Monday, March 10, 2008

The Grey Lady's Step to Redemption 2

The New York Times has taken another step in redeeming itself for its decision to hire William Kristol for its op-ed page. Today it published an editorial, "What’s on TV Tonight? Humiliation to the Point of Suicide."

The editorial points out that the NBC television show, "To Catch a Predator," has little socially redeeming value. It sets up a sting and then invites local law enforcement officers to stage a raid which it records and then airs on network television. A 2006 raid resulted in a coup for the camera crew, the object of the sting "took out a handgun and shot himself to death," which prompted an officer on the scene to comment, reportedly, "That’ll make good TV."

Nice, eh wot, Dear Gentle Reader(s)? By the way, it did make TV, albeit in a truncated form. It also "made" the basis for a $100 million lawsuit against NBC.

The Times comments about this aspect of "reality" shows: “To Catch a Predator” is part of an ever-growing lineup of shows that calculatingly appeal to their audience’s worst instincts. The common theme is indulging the audience’s voyeuristic pleasure at someone else’s humiliation, and the nastiness of the put-down has become the whole point of the shows."

The truth of this is that these shows do not elevate nor do they elucidate. They do exhibit a clear example of the reprehensible in human behavior, on both sides of the issue. The Times opines, "The producers of “To Catch a Predator”...appear to be on the verge — if not over it — of becoming brown shirts with television cameras. If you are going into the business of storming people’s homes and humiliating them to the point of suicide, you should be sure to have some good lawyers on retainer."

The lawsuit continues.

So do, alas, the television shows.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment

The courage of your conviction virtually demands your name, if we don't know you.