NBC Settles 'Dateline' Predator Lawsuit NBC settles a lawsuit arising from its Dateline: To Catch a Predator series, and other news worth an honorable mention.

NBC Settles 'Dateline' Predator Lawsuit

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Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We are always online at npr.org/bryantpark. Some news we give to you straight ahead. We don't pull a lot of punches, just shove it right down your throat, in, you know, a pleasant way. But other...


Speak for yourself.

PESCA: Yeah. No, we just kind of cram it in there, see how it works out. Other news we just kind of, you know, hint at, and maybe be a little more freewheeling, both loosey and goosey, and that news...


PESCA: That news is packaged in a product known as The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: Loosey-goosey. OK. I'm going to start off. Tough times for London Mayor Boris Johnson. London police have confiscated his cigar case. Why? Because the case actually belonged to deposed Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. Back in 2003, shortly after the start of the war in Iraq, Johnson went to Baghdad. He was working as a journalist at the time, and he wrote about his trip for Spectator Magazine. That's when he says he picked up the cigar case from the rubble of Aziz's villa. It's apparently red leather, this little cigar case.

PESCA: That's a weird sort of substance for a villa, don't you think?

MARTIN: Red leather?

PESCA: Oh. I see, the cigar case. Yeah.

MARTIN: The cigar case, yeah. He wrote about taking the item in his article in the paper, so there's no doubt that he did that, but Johnson blames his political rivals for the investigation, and says he has a letter from Aziz's lawyers saying that Aziz wants him to think of the leather case as a gift.

PESCA: Right.

MARTIN: London police say they're not investigating Johnson directly, but that stealing cultural property from other countries is serious business. I do not know if a cigar case can be considered cultural property.

PESCA: That is - I don't think it's so much - the question isn't so much that Johnson pilfered this, and surreptitiously shoved it in his pocket. It's more, can he even walk out of there with a cigar case? Does that violate some international law, you know? This was important to the people of Iraq and their culture, perhaps, yeah.

MARTIN: Mm-hm. Yeah. It's still up for debate.

PESCA: And - yeah - more mayoral shenanigans, but here on our shores. There is a restraining order against the mayor of Greeley, Colorado, after he tackled a teenager who refused to stop riding a motorbike. The boy's father says that Mayor Ed Clark wrestled his 15-year-old son to the ground, and kept him there until police arrived.


PESCA: They gave the teen a ticket for driving without a license, so he was in the wrong, but the mayor who is, you know, an adult and a - what do you call it? Mayor!

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Told the Greeley Tribune that, yes, he did tackle the kid for the - his own safety. He said he didn't hurt the kid. He said he plans to fight the restraining order, perhaps, you know, tackle it. Now Mayor Clark has to stay at least a 100 yards away from the boy.

MARTIN: Wait, that's ridiculous. I'm sorry.

PESCA: What? What is ridiculous?

MARTIN: That he got a restraining - maybe I don't know all the facts, but he's (unintelligible)...

PESCA: He tackled him. He did take the kid down.


PESCA: But it's not like he's in charge of enforcing the laws.

MARTIN: He's the dad.

PESCA: No, no, no, no. The mayor tackled the kid. The dad said...

MARTIN: Oh. It's not his kid. Oh, sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Hey, Mr. Mayor, stop tackling my kid.

MARTIN: I'm sorry, I missed a major fact in the story.

PESCA: The dad said if this was anyone else, they'd have arrested the guy. Now, I've seen the tape of the two individuals in question, the mayor and the kid, the boy has a head of mop-like hair that extends past his eyes...


PESCA: And I can sympathize, because I have my own little boy, and when his hair is allowed to grow unfettered, it goes past his eyes. Of course, my son is 15 months, and this kid is 15 years, and the mayor, he's as bald as a well-plucked turkey. So I think this might be a case of hair rage. Just a theory.

MARTIN: Just a theory, that was beautiful. OK. So, I'm watching the big game last night, I'm sure all of you all were, yesterday afternoon, actually. The European Soccer Championships semifinal game was happening yesterday. It was Turkey versus Germany. This was...

PESCA: The upstart Turks, the powerful Germans.

MARTIN: Yeah. This was a really exciting game. Everyone was all excited about this. It was really competitive. After 22 minutes, Turkey was ahead. It was one-one, actually. Germany scored later. And all of a sudden, I'm watching it, and it totally - the screen goes blank. Actually, first, they go to the fan field. Oh, here, look at the fans. And then they kind of copped to the fact that we lost the signal totally.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: And at first, I blamed ESPN. I just thought, oh, it's just the lame American networks that are just dropping it.

PESCA: Oh. You're the blame-America-first crowd.

MARTIN: Yeah. Hate America. But then I find out that it was a global failure. There was a massive power failure in Switzerland, and soccer fans around the world missed major parts of that game.

PESCA: Because usually they're not that intense about soccer in Europe or elsewhere.

MARTIN: Not at all. Yeah. They don't really care. So mellow.

PESCA: Yeah, they just roll with those punches when a national team is tied...

MARTIN: But hey, good news for Germany, if you're dying to hear what happened. Germany ended up winning. They scored a lot. It was, like, three to two, at the end. So...

PESCA: Yeah. High-scoring game.

MARTIN: Germany goes to play the winner of today's match between Russia and Spain. That final happens on Sunday.

PESCA: You know, the "To Catch a Predator" show, that sex-sting series on NBC that...

MARTIN: Yep. I've seen it, I think.

PESCA: Almost makes you feel bad for the predators. Not quite, because they're predators, but they're pretty mean to those guys.


PESCA: Yeah. So, NBC teamed up with an activist group called Perverted Justice, and the adults act like kids to lure these predators online. The network has settled a 105-million-dollar suit brought by a woman who said that a sex-sting on that show led her brother to kill himself.


PESCA: That is according to a statement released by both parties. No word on the exact terms of the agreement. Patricia Conradt claimed her brother, a Dallas-area prosecutor, killed himself after being accused of engaging in an online sex chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy. NBC hasn't aired any episodes of "To Catch a Predator" since December, and now the future of the once highly-rated series is up in the air. And there you have it, The Ramble. Links to all those stories and a lot of other good stuff, on our website, npr.org/bryantpark.

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