According to news that broke late last night, Chris Hansen, host of the Dateline NBC series To Catch a Predator, has been caught cheating on his wife in what might go down as one of the most painfully ironic scenarios in recent memory.
The National Inquirer, though not heralded as the most legitimate of sources, is reporting that they have been secretly filming Chris Hansen as he carries on a dalliance with Kristyn Caddell, a Florida NBC news affiliate some 21 years his junior.
The Enquirer claims that they caught Hansen, 51, in a sting operation while he was having dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manalapan, Florida with Caddell, 30. They are reported to have returned to her Palm Beach apartment after dinner and were seen leaving that residence the following morning.
Of course, the cringe worthy irony lies in the fact that Hansen has made a career of catching would-be sex offenders on camera, in a sting operation. As many are pointing out, it's hard not to laugh at this particular brand of poetic justice.
Laugh as I did, however, I'm now wondering if we really should be laughing at this. I don't condone cheating and I don't believe that there is ever a good excuse for it. There is no substitute for open communication and being honest about your problems and working through difficulties together. I do believe, however, that there is always a reason, if not an excuse for cheating.
Straying from a marriage is the result of some sort of problem, be it personal or between both partners. One person may feel emotionally abandoned by their partner, or there may have been ongoing disagreements about money, children, or communication. We could draw up an infinite amount of scenarios to explain why someone we don't know might cheat on their spouse, and all would be as likely as the next.
Because we have no idea what problems Chris Hansen and his wife may have been facing in their marriage, we shouldn't be so quick to laugh. By laughing at Chris Hansen and the awkward situation he finds himself in, we're also laughing at his affiliation with catching sexual predators. And if there's one thing that's seriously not funny, it's would-be sex offenders.
Despite his personal problems, Hansen aided in the arrest of many, many perverts and pedophiles who proved on national television that they would have had sexual interaction with minors and children, if only they hadn't been caught. In part due to his participation, there are likely a lot fewer children who would have been made victims, and whose lives would have been irrevocably altered for the very worse.
Is cheating on his wife inexcusable? Yes. Should he have communicated with her openly, instead of cheating? Absolutely. Were we present in their marriage? No. Whatever happened between Chris Hansen, his wife and his mistress should absolutely not undermine the good he has done on To Catch a Predator, or lessen the severity of sex offenders and child molestation. Sexual predators should never be made into the punch line of a joke, people. Let's remember that one.