Space Ramblings

To Catch a Reporter

What 60 Minutes began as investigative journalism, Dateline NBC has dumbed down into sensationalist lazy tabloid stories. While I might have disagreed with 60 Minutes’ tactics and even beliefs sometimes, it was hard to argue that they were professional journalists looking to tell what they believed was an important story. By contrast Dateline NBC has no such defense. Dateline NBC doesn’t do hidden camera investigations to expose something important. It does hidden investigations to play to the HSN crowd by humiliating someone in front of the camera.

It’s why I have no sympathy at all for Michelle Madigan, a Dateline NBC reporter who clumsily tried to go undercover at Defcon and hire a hacker. The organizers weren’t far afield when they said that her goal was to get some 13 year old in a corner and get him to admit to hacking his PSP. Except it would be more like some 17 year old admitting to prowling around a network and who might be stupid enough to boast on camera that he could do it for her too. After all that’s why Dateline NBC sent blond Michelle Madigan in tight jeans and a top with lots of cleavage showing (of course the end result would mostly appeal to fans of BBW’s but I guess the suits figured Defcon folk weren’t picky) but instead Michelle Madigan got to do a perp walk with cameras pointed at her and questions shouted mockingly her way.

Now Michelle Madigan’s LinkedIn profile has been disabled and Dateline NBC has pulled its head in. I’m sure they may still run the footage as some piece about menacing hackers, having no clue what the Defcon conference even is. But like Michelle Madigan herself said, it’s about what people in Kansas are interested in and to smug New York City producers like Michelle Madigan, what they’re interested in is simplistic stereotypes and caricatures. At Defcon Michelle Madigan was a predator herself and good riddance to her.

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