Chris at work
It's more than possible that you have great taste and would never watch such trash. But there was a time (it’s all so very different now) when I would find myself in my LA-Z Boy with the TV remote in my hand and nothing in my head and “To Catch A Predator” with Chris Hansen on the screen of my ancient TV. You’ve never seen it have you? And that’s because you have great taste and were reading “The New York Review of Books” while I was watching Chris Hansen and MSNBC.
The show is now seen only in reruns, something called “Predator Raw.” You don’t know about that either, do you? But this story from "The Huffington Post" will fill you in and allow you to understand what you’ve missed.
NEW YORK — NBC Universal has settled a $105 million lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed a televised sex sting by "Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator" drove her brother to kill himself.
"The matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties," said a statement released by both sides. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Patricia Conradt's lawsuit had claimed her brother, a suburban Dallas prosecutor, fatally shot himself after he was accused of engaging in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy.
The lawsuit claimed NBC "steamrolled" authorities to arrest Louis William Conradt Jr. after telling police he failed to show up at a sting operation 35 miles away.
NBC was working with the activist group Perverted Justice [!] on the sting, in which people impersonating children established online chats with men and tried to lure them to a house, where they were met by TV cameras and police. [And Chris Hansen.]
In February, a federal judge issued a scathing ruling in the case, saying a jury might conclude the network "crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement."
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said the lawsuit contained sufficient facts to make it plausible that the suicide was foreseeable, that police had a duty to protect Conradt from killing himself and that the officers and NBC acted with deliberate indifference.
New episodes of "To Catch A Predator" ended in December, with the future of the series uncertain.
"Right now we are working on other investigative stories focusing on national security and the economy," NBC spokeswoman Jenny Tartikoff said Wednesday in an e-mail. "If we do more, we want to make sure we are complementing past investigations not just repeating them."
Two more items before we get to Chris at home—one subjective, the other factual.
Chris Hansen has a voice and delivery that make you think of either suicide or murder. Think Jimmy Stewart without the soul. Think of a tall handsome man who so wanted to be in broadcasting but realized that because he had the voice of Minnie Mouse it was not possible. In desperation, he chose Jimmy Stewart as his vocal model and worked very, very hard to change his tiny squeaky voice. Please don't question me. A Minnie-Mouse voice is apt and works nicely for my take on Chris Hansen's ethical core.
But that’s subjective. Here’s a fact.
On the website for the show, they have now cleverly inserted the word “possible” before any mention of “predator.” “Possible predators.” Even though they haven’t changed the title of the show on the website. It’s not “To Catch A Possible Predator.” I wonder if that additional word in the text might have something to do with the lawsuit and the terms of the settlement. It’s certainly possible.
Yes. So Chris Hansen is no longer doing “To Catch A Predator” and spends more time at home…
Chris Hansen, formerly of “To Catch A Predator,” is standing at a mirror in the living room of his home. He is wearing a red velvet smoking jacket.
Chris Hansen: (Looking at his image in the mirror.) Hi, I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. Why don’t you have a seat right over there and talk to me for a minute. (He does several vocal exercises. A doorbell rings.) Good! A predator has arrived. (He seems to be shaking.)
Hansen goes to the door and opens it. A man is standing there. Flashy clothes, in fact a Mariachi costume, big Mariachi sombrero.
Chris: (To the man.) I’m Chris Hansen. Please come in and have a seat.
Luis: (Looking around outside.) Chris, it’s me, Luis.
Chris: I’m Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC Why don’t you come and have a seat?
Luis: Yeah, thanks, man. (Louder.) Chris, it’s me Luis.
Chris: What? Do you know me? Have you seen me on TV?
Luis: Yeah, yeah, man, I’ve seen you on TV. Let me in.
Chris: Yes, come in and have a seat. And that’s why you know me. I’m Chris Hansen. From Dateline NBC.
Luis: Yeah, yeah. Chris. It’s Luis. I’ve seen you on TV, and, also, in case you've forgotten, I’ve been here before, man. You know?
Chris: What? You’ve been where before? Let’s talk about that. Have a seat.
Luis: Here. In your home, man. You’ve invited me here. Been coming here for years. You know? And on TV. Seen you on TV, and I’m here all the time. Each week, man. Relax.
Chris: What? I’m Chris Hansen. Why don’t you have a seat right over there. I’m Chris Hansen of Dateline…
Luis: Please! Could you stop that shit! Jesus! I know who you are. Relax, relax. The show had a good run, relax. You off your meds again? The doc told you about that shit.
Chris: You do? You know that I’m Chris Hansen?
Luis: Yeah! For god’s sake! Jesus! Every week.
Chris: Why? Why do you know that I’m Chris Hansen?
Luis: (As if to a child.) Saw you on TV. “To Catch A Predator.” Until it was canceled. And because you invite me here each week. With my friend, my friend in the car. (Motions outside with his head.) You know, man. We’ve met. Here in your home.
Chris: My home?
Luis: Yeah, your home.
Chris: Oh, yes. This is my home. Chris Hansen’s home. “To Catch A Predator.” Oh, yes. Well, of course. (Understanding finally.) Oh! And this is my night to see... That’s why you’re here. Oh! That’s a nice hat. You play the accordion, right? Mariachi group? Los Perros del Cesar?
Luis: Yeah, yeah, Chris. Thank you. Yes, I’ve got a gig later.
Chris: And you’re Luis. How’s Cesar? He doesn’t suspect anything...?
Luis: No, no...It’s all cool. Besides, I’m his big bro, you know. And it was my idea.
Chris: What was?
Luis: “Dog Whisperer.” Say, can we get moving here? I’ve got a gig later. So can I…
Luis: Well, can I bring in our friend?
Chris: Our friend?
Luis: Yes, you know. The friend that visits you here in your home. Each week. She’s in the car. You know, you pay me…? For bringing…She's been here before, Chris. You got to concentrate, man.
Chris: Oh, yes, I’d like that. I’d like that. And that’s why you’re here and why I’m dressed this way. I was wondering why I was dressed this way. I’d like that. And that’s why you’re here. What’s in the bag?
Luis: Stuff, the same stuff I bring each week, man. You know, for our friend. Roofies.
Chris: Roofies!? That’s that date rape...
Luis: No, not like that. Roofies. Like, “Roof, roof,” man. You know, barking. “Roof, roof!” A joke, man, relax.
Luis: Never mind.
Chris: Oh, yes. Just put the bag on that little hall table. Under my plaque from the Boy Scouts or is that the Girl… Used to have pool parties with them, boys and girls. Scouts. Just wherever. Put it anywhere. And...Well...Please. You may go outside and bring in my friend. No one will stop you. You’re free to go out there if you want to go out there. Outside my home.
Luis: Thank you. I know that, Chris. I do this each week. I know man, relax.
Chris: You do? Oh, yes, you do. How do you like my smoking jacket and my pipe? I look like Hugh Hefner, don’t I?
Luis: Very nice. Better than last week’s stuff.
Chris: You didn’t like the hunting outfit, the camouflage? The rifle and the kayak?
Luis: No, not really. It frightened our friend. Especially that kayak.
Chris: Yes, yes. I remember now. I’m sorry. I would never hurt her. Why don’t you go on outside now. No one will stop you. You’re free to go. Watch your sombrero. Don’t get it caught. What a big hat! You play the accordion, don’t you? You’re free to go.
Luis: Yeah, I know that. Thanks, Chris.
Chris: Go ahead. I’m going to comb my hair and gargle. Put on some cologne.
Luis: Good. I’ll be right back.
Chris:. No one will stop you; you’re free to go.
Luis: (Moving toward the door.) Thanks, yes. I know that. (Shakes head.) I know, Chris, I know. Relax, man.
Chris: Oh, good. You’re going to get her. What’s she wearing tonight?
Luis: Your favorite.
Chris: Rufffles, blue, around her sweet neck?
Luis: That’s the one. I’ll be right back. We’re on the clock, you know. (Walks out the door.)
Chris: (Goes to mirror and checks his hair) I’m Chris Hansen; I’m Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC. My show is “To Catch A Predator.” Handsome Chris. (In a sing-song.) And I sound like Jimmy Stewart. (Hits himself in the head with his fist.) Because that’s better than sounding like a little mousy, isn’t it, Chris? Until I changed my voice, my delivery, I sounded just like a little mousy. (Hits himself again.) We worked a long time on it, my voice. And now I sound great, like Jimmy Stewart. How does Chris look tonight? Very handsome, Chris.
There's a knock on the door.
Chris: (Startled, turns from mirror.) What? Stop! Get security! I’m armed. (Moves toward door.) Yes? What? Who is it? Oh. I know who it is. Chris knows.
Luis: (Sticks head through door.) It’s me, Chris. Luis.
Chris: Yes, Luis, come on in. Watch your hat. Chris knows. And where’s my friend? Where is my little friend?
Luis: Right here. (Luis is holding a leash.) Here she is. (On the other end of the leash is a beautiful Labrador Retriever, golden.) Just the way you like ’em, young. A few months ago she was a puppy. You know, man?
Chris: Yes, I know. Oooooh, hello, sweetheart. Goldie is my sweetheart. Isn’t she? (He gets on floor with the dog. Begins to pant like a dog and whimper.)
The dog looks up at Luis. Luis reaches into his bag and pulls out a doggy treat. Gives it to Goldie.
Chris begins to crawl toward an open door in his home, off the hallway, a bedroom. The dog follows, at Luis’s urging; he gives Goldie another treat.
Chris: Ohhhh, sweet Goldie. (Contiuing to crawl. Really excited now, undoing his belt. To Luis.) I might want two hours tonight. Goldie looks soooooo good tonight. (Chris Hansen begins to growl, then to bark. Goldie starts howling.) Come on, come to daddy. I’m Chris Hansen; I’m Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC...
Please know that Impertinent Information does not condone Chris Hansen's possible participation in bestiality; and that out of our love for all animals, we hope that Mr. Hansen gets the help that he needs or, if that fails, that he is arrested while on national TV.
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Goldie. One of Chris Hansen's possible victims.