I really shouldn't watch these clips.
The fact that I like to probably says something about me that I'd rather not know.
But I LOVE watching these "To Catch A Predator" clips.
Some people say "Oh, they depress me too much! I don't want to see that!"
Well, they tickle me to death. They're solid evidence of the scum that's out there, to present to kids (boys and girls, please). They provide superb evidence for court. They provide useful profiles for case studies to help catch and (gasp) maybe even treat adult men who show the first signs of pedophilia.
There are apparently some neighborhoods that have been FURIOUS that decoy houses have been set up in their neighborhoods. To which I ask, "Why? It's not like the predators are ever coming back to the place where they got arrested for trying to meet an underage kid." Oh, but there might be some that don't get arrested. Well, that would mean that they either realized that it was a sting (and they sure as hell wouldn't stay around or come back), or they backed down, in which case they're not as dangerous as the other predators who are, by the way, statistically living in your neighborhood. Yes, yours.
Also, there's the shaming.
John Braithwaite wrote in his superb 1989 book Crime, Shame, and Reintegration that it's the thought of the shame at being found out that is the greatest deterrence for would-be criminals.
Some pass out. Some run. Some commit suicide later. The shame is real.
I know they're out there already. I'm learning nothing new that the fax machine at the P.D. doesn't already tell me every time another sexual predator is located in our neighborhood. And those are just the ones we can make cases on.
MORE! Chris Hansen, you can come to my neighborhood, if you want. Heck, I'll move the family to a hotel for a week, and you can use my house.
This one, by the way, is my favorite; I laughed out loud.