Friday, December 07, 2012

Die Laughing

Today's column for the Daily Banter takes a look at the pretty shocking suicide of a nurse and receptionist in London who was unwittingly involved in a prank by two Australian DJs.

Here's a quick excerpt:

"It almost goes without saying that the two DJs, Christian and Grieg, are now the targets of global outrage — because of course it was their fault that what was intended to be a harmless joke happened to inadvertently fall into the hands of someone who I have no doubt was a really terrific person but who had to be at least mildly unbalanced. Jesus, the nurse who took the call and who inexplicably didn’t catch on to the fact that the ridiculously exaggerated caricatures she was speaking to for five minutes weren’t, in fact, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles — this woman is still alive. The person who connected the call, however, kills herself. I’d ask if that makes sense at all but it would be a laughable conceit since none of this makes any sense."

Read the Rest Here


John O'Brien said...

I've been following you blog for years, and I usually - as in 99.9% of the time - agree with you. This time, though, I'm a bit quesy (sp?)
Yes, it was a joke. Yes, the poor nurse probably had some other problems. Yes, it was an obvious gag.
That said, there's a responsibility one has when one has the 'power of the air'. I spent 23 years in Canada exercising that power. I would never have allowed that, joke or not.. Humourless? Maybe. Responsible? I'd like to think so. Sad? Definetly.
It's past time, I'd argue, that these conversations need to start happening again in newsrooms around the world. The result may not be different, but at a least we will have had a conversation.
I doubt that happened in this case.

Izar Talon said...

I'm sorry, but that's about one of the LAMEST arguments Ive ever heard.

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you meant; during the 23 years when you were exercising your "power of the air" you "never would have allowed" what, exactly? That utterly tame, harmlessly vanilla gag? Are you seriously saying that you wouldn't have allowed that on the air because it was, what, too controversial?

Are you SERIOUS??

I must assume that you also considered Candid Camera to be dangerously "irresponsible."

Now I'm done joking:

This woman must have been feeling such utter despair that oblivion seemed preferable to whatever she was dealing with. I have been very close to that dark place myself, recently. But for now, we have absolutely no idea what problems she was suffering through.

To assume otherwise, to believe that those DJs were responsible for her death because she, a grown woman, was so emotionally weak that she actually killed herself over a prank phone call THAT SHE DIDN'T EVEN HEAR, is so utterly demeaning to the woman and her family that anyone who believes it should be totally ashamed of themselves.

CNNfan said...