Today’s cheating-husband story comes to us courtesy of Chris Hansen, the host of “To Catch A Predator.” Hansen, 53, who is married, was allegedly caught on film by the National Enquirer on what looked like a “romantic dinner” with a 30-year-old Florida reporter. The two were then filmed leaving a hotel together the next morning.
According to the New York Post, Hansen and the woman, Kristyn Caddell, met in March and have been seeing each other regularly since then.
So, of course, the irony here is that Hansen films people doing dirty shit and now, he gets the cameras turned on himself. And no one’s saying that what Hanson is doing is as bad as grown men trying to have sex with underage girls, like the “To Catch A Predator” villains. But what, exactly, is the point of all this public humiliation?
Dragging people out to the town square and embarrassing them in front of their friends and neighbors used to be a way to discourage such unspeakable acts as sex outside of wedlock, missing church and even being a bad musician. Now, we shame people with hidden video cameras and reality shows and even splashing stories on the front pages of newspapers, but the intent is the same.
The only problem is that trying to repress people’s actions into nonexistence using any of the traditional methods – you know, shame, guilt, corporal punishment – doesn’t seem to work. If it did, people like Hanson would be the first to think twice about their behavior.
So, again, what is the point? Is focusing on other people’s faults just a way to make ourselves feel better? Do we really think that we can humiliate someone’s desires out of them? Isn’t that kind of dogmatic? It’s not that we shouldn’t be thinking about how to handle infidelity, and cheating, and of course, grown men taking advantage of underage girls, but maybe this is the moment to ask ourselves if public shaming is the way to go about it. And even to wonder if perhaps our time would be better spent focusing on our own lives instead of other people’s.
But I guess that wouldn’t provide as much entertainment.