This man is Chris Hansen, professional a-hole. Wednesday night, NBC featured 2 full hours of Chris Hansen busting alleged pedophiles as they tried to close the deal on trysts with minors, all of which were arranged in online chat sessions full of graphic suggestions and several misspellings. I know what you're thinking. How could NBC be failing miserably in the ratings when they're spending the 8p-10p block showing Chris Hansen bust unsavory shady pederasts? Isn't there some variation of "Deal or no Deal" that they can just run 24 hours a day? Alas, Howie Mandel and his stable of skanks with suitcases cannot carry a network alone. (Incidentally, look for the spinoff, "Skanks with Suitcases" starting this fall on NBC following "The Office"!)
In this particular episode of Dateline, Chris Hansen traveled to Ohio. As Deadspin and The M Zone will tell you, the men of Ohio apparently love three things above all else:
1. THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
3. Underage tail
Time and time again during this self-proclaimed "Dateline exclusive" (can you really call it "exclusive" if this same stunt has aired over and over more times than "Joey?") a police informant posing as a minor would lure and entrap a naive adult male to a house, promising rewards of cookies and 13-year-old trim in exchange for Mike's Hard Lemonade and, one would assume, free moustache rides. Of course, when each social misfit would show up to the house, they were not greeted with the bounty of heavy petting in the swimsuit area, but rather the glaring stare of Chris Hansen, journalistic hack. As he gave the 3rd degree to each of the suddenly nervous offenders, Chris Hansen was always sure to ask 2 critical questions.
1. Do you know who I am? (The answer usually was a confused look and a few men guessing, "a cop?")
2. Do you ever watch Dateline NBC? (Sadly, it seems nobody gave the correct answer, "Yes, you're the "news" show that intentionally blew up trucks and called it investigative journalism.)
Kudos to you Chris Hansen, and to everyone at NBC "News". Some people may accuse you of spending thousands of dollars to rent a house, pay for the services of Perverted Justice, and work hand-in-hand with government officials to not only document a police sting, but in fact to be an active participant in an operation which - as unpleasant as the offenders are - borders on entrapment. Some would say that rather than reporting the news, you are in fact making the news yourself and disguising the exploitative sham as investigative journalism. But I think it's quite obvious that the good outweighs the bad. At the end of the day, there's really only one thing that matters: Making sure that as many child molesters as possible know who Chris Hansen is. Good luck and God speed. That move out of 4th place in the ratings is just around the corner.