So I saw another Dateline story, “To catch an iPod thief”. I know, I know. I can already hear your moans of pain. I have a suggestion for Dateline. Perhaps for their next show, they should get Stone Philips to do a Dateline Mystery special to see if they can figure out what the point of this story was? What has happened to Dateline? I remember a time (a long time ago) when they actually did stories that mattered. Maybe not to the level of 60 Minutes or Frontline, but there was at least an effort, some justification for their journalism degrees. Wait — they do have degrees, don’t they? Maybe Stone should look into that first.
The overall strategy was to buy a bunch of 30Gb iPods, leave them were they would likely be stolen, and then track the people down to ask one of the more stupid questions they could’ve asked. “So why d-ya do it man?” Clever. Although I thought the strategy used to track down these cleptos was pretty sneaky. Perhaps not $40,000 sneaky, but sneaky. (They hired a software company to modify the installation software that comes with iPods so when people registered for iTunes, the personal information was also sent to Dateline. Chris happened to mention the cost of doing this.)
I can only justify this story airing by fooling myself into believing that every producer on the show was on vacation. There is no possible way they heard the pitch of this story and thought, “Brilliant!” What was the point? The overriding message? The great truth revealed? On the plus side, however, I think they did manage to run fewer commercials this time than with the last Pulitzer Prize winning show, “To catch an ID Thief”. But, they still didn’t have enough material for an hour long show. Also, I think they did manage to possibly give identity thieves a new and interesting way of, well, stealing identities.