The other day, I posted on the show "America's Most Wanted" and their lame attempt to ape a much more popular and important news series entitled "To Catch a Predator." If you read that post, you'll see that I said that AMW's method was cheap and tasteless. The only salvation that could have came from it, I noted, was that it got some of these guys off the streets. Now, even that's in jeopardy, according to the front-page story in Newsday today.
To give you the short scoop, the current Miss America, Lauren Nelson, took part in the stings coordinated by the Suffolk Police Department as a decoy to lure in the predators. But now, Nelson has stated via her representatives that she has no plans to return to Long Island to testify in these mens' cases. That raises a real possibility that the cases against the predators can be thrown out.
Although I didn't think of this at the time, it doesn't take a lot of difficulty to see how using someone like Miss America as the decoy can be problematic. I'm sure her time is wanted by many people, not just John Walsh and the Suffolk P.D. She apparently believes these guys should be taken off the streets. But there are also many people and agendas probably pushing her in ten different directions. Most celebs aren't like Angelina Jolie. They aren't willing to put their careers and whatever vanities they have behind charity work and righteous causes. Ms. Nelson is, most likely, no different. She did a few hours' work for Suffolk P.D. She did a good thing, but now, her time is done. She wants to move on to other things, and undoubtably, so do her representatives.
But the important topic here, is whose bright idea was it to have Miss America play the decoy? This is something that anyone could have done. I'm sure the Suffolk Police wouldn't have had to work too hard to find a willing and able volunteer. There is an organization solely intended for this purpose called Perverted Justice, whose services are regularly used by NBC for their "To Catch a Predator" specials. Perverted Justice is responsible for a multitude of successful cases against these guys because this isn't just a vanity cause for them, this isn't just something that'll get their name in the papers. This is their lives, and while I'm no expert on them, I'm sure that when the District Attorney of the city where they are helping the police coordinate these sting operations comes calling, they're raring to go to court and testify. They're not across the country, on to the next charity event or magazine shoot.
This is a huge blunder by the Suffolk Police Department and America's Most Wanted. And also, shame on Miss America, Lauren Nelson. What good was her coming to Long Island and participating in this operation if the cases will only be thrown out due to her lack of desire in returning to court and giving her testimony?