Former Dateline producer Marsha Bartel alleges in a lawsuit filed against NBC that she was axed after blowing the whistle on improper journalistic practices going on behind the scenes at "To Catch a Predator." According to papers obtained by thesmokinggun.com, Bartel suggests that by paying vigilante group Perverted Justice to help with the series, the network has given it a "financial incentive to lie to trick targets of its sting." Further, when she told her boss about controversial comments made by PJ's founder, el jefe David Corvo reportedly responded, "We all know they're nuts."

Law enforcement officials, Bartel adds, have at times had an idea of what justice entails that differs rather radically from what is shown on TV. She says she witnessed cops "goofing off by waving rubber chickens in the faces of sting targets while forcing them to the ground and handcuffing them."

Natch, NBC has responded that "we believe this lawsuit is without merit." If I were being nailed for a million bucks, I'd certainly want to believe that, too.