Chris Hansen of NBC News has supplanted Mike Wallace as the TV journalist you’d least like to see emerge from behind a closed door.
For dozens of men cornered on the “Dateline NBC” series “To Catch a Predator,” the sight of Hansen dashes their warped dreams of sex with a child they’d “met” over the Internet. They’d be arrested and shamed on national television.
Some of the same subterfuge – minus the shame – was applied in Hansen’s effort to trace online identity thieves. His second of two prime-time hours on the topic airs 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday on NBC.
“To Catch a Predator” has established Hansen’s professional identity. Through 10 installments over 2 1/2 years, the series is such a part of the culture that online parodies abound. His teenage sons love the one that shows a man with a microphone trailing kids around the house saying, “I’m Chris Hansen.” “Dad, I know,” is the exasperated reply.