May 17, 2006 | 10:15 a.m. ET

Defending Britney ... sort of  (Dan Abrams)

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I have had it with the scurrilous attacks on Britney Spears’ parenting.  That’s right I am going to take on the thankless task of defending Britney... sort of.

Her latest headline grabbing maternal transgression ... a photo of her eight month old son Sean in a car seat facing the wrong way.  Oh the horror.  To think how lucky she is that her child survived the ride.

Now let me be clear I don’t care about Britney Spears, I don’t know her music and I know very little about her life, but it seems when it comes to Britney the parental police are always on patrol.

There’s no question car seats are crucial in helping to save children's lives.  In fact there is a California vehicle regulation that requires that children under age one face backward.

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Fair enough she made a mistake, but many, including my own producer, said that her child and unborn child after birth should be taken away from her because this shows she is an unfit parent.

Alas, if you ask around, many parental purists say the misdirected car seat is not the only problem.   "She should not have been riding with her child in a small convertible car" some have quipped.  "The car seat was too big" and my personal favorite, that the child should not have been exposed to the sun.

This comes on the heels of another photo where Britney had her child in her lap as she tried to escape paparazzi.  Again, not a smart move.  I hope she does not "do it again."

But I have to wonder do all of these maternal magistrates always make the safest decision for their kids.  Let’s hope none of them has ever fallen asleep in bed with a baby or even had the child sleep in an adult bed at all.  Both are considered potential hazards.  I assume none have even placed a baby on soft bedding, considered a suffocation risk; or even placed a baby to sleep on its stomach rather than its back.

And they never jaywalk with their kids or allow them to eat any fatty foods either right?  Is Britney the most meticulous mom?  Apparently not.  I have no idea what she does with her child behind closed doors.  At the least she could use a crash course in PC parenting; but, the champion child rearers out there might want to ask themselves if they were always being photographed might they ever be busted for a child safety infraction?

Accusing someone of being an unfit parent is serious stuff.  I wonder whether the accusers always live up to the standards they apply to others.

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May 3, 2006 | 11:08 a.m. ET

There aren't always two equal sides to a story (Dan Abrams)

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I admire Chris Hansen. Not only because of all the important work the Dateline team has been doing to expose child sex predators, but also because Chris has the poise and courage to confront each of these shady characters when they arrive at the house. Then, in that calm, yet firm Hansen voice, he somehow coaxes them to stay and answer incriminating questions. Who knew that “Wanna have a seat” or “Why don’t you sit down” could be so persuasive?  I keep fearing one of the men will try to slug him. But then again, Chris is a pretty big guy. 

As Chris addresses in his blog, it is astounding that so many men show up at a strange house in hopes of engaging in sex with a minor they’ve met over the Internet— particularly those who are supposed to be pillars of the community, like the teacher, rabbi, soldier, or firefighter.

But what I really appreciate about these reports is the accountability. On the “Abrams Report” we have debates about a range of topics. It often feels like there is another side to every story. But there aren’t always two equal sides. There is something refreshing about seeing a prospective child molester being caught red-handed. No arguments here about whether the accused was lied to, about the minor’s age, or whether the minor is lying.  In these reports, Chris has all of the facts and documentation right there. And the excuses are all so similar.  “I’ve never done anything like this before” or "I just came to teach the kid a lesson.” Yeah, that is tough love alright.  It is one thing to hear about a man soliciting a minor over the Internet, it is another thing entirely to actually witness it. It makes this all too important issue hit home that much more.

And finally, for me, the most recent installment of the series is the most important, because this time, law enforcement is in the picture. In previous installments, jurisdictional snags and other legal technicalities often prevented authorities from prosecuting these guys. This time, in this third installment in southern California, Perverted-Justice has involved the police from the beginning, ensuring that these men face the police once they walk out of the home. In the video, you see the police approach them after they walk outside. I am consistently amazed at what some of these online predators are able to get away with before they are finally nabbed by police.  Some are back out doing it again the next day. This time, the bad guys aren’t only humiliated, but are arrested as well.   

'The Abrams Report' will follow up Chris and “Dateline’s” work with segments on what happened to some of these men once they were arrested.

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