The prank call tragedy

December 9th, 2012 at 7:19 am by David Farrar

news.com.au reports:

THE boss of the radio network at the centre of the hoax call suicide tragedy has defended radio pranks as the government watchdog begins to investigate the incident.

A visibly shaken Rhys Holleran, CEO of Southern Cross Austereo that owns the radio station, has expressed the network’s “deep sorrow” at the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, on Friday just days after she answered Sydney radio station 2DayFM’s hoax call.

I think there is a place for prank calls, but I don’t regard what that radio station did as a prank call. I think it was a nasty little lie. There is nothing clever or funny in ringing up a nurse and pretending to be someone else to access the private health records of a patient – no matter how famous.

If they had even an ounce of empathy, they should have realised in advance their call, if successful  would result in the employees concerned being massively distraught at their mistake in trusting them not to be lying. Also I don’t see what is funny about a young women having her first baby being in hospital due to complications.

No the suicide of Jacintha Saldanha was not predictable in advance, and I am sure they are genuinely upset by what has happened. However it was predictable that that nature of the call and the hoax they were enacting was going to cause great distress to the hospital staff they conned. The only thing unknown was the extent.

Now two children do not have a mother, and Kate and William’s first child will always be associated with the death of an innocent. Prince William already hated the press for what he saw as their role in the death of his mother. No doubt this addition to the media death toll will only harden that hatred.

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