Saturday, 8 December 2012

That Australian Phone-Call: Don't The DJs Deserve A Little Pity Too?

It's a truly dreadful situation. Two Australian DJs make a prank phone-call to a London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is a patient--and the nurse who took the call takes her own life. My sympathy goes out to her family, and at this the most terrible time of the year to suffer a loss.
Every company has the token 'dodgy' employee, and it's good that the buck stops with the boss--though they too can't always be blamed for what their employees get up to. Therefore companies withdrawing their advertising does on the face of it seem rather silly and overly dramatic. Had they worked for an airline company, or a retail chain, for example, would we expect everyone to travel with another airline or buy from another shop?
The circumstances of this young woman's tragic demise are not yet known, but on the face of it, taking one's life for something which on the face of it was not a serious crime does seem a little extreme. I appeared on that radio show last years. The presenter is what I would call 'loud', and slightly cynical--virtually all of our DJs in this country are the same. It's called having a personality because we no longer live in a society where presenters wear dinner jackets to read the news and sound like Godfrey Winn. Listening to the broadcast, they do such a poor impersonation of the royals, I'm surprised anyone could have fallen for it. And they were just having a lark--it's been done before and it'll be done again.
While I feel sorry for the young woman who died, I cannot help but extend my sympathy to these DJs--particularly the one who interviewed me. They must be going through hell, and so must anyone one else who may or may not have helped them with their prank. Little wonder they are undergoing counselling. Should they be fired? No, I don't think so. How were they to know that whoever answered the phone would end up committing suicide? They need our sympathy and support as well.

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