Thursday, May 31, 2007

To catch a bad tabloid journo...

So we got an email yesterday from our pals at Fishbowl LA asking what we thought of that lawsuit from a producer who claims she was fired from NBC's Dateline because she complained about ethical violations in the production of their To Catch A Predator comedy serial, in which they lure perverts and losers to a house where they expect to meet a teenage girl or an older woman posing as one online (at least she didn't sue for sex harassment like some other female producers who haven't quite made it).

We emailed some thoughts and most of them showed up in the Fishbowl:
There's always the pain-in-the-ass producer who thinks ethics is something other than a county outside London and points out all the horrible lapses in morality and judgment the show thrives on.

In the case of Dateline, which is bad tabloid television, meaning tabloid television done by people who are schooled and indoctrinated in the constipated world of elitist network news and take all the wrong surface traits of tabloid, make it all look and sound respectable while presenting really shady product, the producer has a point...

The fact that they actually get people arrested for committing crimes that exist only in their minds, humiliate them and use it for strictly entertainment purposes-- Dateline is only entertainment, just as Brian Williams is a newsreader who's been playing dress-up anchorman in daddy's Burberry coat and bespoke suits since he was in college, make no mistake-- and work with vigilante groups to get people imprisoned-- is as shameful as the alleged acts in the minds of the perverts they exploit.
We'd added a line saying that the history of Dateline, its co-opting of the tabloid television genre, with names and dates included, can be found in the book Tabloid Baby.

They didn't print that one (but they linked to the booksite)!

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