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Published:July 25th, 2007 14:10 EST
How Far is Too Far?

How Far is Too Far?

By Tristan Mack

NBC’s To Catch a Predator received criticism and an ensuing lawsuit after one-man shot himself, when police came to arrest him. Louis William Conradt Jr., shot himself last November as police officers came, while camera operators recorded.  Because of the fiasco, Conradt’s sister, Patricia has filed a lawsuit against NBC Studios, stating that the company was directly responsible for her brother’s death as they made his life a spectacle for the sake of viewers. 

The series lures sexual predators through online chat, acting as children, filming the ensuing events as these people come to face adults and police.  Unlike these people however, Conradt never showed up to the house, some 35 miles from his home. 

Instead, police came to him, as NBC filmed from close by.  I do not condone the actions of these people, using children for pleasure, but when is the line crossed for others attempting to stop such behavior. 

While it may seem very altruistic of NBC to be helping police in discovering such people, the bottom line for them is nothing more than the ratings they will receive from these episodes.  Were it not for the presence of the studio and their camera operators there, would the police even be at the doorsteps of this man, attempting to take him in. 

Apparently not, as all charges were dropped from the other men, due to the lack of authenticity with the chat logs of NBC. 

So how far is too far?   Do we assume, because they are television, that their word is above the law.  Or do we hold them accountable as we would the people they come to accuse?  When is the line drawn and how clear will it be?  Unfortunately, we now live in a world where the ideals of justice are warped by a camera and their own angles on the story.

What is the point of having law, if others can make their own, or be somehow above it?  Shouldn’t they then, be held accountable for the wrongdoings of these said laws?  If To Catch a Predator wishes to continue with this hunt, then I suggest they do it with more diligence, rather than continue as they are.