First, never believe a 14-year-old chat room skank who insists you won't get in trouble for coming over and re-creating the money shots from your favorite porn download.
Second, if you're caught in a sting by a television station so hungry for sweeps-month ratings that it sinks to trolling online with middle-aged guys pretending to be pubescent girls, never try to explain that you showed up for sex at a house in Independence by saying that you're really just going door-to-door to spread the Lord's good word.
And third, horny people who use the Internet can't spell.
This round steak of renown is well aware that these aren't the lessons Channel 5 wanted us to take from its massively watched series. Judging from the number of times anchors Karen Fuller and Russell Kinsaul proclaimed Steve Chamraz's peep show an "EXPLOSIVE" investigative triumph, it was clear that the station thought it was providing a valuable service. That is, to scare the bejesus out of viewers by convincing parents that their children are in imminent danger anytime they're within 10 feet of a switched-on computer.
This burnt end of bellicosity hates to quibble, but statistics show that children are actually far more likely to be abused by someone in their own family than by some lech on the Internet.
Still, KCTV did help prove a long-held assumption that was begging for confirmation. Channel 5 has now established beyond a doubt that if your 14-year-old is hankering for oral sex and a six-pack of beer from a flabby geriatric, satisfaction is just a few keystrokes away.
Sure, the five-night series made for gripping television. But this tenderloin was even more interested in the stuff that didn't make it onto TV -- the transcripts of the chats that are archived at www.perverted-justice.com, the site run by the vigilantes who helped Channel 5 with its special.
Take, for example, this exchange, which took place New Year's Day between a guy in Columbia we'll call John and a guy at Perverted-justice.com posing as nubile young "Teri. " Only after they've chatted for twenty minutes does "Teri" bring up her age.
Teri: how old r u btw?
Teri: kewl. I'm 14
John: are sure up 4 this
Teri: oh yeah. my last bf was 24
John: cool. Ur mom cool
Teri: she doesn't know I date older guys. She is gone all the time. Im in
independence. Where r u from?
John: that's cool
Teri: yeah. so u wanna come over tonite?
Several minutes later, John expresses some reservation about Teri's youth.
John: I am not sure about th age though
Teri: awww but ur such a hottie.
John: yeah but I could get in trouble
Teri: lol no way. No one would know.
John: until I show up and the cops are there?
Teri: lol right. ill call u right now and you can hear my voice ...
That Teri, what a firecracker! Like the rest, John is hooked after the Perverted-justice.com posse gets a young-sounding female accomplice to call and convince him he's been chatting with a girl. "Her" constant encouragement is amply rewarded when John turns out to be a freak who figures he's in for all sorts of kinky action.
After poring over several other transcripts, the Strip couldn't help noticing that the Perverted-justice.com guys, posing as 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls, seemed to be enjoying themselves an awful lot.
This side of beef decided to ask the guy who runs the site if his numerous undercover volunteers are enjoying themselves a bit too much.
Perverted-justice.com is the brainchild of a 24-year-old in Portland, Oregon, who uses the unlikely handle Xavier Von Erck to keep his own name a secret. The vigilante site is just one of several that Von Erck runs as part of what he calls his "Super Patriot" network, dedicated, he says, to Libertarian ideals. His personal Web site, AngryGerman.com, is named in honor of Von Erck's hero, the German Nazi John Rabe, who is sometimes referred to as "the Good Nazi" for helping to save thousands of Chinese civilians from the notorious 1937 Japanese massacre at Nanking.
At first, Von Erck seemed motivated to help this curious cutlet, saying that he'd been von irked by stupid questions from The Kansas City Star. "I'll just say that you weeklies just seem a little more pure to us," he wrote in an e-mail.
Nothing but lean meat here, Xave.
However, after the Strip put the vigilante on the spot, asking if his surreptitious chatters were a bit pervy themselves, the AngryGerman suddenly went radio silent.
Oh, well. At least it's good to know that his minions continue to carry on the good fight, engaging men all over the country in detailed discussions about the relative merits of nipple clamps and rim jobs while affecting the vocabulary of junior high girls.
But Von Erck and the boys could be a little more circumspect. After spending only a little time looking at the site's most recent transcripts, it wasn't hard for the Strip to tell when Perverted-justice.com is involved in another big media bust. In fact, there appears to be one going on right now.
This slab of protein just thought the oversexed, Internet-cruising dumbasses of Phoenix might want to know that.