August 3, 2008, - 7:03 pm

Schlussel TV Guide: Chris Hansen/NBC News Do Customs & Border Protection

By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re reading this, right now, you should switch on your TV and watch NBC. From 7:00 p.m. Eastern to 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Chris Hansen–who usually sets people up on smarmy teen sex stings–is actually doing something useful: “Dateline: First Line of Defense,” a special showing us the important work Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents do at the borders, ports, and airports.
Right now, I’m watching Officer Tommy Varsamos (sp?) of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) at New York’s Kennedy Airport and his uncanny sixth sense, stopping certain “visitors” to America, whose stories don’t check out.
So far, so good. Unlike the usual stuff the media gives us, this special actually shows the good side of enforcing our borders. Kudos to Chris Hansen and NBC News for doing something good . . . for a change. Let’s hope it’s not an aberration, but the start of a trend. (I know, I know–wishful thinking.)


NBC must not think the show is that important, since there’s absolutely no publicity or link to it on its or Dateline’s sites.

3 Responses

My son is an agent and you’re right….I knew nothing about this program….will it be re-aired?

hwy1cat on August 3, 2008 at 9:15 pm

ICE PAOs are you paying attention? As a former PA, I thought the show was very good PR. They focused heavily on the tech toys, and not enough on the PAs cutting sign, but the show was very positive.
Hopefully, someday ICE will learn that perception is half the battle.
Good-night be safe everyone.

IwithaCandE on August 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm

I missed this. Did the show discuss anything about racial profiling? By this I mean targeting Moslem males instead of 80 year old Grandmothers for questioning and possible searches.

I_am_me on August 4, 2008 at 9:32 am

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