|If you see him coming through the door you are screwed.|
For those who don't know, the series of shows is based on a simple idea: people use the Internet to set up sexual meetings with children. Hansen, with the help of local police and Perverted-Justice (a group that has decoys posing as children in chat rooms who engage in sexual chats with adults and set up meetings) uses the standard uncover tactics in order to catch (mostly) males who come to a house to have sex with a "child." The pedophiles offer crazy excuses as to why they came to have sex with the "child," and then they are arrested. You can click here to see an example.
Pedophile arrested and taken off the streets. A decoy who is left safe. Hansen gets ratings. Everyone wins, right?
|A catch for any age group? Nope.|
Each special is like a laundry list of perversions, complete with pixelated photographs of (often) male genitalia. Transcripts of Internet chats between an adult male (usually) and a thirteen-year-old (or so) girl are read aloud with voice actors (the girl is usually portrayed as giggley) with the words typed out on screen. When the chat is too graphic, words are censored, but you still get the gist of it all. When the pedophiles are confronted by Hansen, he goes through the transcripts again. A typical conversation may go something like, "You said you want to perform oral sex on her, and would like her to blank your blank. And you thought she was thirteen." Throughout the entire show, the fact that the girl is underage is constantly juxtaposed with this highly sexual discussion. I imagine the sexual talk is described in such detail and the photos shown in order to demonstrate how sleazy these men are, but it comes across as nothing less than another exploitation of "children."
|Yes, I'm wearing a thong. No, I'm not 13.|
A pixelated mess shows an active webcam shot. You can't see anything. Hansen lets viewers know they are looking at a live webcam shot of the pedophile masturbating that he transmitted to a girl he believed was 11.
A pedophile is identified by his screenname "Rick's Talented Tongue." Hansen reads transcripts from his chat. "Can I tease and please your blank with my tongue?" His penis picture (pixelated to protect viewers) is shown again.
If you were a pedophile without an Internet connection, Hansen's undercover projects would provide you with plenty of material to masturbate to.
It's been argued that Perverted-Justice and To Catch a Predator are really nothing more than harassment and entrapment. I'm not going into any arguments on that here as to do that raises debate about everything from our justice system to age of consent laws. What I hoped to show with this was that these specials are not without their own pedophilia taint. They go above and beyond what they have to show and describe in order to titillate and appeal to deviant sexual interests in children. It's yet another example of the media saying, "Look how bad this is as we use the exact same mindset to sell our show." I have no compassion for pedophiles, but I also have no compassion for "reporters" who pretend to be above that while sexualizing all this behavior in order to secure ratings.
|Only a decoy would agree to admit to meet a guy with the name "Ice Truck Killer."|
Before the Internet, the United States government was perhaps the biggest distributor of child pornography in an attempt to capture pedophiles. Project Looking Glass (you can look it up if so inclined) was just one example of the government (such as the U.S. postal service) sending out child pornography in order to arrest pedophiles. Very few people spoke out against this because 1)hardly anyone knew of it, and 2)who would speak out against catching pedophiles? The government doesn't have to do such things anymore, as the Internet, which is easily monitored, does all its work for it. About twice a year you'll hear of a major sex ring being broken up, a ring that distributes some sort of child pornography to various pedophiles and the like. Hansen's show is a throwback to the era of Project Looking Glass, only this exploitive peep show/sting operation is presented as entertainment for the world to see. (And like Project Looking Glass, suicide is an outcome of the investigation.)
|When hounded by Hansen, the only way out is arrest or a bullet to the head.|
Yes, Hansen has a point that these "sexual predators" are sick, but when you turn the very act you supposedly abhor into a fetish, you are just as guilty ... if not moreso. Especially when you do it for ratings.