mouse in the trap. Oh – and the skeezy, sandal-wearing, coin-jingling Rabbi.

First of all: Chris, there’s a hilarious SNL skit living inside your show just waiting to come out.

But, have you analyzed the intellectual makeup of these “predators”? You realize it’s turning into a war on developmentally challenged humans? It’s just one bust away from becoming To Catch A Mentally Disabled Redneck. As I said a year ago, the show perpetuates hysteria and is cheap Luddite Puppet Theater – but a lot of television is like that. Sometimes, even good television is like that.

But please, Chris: the guy who shows up with booze to see the girl who’s a few years younger than he is? Uhh… do you have any idea how many times every guy I know did this when we were 20? Or at least every guy who could dress himself? Surely you realize that probably twenty percent of the American population would never get laid – or, actually, born – if this practice were curtailed? Why is it suddenly the Greatest Crime Against God that alcohol might function as a social – ahem – lubricant? Dude, when was the last time you visited a college campus in America? Therein, the trick is getting one’s booze unadulterated. At least then, there’s a bit more hope you won’t eventually wake up sore and crusty next to a guy whom, you guess, looks familiar.

But the scorning, country-club, white-bread sanctimony with which Chris Hansen handles him got me thinking that Chris has two options: either mix it up a little or pack it in. So, you could maybe flip things around a little – how about: To Catch A Giglet? I’ll fill in for Perverted Justice in those – and maybe Contessa Brewer could fill in for you? We’re onnnto something, I think. I’ll bet sweet, creamy Contessa could purr through those chat transcripts like a hot spoon sliding through ice cream…

“… you discussed oral sex and the size of your genitals. You told her you were going to dominate her. You even discussed … a threesome! Yet she still endured a three-mile cab ride to your apartment?

Oh, Contessa – it gets better – she was sixteen! And – get this – that’s actually the age of consent in most states!”

“Wow – even my frosty Mormon insides are warming up! When we continue after the break, Dateline’s thirteen hidden cameras capture her surprise as I walk out and confront her about being a bad, dirty little girl…

Deee-lish.

But get real, Chris – if you had just left most of those people alone, they’d probably just play video games until they fuse to their sofas like poor Gayle Grinds did down in that sauna-vabitch they call Palm Beach. They aren’t predators (ok, ok, except the screen-whispering creep); you got them out of the house because they thought they could actually get their paws on something that wasn’t either fried food or a relative. You and I might think riding on a bus for 200 miles is dreadful, but when you’ve been wearing the same shirt for twelve days subsisting on Cheetos and YouTube … and another living, breathing human pretends to be interested in you, you do things. Especially if your parents burned you and kept you in a closet for most of your teenage years. I mean – some of these dudes brought roses.

Merge it with that new show, Models NYC, or stop torturing people who belong in a group home.

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