- Peloton On Tour: Berlin is announced.
- Peloton has expanded its eBay refurbished program to include V1 Bikes.
- Peloton kicks off Latin & Hispanic Heritage Month. Peloton rolls out updates to The Guide.
- Amazon Prime Day is back October 10 & 11 and Peloton will be included.
- Bradley Rose gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of PSL. Marcel Dinkins is out for surgery.
- Leanne Hainsby was on the cover of Women’s Health Magazine.
- Emma Lovewell & Aditi Shah will be doing showroom visits in Canada.
- Jess Sims and Denis Morton will host a meet & greet in the Dallas/Plano area.
- Jess King is hosting an apparel event at PSNY.
- Hannah Corbin is auditioning for Broadway plays.
- Becs Gentry is part of Peloton’s parenting panel.
- Cody Rigsby cares about your orgasms.
- Susie Chan & Jermain Johnson celebrate 2-years with Peloton.
- Angelo has quick and easy high-protein snack options for people on the go.
- Despite the recent controversy, Ashton Kutcher classes remain.
- The latest artist series features Janet Jackson.
- TCO TOP 5.
- Seven new outdoor classes have dropped.
- Helper Bee Kelli wrote about the power of meditation.
- Kelli also gave us tips for how to keep your clothes odor-free.
- Birthdays – Leanne Hainsby (9/28)
All this plus our interview with Chris Hansen!
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Peloton On Tour: Berlin Details Revealed Plus Our Interview With Chris Hansen
I wonder if both our YouTube viewers every week are like, “What is Tom looking at the start of the episode?”
Are you going to share what you’re looking at?
There’s a clock that we start to keep track of how long these are.
Not that it does any good.
You’d be surprised. It doesn’t feel like it does any good, but when we didn’t have a clock, it was even longer. I’m up there making sure that when I hit the button with the remote, it actually turns on. Sometimes, it doesn’t start. I think it does.
Just for fun, sometimes it turns on the television in the room.
For no reason, but not every time.
Sometimes, and then sometimes when we want to turn off the television, it doesn’t. Also for fun.
It’s very frustrating. It’s another little inside baseball thing for people who probably don’t care at all. We have movie posters all through the room because a million years ago, Reel Spoilers was our only podcast so it’s decorated for that, which is why I have Abbott and Costello, the Muppets, and the Marx Brothers behind me. Also because they are great.
They are great, the Muppets.
Sometimes I will watch the clock in reverse in the poster across from me. I can see the reflection, but sometimes one of the mic stands is blocking it and I can’t see it. Anyway, there’s all that. Isn’t that riveting?
They were like, “Fast forward.”
I know. “Do you have a Patreon with none of your bullshit version of it?” Sorry.
We get all the bullshit all the time.
Fifty- three minutes long. That’s one way that not need that clock. I guess speaking of our bullshit. We have a book club starting.
I’m excited about this because there are so many books. If you’re already rolling your eyes, it is not going to be all instructors. I’m not saying we’re not going to read the instructors’ books.
We will get to them at some point.
We will, but we are not making this all about instructors because here’s the deal. Long before instructors started writing books. We had amazing people in the community who were authors as well.
Lots of authors in the community.
We thought we would do something nobody else is doing. That is taking all kinds of authors in the Peloton community and featuring their books. Sometimes it will be fiction. Sometimes it will be nonfiction. Sometimes it will be about workouts. Sometimes it won’t. The very first book is Sweating Together by past guest David Miller. I’m super excited about this. We’re going to have our very first club meeting on October 10th at 7:00 PM Central. We’ve already started. It’s not too late. You can still join.
You still have time to read the book.
We’ve also made it super easy. What we’re going to do is we’re going to open it up to all Patreon members regardless of what level. There’s a free level, a $5 level, and a $10 level. The book club will be open to all levels. All you have to do is go to Patreon.com/TheClipOut and click Join Community. That gets you in. You will then find out all of the things. Each week on Tuesdays, we will be posting here’s what you need to do to stay on track. We will also pose a question to be thinking about for our book club. For this particular club, David is joining us. How exciting is that?
We won’t always have the authors. My guess is whenever we get around XOXO, we probably won’t have Cody Rigsby as part of the book club.
I’m pretty sure we won’t.
Call me crazy.
It’s funny how we can get an Elin Hilderbrand, but we can’t get a Cody.
It’s how it is sometimes.
It’s funny and ironic.
This week, we will get Chris Hansen.
We got the Chris Hansen. Have a seat.
That Chris Hansen. Have a seat and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, you just ruined your life.
This was a very fascinating interview. We talk about Peloton.
In case you’re not familiar with Chris Hansen, before Dateline did nothing but murders, they did a series called To Catch a Predator where Chris Hansen would catch sexual predators. They would come to a location ostensibly to engage sexually with a minor and then surprise, it’s Chris Hansen. We do talk about things like that. If that sort of stuff upsets you, either skip it or make sure you’re in the right headspace before you listen.
I don’t feel like it gets graphic, but it is certainly a topic that gets dressed because we talk about To Catch a Predator and what he’s doing now because he is still doing programming like this, just no longer with Dateline. We will talk about where you can find all that. We’re super excited.
He was very nice, and he reached out to us, which was very exciting. He was like, “I love my Peloton and you talk about Peloton. I would like to talk about my Peloton with you.” We were like, “Yes, please.” It’s a fascinating chat with Chris Hansen coming up in the back half of this episode. Before we get to all that, what pray tell do you have in store for people?
We’re going to talk about Peloton Berlin which is coming up. I can’t believe it is coming up so quickly. This year is going by so fast. We’re also going to talk about Peloton, eBay, Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month, and all kinds of updates coming. We have a bunch of updates for instructors in the news. We also have a bunch of things that are not included because the list was too long. If you want to find out what all that is, that’s another good reason to join our Patreon, Patreon.com/TheClipOut. You will want the $10 tier so you can find all of the things that were clipped from this episode.
Did you just horn in on my shameless plug?
I think I did. I’m so sorry.
Is that what happened? My goodness. You don’t even need me anymore. I’m leaving.
That’s not true.
Shameless plugs. Don’t forget, we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. That’s always super helpful. We greatly appreciate it.
There is an interview this week.
There was, but I’m not logged in to Apple and I can’t go look at it, so we will read that for people next week. I will say this about Apple. Whenever I enter my password, it tells me it’s wrong, until I change the password and then it lets me in. When I get logged out and I enter that password, it tells me it’s wrong.
This has been ongoing for years.
Apple is the worst. I do not understand people’s love of it.
I’m going to be honest, Tom. I have none of those issues.
Every time I log back into Apple, it tells me my password is incorrect. It can’t always be incorrect. It says, “The password you entered is incorrect.” I will set up a new password and I will use the password I just entered and it says, “You can’t use that. That was your last password.”
Tom loves technology.
Yes, when it works, like the kids. I love them when they work. Where was that Facebook? Facebook.com/TheClipOut, you can find us there. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. You can also find us on Patreon. I won’t go through that again. You can also sign up for the newsletter at TheClipOut.com. You can watch these on YouTube at YouTube.com/TheClipOut. We got our vanity URL in time because now YouTube does a thing where you have to put @ in front of your name.
I thought that that was only if you were talking to a person.
Reel Spoilers has to be Youtube.com/@reelspoilers. It’s dumb. Anyway, you watch these on YouTube and you can watch me look at the clock for no reason. As far as you know, I said that for no reason. There’s all that. Let’s dig in, shall we? Yes, we shall.
I’m saying, “Yes, we shall.”
I said it again.
If you do shameless plugs, I’m doing “Yes, we shall.”
I did a plug.
Peloton on Tour rolls into Berlin and we have the details.
All of the German instructors will be there with the exception of Mila because she is pregnant and she is not able to travel during that time.
She’s pulling out that card.
When the card needs to be pulled, you use it.
“I’m creating another human being and I can’t be bothered.” I see how it is.
The truly interesting part is this is the largest tour stop thus far. There will only be one more stop after this. Can you believe it? It feels like forever ago when we started talking about this. There were five stops and it seemed like it was going to take forever to go through them, and they’ve been just zing, zing, zing. Here we go. Chicago is coming up on October 8th, and then right behind it will be Berlin on October 20th. That’s two in one month. It’s going to feel very quick.
Do you think that this stop will take your breath away?
Your pun is good.
When people on the internet complain about your laugh, it’s because of jokes like that. I don’t think they’re complaining about your laugh. I think they’re like, “That dude is not funny.” I know it’s not funny.
That’s what makes it funny. I want you to scroll down because I want to talk about a couple of different things that they did for this particular stop. For this particular stop, there are going to be only two days’ worth of events. Every other one has been three.
That’s because of the metric system. That’s what that is.
There you go. Also, leaderboard events have been towards the end of the other stops. This particular one on Friday, October 20th, the leaderboard party awards start at 6:00 PM, local time. On Saturday, the day is packed. It starts at 10:30 AM. There’s outdoor walking, a 10-minute core, right into a yin-yang yoga class, right into a body-weight class. There’s a panel titled Motivation and Mindset: What You Need to Fully Develop Your Potential. They have a placeholder saying other events will be added. At 5:30, there’s a trainer Q&A on how Peloton can change lives. At 7:00 PM, there is an “evening event.” The tickets are going on sale on September 21st, 4:00 PM Berlin time, 10:00 AM Eastern. By the time you hear this, they will already be on sale.
Also gone, presumably.
There’s a little difference in Berlin. I don’t know.
We don’t know what the level of passion is in Germany quite yet.
They are still growing and very young.
It’s a different point in the life cycle over there than they are in the States.
Another thing that’s different is they are not having it in a showroom. I wrote showroom but it’s not. The Private Roof Club is where it is. That will be the main hub for all the events. It will be very interesting to see how this goes and how many tickets end up being available because we don’t know what instructors are teaching what classes yet. We don’t know what stuff is going to be added. You have to buy tickets for each event just like all the others. I’m curious about this one.
It would be interesting to see if there’s any window into what the London one might look like since they’re both in other countries and the metric system could affect them. Peloton’s refurbished program has been expanded to now include the original bike and not just Bike+ for eBay purchases.
I always thought it was backward. They started with Bike+. That’s why I looked at you funny.
That’s what I’ve read in the article.
You were right. It’s just my brain took a second to catch up with that. You’re absolutely correct. There’s a new price point as well. The Bike+ is $1,995 refurbished. The regular version 1 bike is going to be $1,145. That is the correct price.
If you’re trying to sell a bike, it just got harder.
That is true. You also still get a one-year warranty. I think that’s a good thing to remember.
I don’t think we did a full story about this, but we saw someone on the OPP saying that they bought a bike on the secondary market. They got home and attempted to log into it, only to find out that it was a rented bike. They stopped paying it and Peloton was like, “You know,” and they bricked it. They got scammed through no fault to Peloton. If you’re considering buying a used bike, that is something we haven’t encountered yet or even thought of.
That’s another thing to be checking.
That’s another thing to keep in mind if you’re debating, “Do I go to Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace,” or what have you.
You better plug it in and make sure you can get all the way to the internet. That is not something you don’t want to pay $1,100 or $1,200 or even $700 for. You don’t pay any money and find out you can’t use it.
In case you don’t have enough to worry about, there’s a new thing for you. That’s our gift to you.
Peloton has kicked off Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month. For people who are rapidly checking their calendars. Just a reminder. It starts in the middle of September and runs in the middle of October.
There are several countries and they’re celebrating their independence, and so it runs through that time frame. That’s pretty cool. I love these every month or every year, seeing all of the different disciplines that have new classes. We have Latin Rose. This will be our first year adding rowing to Latin Heritage Month, and then Broadway yoga with Ross. I’m curious what kind of hits will be enjoyed in that one.
All I can think of is West Side Story and In The Heights will be one.
That’s what I was thinking, In The Heights. That was the one that popped into my head. That’s why I’m curious. There was going to be a Latin House Walk with Jon Hosking, a celebration ride with Hannah Corbin, a high-intensity cardio class with Selena Samuela, and a Latin ride with Tunde. I’m pretty sure I saw something about Jess King doing something. She had on an outfit and she was shimmying with her outfit. She said that it was for this month, but I didn’t see her on the list.
Peloton has some updates for the Guide.
They’ve been happening over the last couple of weeks. One of the things that is happening is that now you are able to go in and edit your stack and see your stack number. Before, you could see that your stack existed, but you couldn’t edit it and make changes. You now can. Also, you are able to go in on your Guide. Let’s say that you did 10 bicep curls and then 10 overhead presses. Now you can see that you did 20 reps total. They’re keeping count of your total reps.
Total reps of that specific movement.
Two nice little changes that they have incorporated in the Guide. Speaking of changes that they are making, this is not specific to the Guide, but we did bring up that Android now had the ability to be able to have video previews and they got that one first. Apple joined the ranks today.
I finally remembered their Apple password.
In all sincerity, I believe it was Nikki who brought up the theory that it was probably going to be released after Apple came out with its newest updates because it was the week of Apple releasing all of its new stuff.
They were waiting for this so they didn’t have to do it twice.
They hold it. Apple won’t let you release things in the middle of their roll-out. I’m pretty sure that’s what held it up. I thought that was very smart. Nikki is very smart.
I still think their passwords are not working. That seems a lot more plausible based on my own personal experience. It’s Amazon’s Prime Day. I guess it’s Prime Day 2.
They call it Prime Big Sale Day or something. They made up another day. This is all you need to know.
More days where they’re selling stuff like all the other days at Amazon. It’s coming up on October 10 and 11 and Peloton will once again be a part of it.
We don’t have all the details on what those sales will be, but we do know it will be on sale.
For the foreseeable future, Peloton will always be a part of it in some capacity if nothing else, for the clicks.
Bradley Rose gave us a behind-the-scenes peek at the under-construction Peloton Studio in London. We wrote an article about it courtesy of Helper Bee Nikki. She is Helper Machine Nikki. She’s been promoted from bee to robot bee. She’s a robee. Helper Robee Nikki.
There’s a whole video that Peloton Studios also shared. I don’t know if you’re going to play the video. He goes in and he’s showing the outside of the renovation area, and then he goes inside to show you a sneak peek.
They make them wear a hard hat but not sleeves. I question the safety.
I’m pretty sure he just knows he’s cute. He’s showing off some of his calves.
I don’t know what he has in his pocket. I think there’s something in this pocket or he’s happy about this construction. It’s like, “What’s going on there?” Do you know what PSL is? It’s a metric system.
Look at all the pretty new lights in there. It’s going to be a whole new light setup.
Trying to change topics.
Yeah. I am working on these little legs.
If you want to see that video, I’m sure it’s on the gram. That can be hard to track down. You can also go find a link to it on our website and the article that Nikki wrote about PSL.
We do think that Ben is going to be the newest rowing instructor, but I understand there are two rowers in that room. There might be another rowing instructor coming soon.
We shall see. Coming up after this, there is an instructor taking a medical leave of absence. Stick around. We will tell you who that is next.
Marcel Dinkins announced that she is taking a break from Peloton to have surgery.
It appears to be related to an injury that she did not go into any detail about. At least on her Instagram, she hasn’t since then. She has been pre-habbing, then she has the surgery, and then she will be rehabbing after the surgery. It will be a little bit of time off. As always, whatever they need to do to take care of themselves
You have to. In some ways, in all of our jobs, our body is what we’re selling to people, whether there’s lifting, your brain power, or what have you. I feel like in an instructor’s capacity, it’s a physically demanding job. If you have an injury, you have to get that taken care of so you can keep doing it. We wish her all the best
Leanne Hainsby was interviewed for Women’s Health Magazine. She’s going to be on the cover of it.
She was always. That was what Ben posted the other day. What I feel like a little bit different about this post is that she was in Women’s Health Magazine. That was exciting, but she also posted a behind-the-scenes reel. She also posted a second thing saying that even though she had breast cancer and the breast cancer is gone, the journey is not over. It’s not like you just do a thing and then you’re done. That’s helpful for people to remember, both those going through it and those supporting people going through it. It’s important to remember that it’s not just one and done. It’s a whole thing.
Luckily, knock on wood, we have not had to deal with anything like that, but I know that there are a lot of after-effects of that from a trauma standpoint that she’s contending with. It’s a reminder of your own mortality that I’m sure is a head F.
Especially given that both she and Ben planned to get married and then he’s had cancer. She’s had cancer. It puts everything on the back burner as it should. You have to focus on your health first. Of course, it’s going to mess with your head.
Some good news for the Canadians since On Tour did not go up north. You’re going to see a couple of instructors. Emma Lovewell and Aditi Shah are both heading to Canada.
Emma and Aditi are going to be in Edmonton and Calgary on September 22nd and September 23rd. That looks like that’s going to be a lot of fun visiting the showrooms. We have some Clip Out folks who are going to be there, Trish specifically. We will get to hear more about that as well.
Speaking of meeting instructors, you can also meet a couple in the Dallas/Plano X area.
Jess Sims and Denis Morton are also going to be in Dallas. It’s a Let’s Talk event. It’s interesting how they have themes for each one. They’re not just the same across the board. You can hang out with Jess and Denis. Also an interesting pairing. You don’t see a lot of Jess and Denis. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not like that’s bad in any way. You see a lot of Denis and Matt. You see a lot of Denis and other people. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Jess and Denis.
I don’t feel like Denis has done a ton of these.
He hasn’t, and part of that is the timing. When he got hired, there was a time frame where he was one of the newer instructors. They were sending out the more seasoned instructors, and then about the time that it would have been like, “We need to start sending you out to all the stuff,” COVID hit.
Do you think we can read anything into the fact that they’re going to Plano, Texas since there are corporate offices in Plano, Texas?
I don’t know whether you can read anything into that because when I look at where our listeners are, there are big chunks in places like Atlanta, LA, and the Dallas Fort Worth area.
That’s hilarious, but in all sincerity, if that’s a hotspot for Peloton, that would make sense that you would send people there. I have no idea.
I don’t even know what they’ll do in Plano, Texas.
I think it’s all offices. I know at one time, that was customer service. Recently, when we interviewed somebody, they said that they were going to be reestablishing unification of having all of the customer service people in one location under the new individual heading up the customer service. I think that is there. I don’t know if that has anything to do with Jess and Denis.
Maybe they’re teaching them some other skills. They have to multitask. Instructors are going to actually start taking orders.
Can you imagine if you called to complain and Denis Morton answered the phone?
It would be embarrassing if you were calling in to complain about Denis Morton, “The resistance was too high in that last class of Denis Morton.” He’s like, “This is Dennis Morton.”
Do you know what he would say because he is such a class act? He would be like, “If it was too much for you, remember it’s your ride and you can change it however you would like to.” That’s what he would say.
That sounds about right. Jess King is hosting an apparel event. All sorts of opportunities to meet instructors at various places. Although this one is in New York and you got lots of chances there.
The real news is this is probably the Brittany Allen event. That’s the real news here. The reason that’s cool in my opinion is because it was Jess King who brought Brittany Allen to Peloton.
It would make sense that they would have her host that.
We don’t know that that’s what this is. We think that’s what this is because it’s an apparel event. We know they’re teasing a Brittany Allen collaboration so it feels like this is it. That’s coming up on the 29th. We can assume if it is the Brittany Allen event, it is very soon. I hope you are saving your credits and your money because you’re going to need to get whatever that is.
Is that for our listeners or is that self-talk?
That was me focusing like, “We get back on the 30th.”
You will be sitting at the American Airlines Lounge getting on the Wi-Fi. Hannah Corbin announced that she is going to start auditioning for Broadway roles again.
I think Sam Yo inspired her.
I think so too.
I guess she has already done some auditions including for Six. I’m sure we will see Hannah Corbin very soon on Broadway.
Six is the new Blossom-inspired musical, right?
I don’t think so.
I thought it was all about Blossom’s best friend.
No one under the age of 40 is going to know what the hell you are talking about.
I think a lot of our listeners are watching Blossom. If they knew who Andrea Barber is, they know who Blossom is, so you hush it over there.
That was a deep cut.
The listeners will rally around me in support of Blossom. That’s what I think.
I can’t wait to see if you are correct.
You will get lots of messages that say, “Whoa.” Apparently, Peloton has a parenting panel.
Now they are going to. They’re counting.
Becs Gentry is on it. I wasn’t even trying to make a pun by saying apparently.
I was going to tease you about that one.
I’m such a comedy genius. Sometimes I’m making jokes and I don’t even know it. I’m in the zone, but a parenting panel. I’ll be interested to see what that’s about. It’s about parents, but specifically.
I thought that a while back there was something. It was like they did a thing and somebody got upset because they didn’t have moms of kids who are older. They only had moms of kids who were little. I don’t remember if this is an extension of that. The panel wasn’t just a one-time thing. This is going to continue or if this is something different. I don’t know if it’s related or not.
We will have to keep an eye out for that. In case you are curious, Cody Rigsby cares about your orgasms.
I don’t think that he does.
According to this article, he does.
I will give Interview Magazine a hat tip.
A hat tip to the clickbait. It’s a real interview and a real article. In that sense, it’s not clickbait, but I have no doubt that headline is driving the clicks. You put Cody Rigsby and orgasm in the same article.
It says most read and it’s number one right there. Hat tip for you, Interview Magazine.
Madonna biographer Mary Gabriel and Mel Ottenberg go deep on the Queen of Pop, which is another way to take care of your orgasms.
Just for some. Everybody is different.
It’s one way. In a way, this ties back into the parenting panel. For the boys at least and not necessarily for the ladies. I’m just saying. You put this on the list. This is what you want me to do.
You might have taken it a little further.
I haven’t. I assure you. This is me holding back.
I can tell it by your eyebrows. They’re up really high.
I’m thinking about baseball at this very moment. That’s what I’m doing.
According to Cody, it doesn’t.
I think he does. You have to hold back because in a perfect world, you want both parties or all three parties, depending on what you’re doing, or however many parties are involved to hopefully reach that point or sequentially, whatever your thing is. That’s what we’re saying.
This is getting worse at the moment.
Is it getting better?
It’s getting more awkward.
Jermaine Johnson and Susie Chan are celebrating two years with Peloton.
They started on the same day, September 15th. A huge congrats to both. I love them both. I enjoy taking their classes so much. I’m glad they are part of Peloton.
I’m toggling back and forth on the tabs to see if it would irritate you and make you yell at me. The YouTube people are getting the full effect of this. Anyway, congratulations to Susie Chan and Jermaine Johnson. Coming up after this, we’re going to talk to Angelo from MetPro. We have our next batch of questions for Angelo almost exclusively from teachers. The first teacher is curious about how to get high-protein snacks but gets them quickly because she’s got to eat them in between classes or sneak while the kids are distracted.
Also, she can’t step away to pee.
That makes my heart palpitate, being blocked from peeing. Anyway, we’re going to cover all that coming up next.
Joining us from MetPro, it’s Angelo, here to answer all of your fitness and nutrition questions.
It’s good to have you here. We have a ton of questions. We’re going to spread them out over the next few weeks. I wanted to let you know ahead of time, a lot of these are from teachers. I’m going to call this the back-to-school edition.
I love it. It’s all educational.
That’s true. I see what you did there. The first one is from Carissa Kennedy Alvarez. She’s a teacher. She’s concerned about how she is going to find high-protein snacks that are quick and easy to eat on short breaks. She tracks her protein and she always feels like she’s under. She feels like she would need to eat two protein shakes a day to hit her goals. I don’t know what her goals are. She doesn’t say. That’s not an option though because of minimal bathroom breaks during the day. I always hear this from teachers. They can’t go to the bathroom.
I could never be a teacher for a lot of reasons. Not being able to pee when I want to is high on the list.
Also, there’s no telling what you’d find on the board when you got back, Tom. That’s the real reason they can’t take breaks. The real stories of teachers.
I have an answer here. She’s a teacher. Here is what you do. Especially if you’re an elementary school teacher, just tell them it’s nap time. While it’s nap time, go through their lunches. Somebody will have something that’s protein in there. You find that kid and then you find something he did wrong, and then his punishment is you take his lunch.
You can’t take their lunch.
Why can’t you take their lunch? It’s punishment. You could do that.
This is why Tom is not a teacher.
One of many reasons.
You can’t do drag queens story-time, but you can take their lunches.
We’re taking a left turn. I understand the whole liquids thing is not convenient for every occasion for that very reason. You didn’t say, Carissa, that you are a vegetarian or vegan. That being the case, that opens up a whole host. What it sounds like you want is quick and easy, so it doesn’t get much quicker and much easier than jerky. You can get a turkey. They make jerky out of every type of meat. You can get ultra-lean jerky and ultra-natural. Don’t go and get a Slim Jim. That’s not what I’m talking about here, but a lean turkey jerky that isn’t a Teriyaki. More of a pepper flavor is going to be fine. It’s high protein, easy to eat, not messy, quick, no cleanup, and you can eat it on the go. Just divide it.
Another good option is going to be low-fat string cheese. You can get low-fat high-protein string cheese, which works well. Other options that are also fast, but maybe not quite as quick as those options would be something in the dairy category, like a Greek yogurt that’s not sweetened with sugar or doesn’t have extra sweetener. Plane might not be the greatest-tasting thing in the world, but it will be a great choice for protein.
Even one step beyond that, a higher protein level per calorie consumed would be low-fat cottage cheese. Those are all good options. Sometimes the simplest option is the best option. What I tell a lot of my clients to do is if you’re going to eat 4 ounces or 5 ounces of protein at lunch, make 7 or 8 ounces. You have enough for a couple of bites for a snack. Pair that with a piece of fruit. You can have a great grab-and-go snack and it’s super easy.
You can still get those protein shakes. That’s great. Do a protein shake perhaps in the morning or make that before bed to get a little bit of extra protein in. Even a few ounces of lean meat will give you quick access to protein. If you do want some protein that comes from plant-based, you always have options like nuts, seeds, and tofu. There are some protein supplements that are vegan based but that’s probably not quick and easy for what you’re looking for. Hopefully, something in there, Carissa, will give you an idea of what to do.
Lots of great options.
Find a kid who likes beef jerky.
Tom is still on that.
I know teachers aren’t very well paid. They’re always looking for ways to save a little money. You trick a kid into bringing beef jerky. You ground that kid and boom, free protein.
That’s super helpful.
That’s what I’m here for. If people would like advice like yours because they know where to find me, but if they want advice like yours and they want to go the safe route, where can they find you?
Ashton Kutcher has found himself in a bit of controversy. He and his wife, Mila Kunis had written a letter to the court in support of Danny Masterson. For those of you not following the story, Danny Masterson had been arrested and tried for rape. He was found guilty. During the sentencing phase, they were apparently asked if they would write letters to support him. It’s basically saying, “This is the Danny Masterson we knew.” They did and that came out.
People were outraged, in my opinion, rightfully so. Especially given that Ashton Kutcher has famously fronted an anti-human trafficking charity for years. They’ve done a lot of great work from what I can gather. This was very tone-deaf. We tell you all that because someone wrote an article on Radar Online about how at this point in time, all the Ashton Kutcher’s Our Future Selves classes are still available on the Peloton platform.
For what it’s worth, I think they should ring in.
I think they should too, even though I think that was definitely tone deaf and I don’t think they should have done it. I don’t know if it necessarily rises to the level of career-ending. As a culture, we talk about this a little bit with Chris Hansen coming up.
Let me say my part and then you can go on because you interrupted my sentence there, mansplaining. What I was going to say was Ashton resigned from Our Future Selves as chairman. The reason I think these classes should stay is because he resigned. It’s still a good organization and is still doing a lot of good. Peloton having those classes out there does not change any of that. That’s all I was going to say.
I think that this is a problem of culture. We’re all against things like this in the abstract, but when someone that we know does something like this, there’s such cognitive dissonance about who they are. I’m sure the Danny Masterson he knew doesn’t seem like he’d be that same guy. That’s the problem. The sooner we can start wrapping our heads around this and be like, “You need to stop defending,” especially at this point in the process. He’s been convicted. At this point in the process, the right answer was, “Just do what you’re going to do,” to the court, that is.
The latest artist series will spotlight Janet Jackson.
This one starts next week on the 28th. There’s a whole bunch of classes on the list already. I have a feeling more are going to be added since we’re still a week out.
She’s such a huge name. You have to think she has so many hits.
There’s so much to work with. When they do write these agreements, they don’t say you can use all of it. I guess they could say that, but it’s artists by artists dependent on how they choose to do that.
You think if you’re going to Janet Jackson, you’re not signing up like we’re going to do a row class and meditation and call it a day.
We do know that all the classes out there are across all the disciplines. This will be a fun one for people. There are a lot of great classes in there from a few generations, like a generation ago. Lots of fun stuff.
It’s time for the TCO top five, where we compile our listeners suggestions of the best classes of the week so you don’t miss the best stuff.
That is so true. Thank you to Helper Bee Darcy for getting these together. She always takes all the class listings and puts them in there. The first one is a yoga class. It is called Focus Flow Twist with Anna Greenberg. This is from Caroline Gray. She says, “This class took twist up a level from the usual twist moves and felt good. I usually never repeat a class but this one will be done again and again by me as it felt so beneficial.” Number two is low-impact cardio with Rebecca Kennedy. Lots of us have been excited about the new low-intensity interval training.
Is this the new LIIT and Hills class?
Yes, and we are so glad that Peloton has finally made them an official collection. Past guest Dottie Lupariello shared, “The new LIIT classes are so much fun and a throwback to ‘90s aerobics like the old days. I hope they make more.” I think they will Dottie. We have a favorite bootcamp. This one is a standing core with Rebecca Kennedy who is having a good week. This one was submitted by, ironically, Rebecca Allen.
She said, “This class felt totally doable, definitely on the easier spectrum of hiking bootcamps. It had everything. Rebecca always provides a great playlist and great instruction, but her intervals on the tread were definitely not punishing and her standing core exercises were easier and not too difficult. However, the next morning my core was very sore. I felt like I had engaged it in a way I typically don’t with normal core classes.” That’s always nice to hear.
There was the favorite Peloton ride. This one was a 45-minute Club Bangers ride with Alex Toussaint. This is actually his first appearance on the TCO top five. It’s only fitting it’s one from his signature series. Jessica, and I love her leaderboard named, Carton. She said, “The playlist was fire and a bit dirty. It was so much fun. Great Vibe.” How fun is that? The unstackable. This one comes from Becs Gentry. This is a 60-minute interval run. This was suggested by past guest Josh Vernon from the Wicked Smut group.
Is it cultural appropriation if we say it that way?
Darcy typed it in that way. I feel like I need to honor the way she wrote the article.
Like how you say Salt-N-Peppa.
I always struggle with that. This is what Josh has to say, “If you are training for a race, this is the class you want to take. Becs was ready for this one after her vacation and she loves coaching. It was also a new 60-minute PR and the fastest 10K badge. No stack in that” Isn’t that the truth?
There are seven new outdoor classes for people to check out.
These dropped last week. There were two 45-minute in the mix. There was one from Susie, which was a progression run. One from Becs, which was an endurance run. I’ve taken both of those already. There was also a 20-minute power walk from Marcel, a 15-minute R&B walk from Joslyn, and then there was a Kirsten Ferguson walk and a 30-minute indie pop run with Mayla Wedekind
To top it all off, Susie added another one, a 10-minute cool-down run. I am loving the outdoor content. I have been running non-stop outside almost every single day. It’s beautiful outside. It has been so long since I have felt good running outside. I feel like I have my running happy place back and I am so so excited to say that.
Helper Bee Kelly wrote an article about the power of meditation.
She went deep on this. I mean that in a good way. She covered all of the things that you can get out of meditating whether it be a physical mental or emotional aspect. She talks about how her life has changed because she’s been taking it. I thought that that was cool. This is a great article. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend that you do.
Perhaps an even more important article or maybe the most important article that we could have on our site was also written by Kelly. It’s how to stop the stink. It’s what the headline should have been, but keeping your clothes smelling fresh because if you work out in them, they’re going to get stinky.
They are going to get funky. That’s internally what we call the article, the funky clothes article. Kelly talks about all the things that you need to know. Obvious things like investing in quality gear, but also something that may not be obvious to everyone like skipping the fabric softeners.
I would not think that.
It’s not good to do that. You also want to keep your workout clothes completely separate from everything else and I always do. Don’t be afraid to try a little vinegar. That was a new one for me.
That makes sense. Remember when we had our counters recoded so they didn’t look so much like Mike’s counters and they smelled so bad? That chemical was permeating the house. How we got rid of it is I put out two little tiny bowls of vinegar. Within 24 hours, it knocked down probably 80% to 90% of the smell. You could still smell it but before, it hurt to sniff.
You’re right. That’s a good thing to remember. Another tip is to make sure that you ditch the dryer. Don’t just hang dry your workout clothes. They’re going to last longer too.
At these prices, you want them to last longer. You don’t want to smell like a turd took a shit.
You don’t. It’s never recommended.
Finally, we have one birthday from none other than Leanne Hainsby. You can wish her a happy birthday on September 28th.
Happy birthday, Leanne.
Happy birthday. Coming up after this, we’re going to talk to Chris Hansen, formerly from Dateline. You remember him from his infamous To Catch a Predator series. He’s still doing stuff like that. He’s got a new location. We’re going to talk to him about that. We also want to remind people that we will be talking about the sexual abuse that goes along with catching predators or what they’re attempting to do. We want to give everybody a trigger warning. If you don’t have the bandwidth for that, you can skip this one or wait until you do. We don’t want to surprise you with it. We will be talking to Chris Hansen, coming up after this.
Normally, I would have some sort of intro. I don’t think we need one. It’s Chris Hansen. How’s it going? This is very exciting.
I’m good. How are you?
We’re very good. We’re excited about this interview. Thank you so much for doing this.
I appreciate it.
You were telling me before we started recording that you have had your Peloton for five years.
It’s at least five years.
You’re not a pandemic-come-lately Peloton user?
No. I was into it well before that. I’m guessing 2016 or 2017. We have a home in Michigan and an apartment here in the city. It’s in the apartment. It’s a great part of my workout program. I enjoy it. I’ve got my favorite instructors. When my wife’s in town, she uses it. The kids use it. It’s been a great part of my overall workout strategy.
You mentioned favorite instructors. Who are your favorite instructors?
Denis Morton, Alex Toussaint, and Jenn Sherman are my three favorites.
I heard that you got quite a special shout-out from Jenn Sherman. Is that true?
I did. I was very excited. It was my 600th ride, maybe something like that. I work with a lot of people who also use the Peloton. Some of them are maniacal. They are completely devoted. I know some lawyers and some television producers. They’ve gone to the mecca of Peloton to the studio in Chelsea there. I’ve never made it. I tried to go once. I couldn’t get a spot. I’ll have to head down there one Saturday or Sunday when I’m in the city and do it in person. That’d be fun.
It’s a blast, I have to say. They moved. They’re no longer in Chelsea. They’re in Hudson Yards. They moved to Hudson Yards.
That’s right. I knew that. I’ve seen that.
I’ve been to both studios. The 23rd has a special place in my heart though because that’s where it all started, but the new one over in Hudson Yards is gorgeous. It’s beautiful.
You might not like it because it will feel like work to you because it’s so much like a TV studio.
That is true.
It looks that way. When I ride here, it is a beautiful setup. It is very professional in terms of TV production. It’s a great setup.
For people who’ve been to the studio at different times, they just have you come in. You walked in like it was no big deal. Now, they have all these production assistants. They have this big voice-over before each instructor comes out. They have the instructor announce the ride. There are all these lights going and this big music intro. You would think it’s like an NFL game. It’s crazy.
It’s great though. It gets people pumped up and excited for their ride. That’s one of the great things about Peloton. You can choose your instructor, the style of the instructor, and the music that the instructor likes. It makes the 45 minutes, 30 minutes, or whatever you choose, go by so fast. The Sunday morning Jenn Sherman football ride, which is an hour, is great. Because of the music, the talk, and everything else, it goes by very quickly. Before you know it, you’re finished and you can start your day. Especially in the winter when you don’t want to go for a run or a walk anywhere. It’s a great way to start the day.
That is so true. You’ve got North Homes on both of your homes too. You’re battling bad weather in either.
There is no sunshine in February for me unless we get on a plane and find it.
Maybe Peloton will come out with a tanning bed. It would be weird for the instructor to talk to you during that though. Has fitness always been a part of your life or did you come to Peloton as an uninitiated sort?
I’ve always been athletic. I played tennis and been a runner most of my life. You get to a point where you get to a certain age and realize, “I’ve got to plot this out. I don’t want to have bad knees. I don’t want to have hip issues if I can avoid it.” The Peloton is a great low-impact exercise. I still run and I enjoy it. I don’t do it the way I used to do it because it’s a lot of pounding on the body. You always see these 82-year-olds who do the marathon for the first time. God bless them. That’s wonderful, but that’s not my workout. That’s not my jam.
Between the Peloton, the steps you get every day existing in New York City, and the trainer, I go down to Robert Brace Studios in SoHo which is a whole mind-body fitness program, especially for somebody my age, it gives me a full thoughtful physical and mental workout. It took me a minute to reach the right balance. I found that I needed to be at the level of fitness I needed to be happy with to be able to do what is still pretty much a physically demanding job.
We just got back from New York. There were lots of walking. You are not wrong. Somehow, I still managed to gain 7 pounds.
That’s the gastronomic effect of New York City. At the apartment, I rarely go out to dinner. I usually cook in, have lunch out, or whatever. When my wife is in town, when we’re both here at the apartment, we go out every night. Cumulatively, you can start inching up on the scale there if you’re not careful. There’s such great food and so much of it.
It’s anything you can think of. We live in the Midwest.
Within four blocks of this apartment in Midtown Manhattan, you can get steaks, Italian, French, pizza, and sushi. Everything is within a ten-minute walk wherever you are in the city because the same set of restaurants are in the village, SoHo, the Upper East Side, or the Upper West Side. When I first moved to the city, I used to think that there were 20,000 restaurants and bars in Manhattan. I think that’s the correct number. You would have to work hard to get into every one of them. There’s something fun and interesting in each and every one of those establishments. It is like Disney World for grownups.
First off, Disney World is Disney World for grownups.
That’s a good point.
I don’t like you casting aspersions like that.
He is a little bit of a Disney fan.
When you mentioned the place where you do your training and you said it’s the whole mind-body fitness, I’m curious what the mind aspect is of that. Do you mean things like meditations and stuff like that or do they do something different?
They do meditations. I don’t want to pretend that I know all about meditation because I don’t. I’ve done it a few times, but it’s more of a thoughtful approach in one-on-one training. Robert Brace is a former ballet performer of quite some note. He came to this country from Britain years ago, from London. He was a pastor in Harlem, and then he developed this program for physical fitness. He does a lot of on-air television personalities and authors. He has this very interesting crowd of people there. The energy feeds off of each other.
There are other clients there who do engage more in the meditative part of it. I mostly focus on the physical nature of it. Within that, because of who the instructors are and Robert being at the top of the list, you do get that immersive effect of a pastoral approach to fitness. It’s thoughtful. It’s tailored for every client there. What I do may not be what somebody who’s 35 would do, but it works for me.
I’ll do a remote class. The great thing about Peloton in addition to that is that most of the hotels where I try to stay, at least when I’m traveling for stories, have a Peloton. You log right into your account and off you go. In the worst-case scenario, you get 30 minutes on the Peloton, which is a great day. To me, especially when dealing with the kinds of stories I do and the kinds of investigative crime-related things, it’s good to clear the head in the morning and start the day fresh.
To me, there’s nothing that does that better than physical fitness, having a routine, getting on the subway, going down there, and getting your coffee on the way. You have to time everything right. You walk in and you may not be all into it every single morning, but you feel pretty darn good when you finish. It’s like the Peloton bike. You get off and you feel great. You’re like, “I did that. Now, let’s get on with the day.”
I love that. Tom and I talk about all the time that those workouts that you don’t feel like doing are the ones that are the most important.
You have to push yourself. Are you going to sit on the couch all day or get some gelato in the corner? That’s all good as long as you do the Peloton or the workout along with it.
The ones where it comes easy are easy. Even if at the end of the day they didn’t burn as many calories or whatever their goal is, the hard ones are connecting the dots between the good ones. Those are the most crucial.
I follow obituaries. They’re interesting. They’re a historical keeping of people’s interesting lives, especially in the New York Times, Washington Post, and some of the other papers I follow. It’s remarkable how active people are living well into their 70s and 80s now. The key to it is to keep moving. There’s always the bad luck, like with Jimmy Buffett who sadly had a rare form of cancer that took him or any of the other folks who passed away far too young. Routinely, look at Jagger. He turned 80. He’s not slowing down.
Dick Van Dyke.
Is he 100?
He’s 97. There’s Bob Barker. He seemed to be very fit. He was 99. He got as close to 100 as you could without going over.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner to do it. You just have to keep moving. If in the process of your physical fitness workout regimen that it ignites your mind to go do what you do, that’s the key to it. Anybody can get a bad break and bad genetics and have a horrible disease. You can’t control that. To the extent that you can control the quality of your life barring anything unforeseen, you have to do it. It’s a better way of living.
You had mentioned about clearing your head because of what you do. A journalist, by their very nature, is typically reporting bad news. That’s 80% of news. What you’ve ended up focusing on is exceptionally dark even for the world of journalists. How do you contend with stuff like that? That’s a lot of grossness.
It arouses my curiosity as to what makes these guys tick. If it’s a predator investigation where we’re doing a sting as we do firstly every month in a different part of the country, you’re getting into the mind of a predator. You’re trying to understand why they do what they do. You’re creating awareness and a dialogue that perhaps didn’t exist before.
One of the things that I’ve come to learn over 40 years of being a journalist is you can’t prevent crime from happening all the time. You can’t lock every criminal up for life. It comes down to educating our children in the case of these predators online and everyone in society in terms of the other kinds of crimes we cover to understand the way these guys’ minds work. The better you can understand the mind of a predator and hear the voice of a victim, the better chances are that you prevent another person from becoming a victim. People can tune in and tune out based on their interest in the subject matter.
Overall, we put so much information out there that people are going to be smarter and be able to protect themselves better. I get that, especially in the case of the predator franchise, some people are watching it because it’s this collision of good and evil. These stories are as old as the Bible. It’s watching the commission of a felony in real time. There are undeniably darkly humorous moments. You have to tip your hat to that. It’s why it’s become such a social media obsession.
We’re into our third generation of followers. The people who listen to my podcast and watch TruBlu are very loyal viewers and listeners. They are caught up in this concept. The predator material alone has some five billion views on YouTube and other social media platforms. It has become an iconic thing in the social media world. You use that for goodness. It creates a lot of access for me to cover virtually any kind of story I want.
It also allows people to reach out to me with their story ideas, some of which we turn into documentaries and series. It’s this very close relationship with the audience because I stick my neck out there. I expose myself to tell this story and put myself in a situation that not every journalist puts themselves in. People respect that. People appreciate the fact that I do it so they can see this material that they can’t see anywhere else.
After years of having done this, is there any sort of throughline or commonality that you see popping up among men? Have you ever caught a woman?
Not in one of our stings. The psychiatrist will tell you that it’s because when it comes to the cases of female predators, you are more likely to see the teacher-student scenario. The female predator doesn’t get off on the anonymity. They like to know their target. We had a case. We did a story for TruBlu the other day on a 76-year-old woman who had been arrested and convicted for an illicit relationship with a boy who was 14, a student of hers. It’s crazy.
She was able to groom this child and target him because she knew him. You see that too with male predators, but the male predator gets off on this quick resolution of this fantasy. People will say, “These guys are stupid.” They can’t control their compulsion or their addiction to this sort of material, which only feeds because it’s available on the internet.
I liken it to a heroin addict. If somebody is a heroin addict and you tell them there’s a 20% chance there’s fentanyl in their heroin, they’re going to take that chance to get their fix. If you tell a predator or somebody who’s looking to meet a child online for sex that there’s a 20% chance it’s Chris Hansen, the Sheriff’s department in a certain community, or the FBI, they’re going to take that risk. Most of the time, they get away with it, but not every time because we catch them.
I find it completely fascinating how many people there are out there who are predators. I know that it is very naive of me to think that most people are good.
Most people are good, but you’ve got a different kind of crime here in that you have multiple categories. You’ve got a guy who, for instance, is a stone-cold predator pedophile who’d be doing this sort of thing with or without the internet. He’d be the bad Little League coach and Cub Scout leader, hanging out at the food court at the mall. He’s going to take his shot whenever he can.
There are the younger guys who are perhaps forming addictions to social media platforms. They say things online they wouldn’t say in person. They’re socially inept. This is their only way to reach out. They’ll approach and groom and try to take advantage of somebody younger because they can’t develop a relationship with somebody their own age. Those people are dangerous as they are having a horrible impact on a child should they consummate a relationship. Some of those guys can be rehabilitated. They can be given probation and treatment in an intensive therapy setting and probably not offend.
You’ve got this group in the middle who have a predilection towards this activity but wouldn’t be acting upon it without the access, the addictive nature, and the ability to get on the internet 24 hours a day. They developed these compulsions and obsessions. The next thing you know, the guy who is a cop, a doctor, or a city councilman is knocking on our door trying to meet a kid.
The latest thing we did was up in Marquette, Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, in a northern paradise on the shores of Lake Superior. It’s a gorgeous area. People go there for mountain biking, fishing, and kayaking. It’s a lovely area. Yet, in three days, we had seven men show up ranging in age from 18 to 67 to have sex with a teenage boy or girl. It shows you that it can happen and does happen virtually anywhere. Sometimes, it’s in these smaller communities where the people think there’s not a chance in the world they’re going to get caught. They think they can get away with it.
We got guys trying to coax this girl out of the house into the woods, talking about all that they have in their pickup truck that’s going to appeal to a teenage girl. Finally, their drive is so strong that they walk into the house against what they would say earlier. They’re afraid because they know it’s wrong, but this compulsion to close the deal with a child is overwhelming. They walk in and they talk to me. In some cases, it’s a situation where they’ve seen the show before. They know that it’s time to sit down and talk to Chris on the couch or the bar stool.
In some cases, it is. They want to get it out of their system. I had a guy tell me a couple of months ago that Satan made him do it. He was going to get on the phone, call his wife, and confess to the whole thing in front of our camera. She didn’t pick up, thankfully for her, I suppose. He was going to get it off his chest right then and there.
It’s fascinating to me how oftentimes the cognitive dissonance at play with some of these men in terms of that they’ll even tell the girl or what they think is a young girl that they’re talking to, “There are bad guys out there, but I am not. I’m going to do the same things, but I am not.”
“I really care about you.”
“I’ll protect you from them.”
“I’ll be there. You’ll become of age at a time and it will be appropriate for us to have this relationship.” I’ve heard it all. They’ll tell you once they’re caught, “I wasn’t going to do anything. I was going to come over and hang with the girl. I was going to tell her she was wrong.” I said, “That’s what 911 is for. You call the police and say, “There’s a young girl willing to have sex. Please go rescue her before something bad happens.” Instead, they show up with a backpack that has condoms, lubricant, and god knows what else to rape this child sexually.
Have you ever heard a story in those moments where you thought, “Maybe this guy was telling the truth?”
Out of the hundreds and hundreds of predators I’ve caught, I’m sure there are cases where it was this guy’s first time. I’m certain of it. As lucky as that may be, you hope it’s his last time. We had a case in Ohio a few months back. A guy shows up. He was a convicted felon who had served his time for a violent assault including strangulation. He shows up to meet a teenage girl. They charge him or put him under investigation. He is out on bail. Two weeks after he’s caught in our investigation, they find him in a hotel room with a fourteen-year-old girl who he had met online having sex and making a video of the entire sexual encounter. The mom noticed the girl was missing and pinged the phone. The phone came back to this motel. The police show up and knock on the door, and he comes out.
We have it all. The piece is on TruBlu. People can go to WatchAtTruBlu.com, and they will be able to see it. The guy’s name is Corey. He comes out and, all on body cam, lies to the officer. He says there’s nobody inside. They’re very patient. They talk him through it. He lets them in. This girl comes running out of the bathroom where she’s hiding after being assaulted by this guy. You’re fourteen. You can’t give consent to a sexual encounter.
They rescue the girl. She goes through the process. They take him in. During the course of the investigation, they found the video on the phone. He’s going to lie again just like he lied to me two weeks earlier when we caught him in a sting. He was like, “I didn’t do anything. We’re just resting. I was going to take her to her dad’s house.” The story does make sense, but the detective did a good job of picking it apart. There’s this video. What was he going to do with that video? He was going to sell this child pornography on top of the horrifying thing he did to a fourteen-year-old girl.
It didn’t matter whether she willingly got into his car or willingly had the conversation. She’s fourteen. She can’t give consent. It’s rape. It’s that simple. You’re damaging a child for the rest of their lives potentially. Here’s a guy doing this, and he finally pleaded guilty. He is going to go away for at least 4 or 5 years. He deserves to go away longer based on his criminal history, but at least we got him off the streets. What if that mom hadn’t pinged the cell phone?
What if something happened and the case didn’t go back in front of the grand jury or he wasn’t prosecuted in the sting where we got him? He’s free. He’s shown based upon the second arrest that he’s capable of doing this. What else has he done in the interim? I don’t think these are the only two times he’s been caught.
Especially as ready as he was to try to talk his way out of it.
It was a gray area judgment call. He would’ve found his Lord and Savior after getting busted in our deal, getting bond, and walking out of there. He couldn’t control himself. He’s going to get back out and probably do it again.
I have a question, zooming out more sociologically. I know that you are more front lines with this stuff. I’ve always been curious. This sort of behavior is something that collectively, as a society, we all deem to be wrong. In a vacuum, no one thinks that this sort of stuff is okay. However, whenever it seems like someone faces these accusations, whether it’s a political leader, a religious leader, the guy who runs a football team, or a teacher, there are always people willing to make excuses and turn a blind eye to it. Oftentimes, it’s the people who scream the loudest about putting people like this in prison. I was wondering. Why do you think we, as animals, are like that?
Sometimes, the people who scream the loudest have the most to hide. That’s human nature. It’s deflection. It’s, “Look over there because I don’t want you to see what I’m doing.” It’s not in every case. There are very vocal people who are trying to educate the world so children don’t become victims of predators. There’s a lot of great work being done by these NGOs and nonprofits. I speak to these groups all the time. There’s a ton of work and they do a lot of good. They prevent a lot of bad things from happening to children. In terms of who these guys are, they come from all walks of life. They don’t have the word predator tattooed on their forehead.
It would make it a lot easier. I don’t see it going away. Imagine this. When we first did these investigations in 2004, we partnered with an online watchdog group called Perverted Justice. Their volunteers would pose as children online. That’s how we did it. We didn’t even work with law enforcement for the first two stings. That came later. We had decoys posing as kids in chat rooms on AOL and Yahoo. That was it, or maybe MySpace occasionally.
Now, imagine the explosion in terms of the number of social media platforms where adults can approach kids. Think about what was going on during the pandemic when kids were online virtually all day and all night. We’re not talking about the dark web. Kids generally don’t access the dark web. We’re talking about mainstream social media platforms. We’ve seen it happen on Instagram. We’ve seen it happen in a lot of different places. The predators can take different forms.
We are working on a big documentary about this sextortion issue, where criminals from West Africa or Eastern Europe get on and pose as good-looking young gals. They form a conversation or a relationship with a teenage boy who is 16 or 17 years old. They convince the boy to send them sexually explicit pictures and then they blackmail them. They crush this young man’s life. In some cases, they end up committing suicide. It’s horrible.
We profile a case in South Carolina, one in Ohio, one in northern Michigan, and one in California. These criminals get away with it with impunity because they’re far away. In the Michigan case, ironically in Marquette where we did the sting, they were able to work with the FBI. They arrested the criminals in Nigeria and extradited them to Michigan, the United States, to face trial, which is the first time in any of these cases.
I’ve never heard of that. It’s always like, “It’s Nigeria. What are you going to do?”
They went over there, grabbed their asses, and brought them back.
It’s an incredibly big story. We’ve been covering it from the get-go. Imagine being a parent of one of these kids. All the kid has to say is, “Dad, Mom, I screwed up. I sent a picture of my junk. Grandma’s not going to see it. Nobody’s going to care. It’s over in fifteen minutes.” The kids at a certain age don’t see through to the end. They don’t see that this is not a big deal.
It happens to the good kids who are all worried about their friends, their peers, and what folks are going to think of them. They’re like, “Is this going to affect me getting into college?” This kid’s dead because he was fearful that people would find out he made a mistake. This kid should have started his sophomore year in college but instead killed himself out of shame because he was such a good kid.
These criminals that are half a world away should be prosecuted for murder. They were able, through technology, to sneak inside a home where normally, doors don’t have to be locked and kill a kid. They forced a kid to kill himself. It’s shocking. This is the story that we go after because we can tell it in a way nobody else can tell it. We form these relationships with the parents and the survivors.
We not only do the story for TruBlu, but we do it for other platforms. We create a special documentary to hand out free to junior highs and high schools across the country so that we can create some sense of awareness and maybe prevent another young man or young woman from doing this. Mostly, it affects young men. That’s the kind of impact that we’re exerting effort through this streaming crime network.
That’s good because honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of research from the medical community on things like this. It’s got to be difficult to go look for a grant by saying, “I want to help people who hurt children.” People don’t hear the part about, “I’m going to make them not do it anymore.” People are quick to go, “There’s no fixing them. You are weird for wanting to try.”
There is a lot of good work out there being done and a lot of funds being raised for it. There is a lot of government money being used for it. It’s there. It’s a huge issue for sure. It happened to this nice family and an ideal family in Marquette. It can happen to the son of a state legislator in South Carolina and to a loving and caring mom in San Jose. We sat in the San Jose Police Department. In the two days we were there for the story, they had four reports of sextortion in the time we were around. They were not suicides, but sextortion. It happens all the time.
What exactly was the catalyst that made you go from journalist to this specific type of journalism?
I had always tried to do, even in local news, investigative stuff or what I more accurately call enterprise reporting where you try to take it to the next level. Early on, before we had the technology and used hidden cameras, we did the best we could to infiltrate a drug gang because we found home videos in a drug raid. The authorities were able to get those. They take people inside what it was like to be a part of this drug gang in Detroit.
You see how impactful that is so you start to figure out ways to be more creative in enterprising and reporting. It evolves into going overseas. We did a story at Dateline that I still look at as one of my biggest moments. A team of producers at an NGO infiltrated brothels exploiting 6, 7, and 8-year-old kids being abused by American and Western European tourists. They went in there posing as tourists and showed all this. They showed the bust. The counterfeit pharmaceuticals in China, how does that happen? You partner with one of the pharmaceutical companies and law enforcement to get access there.
It rolls on to all these different topics, and then you do the child predator stings. That has resonated with our viewers around the world for a lot of different reasons. When you realize that, then you want to go back and look at all these cases, which is what I do with the podcast Predators I’ve Caught. We go back for twenty years. Where are they now? What did they do? What do we know about them now that we didn’t know? Where are they? Are they lurking about still?
Have any of them gone on to be law-abiding citizens?
A lot of them have or at least have not done anything we found out about. A lot of guys that get caught get scared straight. Some have been in and out of trouble for years since getting caught. They can’t seem to live their life without violating the terms of their probation. The sentencing is all over the board. In some jurisdictions, it’s very strict sentencing guidelines. In some, it’s looser. At least people are aware that this happened. Many of these guys at least have to register as a sex offender. We now know where that human is. That human has got to check in. It provides some sense of security that at least they’re on somebody’s radar.
Do you ever set up one of these stings and it’s a slow night and nothing happens?
That brings us comfort.
We also hear in the chat, “Is this a Chris Hansen thing?” or, “Is this a so-and-so thing?” The decoy says, “Who’s that?” Usually, they come anyway. Do you think that’d be a deterrent? We do these things for a number of days in a row. Sometimes, five guys will show up in one night. Sometimes, none show up. There’s a rhythm to each one of them. There is no formula. I joke with Shawn Rech who’s my partner at TruBlu. I said, “If nobody shows up anymore, we can go to Italy and do cooking shows. We’re going to wrap up a good television career.”
They’re handing those out like candy. Do you remember the first time someone sat down and recognized you in a catch-to-predator type of situation?
Yeah. It wasn’t too far into it. It was almost positive. It was in our third investigation, which was in Riverside, California. Two things were striking out of that. First of all, 51 guys showed up in 3 days, which was shocking to me. We had, for the first time, a guy who drove by the house and saw police activity, which was the arrest of a previous visitor. The decoy said, “There are neighbors that got busted in a drug thing.” He came back, walked into the house, and got busted. That was the first time somebody said, “I’ve seen the story. I know what this is about. I’ve seen the show.” I’m like, “Why are you here?”
On a lighter note, I have to know. Did Mike’s Hard Lemonade do something to upset you? Why was it always Mike’s Hard Lemonade?
I have a funny story. A friend of mine at the time worked for one of the big companies that had a competitor to Mike’s Hard Lemonade. He joked one time in a board meeting with corporate officials that because he was college buddies with Chris Hansen, they used Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We got a letter from the lawyers. Nobody set out to use Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
I always took it as if you wanted something hyper-specific for them to bring to the show.
We do that. We might ask for a certain kind of soft drink, soda pop, or something. If you ask whether it’s a dessert, a fast food, or a milkshake we used in one of those things, it shows intent. The guy says, “I wasn’t coming over there. It was a mistake and the wrong address,” or, “I was going to cut the lawn,” or whatever. We’re like, “You had this conversation. You said you’re going to bring condoms. You said you’re going to bring a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and you brought French fries or a pizza from Planet Pizza.”
We got a letter once from the lawyers at Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We told the decoys, “Don’t be specific.” We didn’t set out to use it. I don’t know whether it got brought up by a decoy first or whether it was offered by a predator. I don’t honestly remember how it started, but it did become a thing. When I was a kid it was Boone’s Farm. Every generation had their own entry-level alcohol that tasted good so young people would try it. It’s like drinking Dewar’s on the rocks and something softer.
Before we let you go, we should bring it back around Peloton and ask, do you have any advice for people just entering the world of Peloton?
Peloton, like my training at Robert Brace Studio, is a lifestyle. Whether it’s the bike, the treadmill, or the rowing machine, it’s all part of a mind-body awareness exercise routine that is very helpful. It’s something that can be done in the comfort of your own home. It’s something that can be done in a gym or a hotel if you’re a guy or woman who travels.
It’s great because there’s a community involved with it. There’s a true identity with a lot of the instructors. Whether you know them in real life or not, you do develop this relationship with them. That’s important. Just like I develop a relationship with my audience, the Peloton instructors do the same thing with their audience, which includes me.
I appreciate what goes into it and the effort that the instructors take to create an experience for their followers and the people who take their classes. A lot goes into it. It’s not just showing up at a spin class. It’s great exercise, whatever you do. Don’t get me wrong. The Peloton routine has a special cachet on its own. I appreciate it and a lot of other people do too.
Are you comfortable sharing your leaderboard name?
TCAPWITHCH I believe is what I am. That’s To Catch A Predator, the acronym, WITH CH.
Thank you for sharing that. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find your work. You’re still out there doing this. It’s still very getable for everybody.
All of our documentaries and the new predator investigations, which we call Takedown with Chris Hansen, are on my new streaming crime network, TruBlu. Go to WatchTruBlu.com for details. You can sign up. It’s like Netflix for crime. The podcast is Predators I’ve Caught. That’s available on all platforms anywhere you want to get a podcast. We’re busy doing a lot of work. It’s a very exciting time.
We’ll be following along. We love true crime. We love the work that you’re doing. We appreciate all that you’ve done for so many years. Thank you.
We mean this in the nicest possible way. We hope you are out of the job.
I’ll be down at CrimeCon in Orlando. I don’t suspect we’ll be out of work anytime soon, but I understand. I’m with you.
What else is a CrimeCon?
CrimeCon is a very interesting gathering of people who do what I do. They are people who are in law enforcement and fans of the genre. It’s grown into a major event. It happens to be in Orlando this 2023. It’s September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. If you go to CrimeCon.com, you can get all the details. It’s a great event.
I’ll be presenting with Sheriff Chris Swanson who has the ghost team in Genesee County, Michigan who does a lot of predator investigations. They are a very proactive sheriff’s department. A lot of other people would present too. There would be everybody from the Dateline folks to people who are involved in forensic crime investigation.
Nancy Grace is usually there. Dan Abrams is usually there. There will be people from ABC who covered the case in South Carolina, the lawyer who was accused, which is the Murdaugh case. All the topical stories will be there and a lot of the inside stories that you won’t hear anywhere else. It is quite an event. It had been going for 3 or 4 years. I get invited back every year. It’s good to be with people who care about the genre, and folks really do when they go to CrimeCon.
That’s great. Thank you so much for joining us. This has been fun. Is that weird to say?.
It’s not weird at all.
This has been fascinating. We were so excited to do this.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. I’m glad it worked out.
I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can we find you?
People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. I am also on all the socials and the Peloton leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online on Facebook.com/TheClipOut. Don’t forget our YouTube channel or our Patreon at Patreon.com/TheClipOut. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running and rowing.
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