Dateline NBC has earned a ratings hit, along with a massive presence in our cultural consciousness, with their "To Catch A Predator" series. In the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech, however, it would appear that the news show is trolling for a different kind of story.
Yesterday, in a lengthy and ranging post on Boing Boing that was primarily concerned with the gun law debate, there was, buried in the article, reporting from a reader that Dateline had set up a Facebook group "looking for friends of the accused." According to the post, as of yesterday, Dateline was presenting their "ask" thusly:
WE UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT THIS IS, AND WANT TO HELP SHARE YOUR STORY.... DATELINE NBC URGENTLY LOOKING FOR ANYONE WHO KNEW SEUNG HUI CHO. WE HAVE PRODUCERS AND CAMERA CREWS NEARBY READY TO TALK TO ANYONE WHO CAN SUPPLY INFORMATION ABOUT HIM AND HIS MOVEMENTS LEADING UP TO THE TRAGEDY. WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO PRODUCE A THOUGHTFUL AND INFORMATIVE REPORT THAT MIGHT SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE TRAGEDY AND POSSIBLY HELP PREVENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.