The CBS blog Public Eye , which was originally set up to provide "transparency" for the operations of CBS News in the wake of the Dan Rather memogate debacle, has taken rival NBC News to task for the methods used to expose sex predators on its magazine show, Dateline. According to Public Eye, the NBC program has reportedly paid members of the group Perverted-Justice.com to pose on the Internet as sexually active teenagers and entice older men to a home wired with hidden cameras, where, instead of meeting the youngsters, they encounter Dateline correspondent Chris Hansen, who upbraids the men on camera. When they leave, police are waiting to arrest them. On Tuesday, Public Eye published excerpts from an article appearing in the Dayton Daily News (the latest -- as-yet-unaired -- Dateline sting took place in Darke County, OH), in which Poynter Institute ethics instructor Al Tompkins commented: "In this case, there would not have been a crime if there wasn't a deception when they set these up. Journalists should be very reluctant to deceive. It should be a last resort, not the first. And it ought to be rare." On its own blog devoted to the TV business, Channel Island, the Los Angeles Times published an article by Scott Collins, who runs the blog, commenting: "This would seem a fairly significant breakdown in news division detente. Typically networks have refrained from publicly criticizing rivals' coverage."




29/03/2006