NBC Dateline Lawsuit

A lawsuit against NBC’s Datelinefor the suicide of Texas Prosecutor Louis William Conradt Jr. has the green light and will proceed. Dateline’s popular program, “To Catch a Predator” features confrontations with men who allegedly sought “dates” with underage persons they met on-line. Condradt was one such “victim” of NBC. While camera crews and the local SWAT team awaited outside his home for his arrest, Conradt shot himself.

Southern District of New York Judge Denny Chin said that if the complaint’s allegations are true, a reasonable jury could find that “NBC crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.” NBC sticks to its guns, a spokesperson being quoted as saying, “the evidence will ultimately show that ‘Dateline’ acted responsibly and lawfully.”

This is definitely a case to follow in that it tells a fascinating, tragic story that brings together the ever-powerful media, society’s unquenchable hunger to punish our modern pariah, the pedophile, and the law. A related story is also seen in the unfolding of bills urging adoption of Jessica’s law across the country which includes a broader-scale use of GPS to monitor sex offenders. As usual, though, the problem lies in a woeful lack of funding. 

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