ABC’s “20/20” investigated the “To Catch a Predator” series run by its rival, NBC’s Dateline. In an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” ABC reporter Brian Ross is critical of NBC reporter Chris Hansen, “because he leaves the impression  that he is a police officer. And none of the suspects — a number of them seem to think he is a police officer, which I think you don’t want to do as a reporter.” Ross adds: “I don’t think that I am trained, or anybody at ABC News is trained to be a cop. We don’t know how to do that. We know how to be reporters. And it is one thing to shed a light on an important issue, as “Dateline” has done, but it is quite another to become involved in actually running the sting, setting up the sting, which the local district attorney in Texas says is what has happened with “Dateline” and the police there.”
Former detectives who worked one of NBC’s predator cases complained about “where the cameras were placed, [that] officers were required to wear cameras to get certain shots, and that that took precedence over the actual proper police procedures,” Ross said. CNN’s Howard Kurtz noted that Datline says 120 men have been convicted in its undercover operations aimed at child predators and that only a case in Murphy, Tx., fell apart. NBC works with a watchdog group called Perverted Justice that has been reported to receive as much as $100,000 per episode for serving up decoys who lure men, posing as teenage boys. ABC reported on the suicide of a Texas prosecutor caught in the sting whose house was surrounded by police on a Sunday afternoon.