Space Ramblings

NBC Settles Conradt Case

The Conradt case has been settled out of court by NBC and the Conradt family, probably for a pittance that was just enough to cover the lawyers, but the larger victory has been won in that Dateline NBC appears to be cutting back on the To Catch a Predator broadcasts and the ambush style of journalism that produced high ratings but raised serious ethical questions. To Catch a Predator was always controversial, on the one hand seemingly performing a valuable service and on the other, endangering lives, convicting people in the press and lowering the bar for television journalism even further down than it already is. The premise of TV shows like To Catch a Predator is of course far from dead. It’s safe to say that TV news magazines will keep on pulling ambush journalism stunts for as long as there is television. The death of Tim Russert in a way marked the passing of serious TV journalism, leaving behind the loudmouthed, the tacky, the shrieky and the scandalous.

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