Death call DJs break silence, saying decision to broadcast call was not theirs; show cancelled

Mel Greig on A Current Affair: not our call to broadcast the prank
Above and below: Michael Christian
Jacintha Saldanha

UPDATE: 9.30pm: The DJs at the centre of the royal prank call suicide scandal have broken their silence, appearing in two TV interviews.

This evening has also seen Southern Cross Austereo (owner of 2Day FM) cancel their show, and issue a stationwide ban on all pranks calls.

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been suspended indefinitely, the company said in a statement.

"SCA and the hosts of the radio program have also decided that they will not return to the airwaves until further notice."

On Channel Nine's A Current Affair, the DJs defended their role in the scandal.

"We don't get to make those decisions. Our job is to record and get the audio ... and act upon as we're told," Ms Greig said.

In terms of broadcasting the audio, "It's not up to us to make that decision, Mr Christian said. "It goes to other departments to make the call."

In its statement, SCA confirmed the recording had been given internal legal approval.

The idea for the prank had come from "Just the team sitting down before the show - [we] just had the idea for just a simple harmless phone call," Mr Christian said.

The pair said they were heartbroken, and gutted.

Ms Greig was tearful throughout; Mr Christian more clear-eyed and formal. The interview was unpaid.

Not their decision, but focus on them
Earlier, A Current Affiar host Tracy Grimshaw told media the pair were "pretty shattered people."

Ms Grimshaw, like a number of Australian politicians, said she felt a degree of sympathy for the pair.

"They’re at a certain point on the food chain," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"There are other people who made the decision to put it to air, it wasn’t live to air, there was a decision made after that prank call was recorded to put it to air," yet virtually all the focus had been on the DJs.

Possible prosecution
But while some in the media industry have given the DJs a sympathetic hearing, the pair still face criminal charges for breaking a law that prevent recording a conversation without a person's consent.

Sydney University law professor Barbara McDonald said authorities would have to look very carefully at a possible breach of the Surveillance Devices Act. The situation is coloured by the fact that the prank call was made to the UK.

2Day FM parent company Southern Cross Austereo also faces a possible fast-track investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) into a possible breach of the Radio Code of Practice which says a radio licensee must not broadcast the voice of an identifiable person unless that person has been informed in advance.

Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran told talk radio station 3AW that 2Day FM staff tried to contact hospital staff on at least five occassions before the pre-recorded prank call was broadcast. Asked if staff had called for approval to broadcast, Mr Holleran said "We rang them up to discuss what we recorded."

He said his company did nothing illegal.


2Day FM DJs get high-profile backing after 'harmless prank' 

EARLIER / Dec 10: The DJs responsible for the royal prank call want to speak publicly, a spokeswoman for Southern Cross Austereo, parent company of 2Day FM says. "[But] we haven't ascertained when they're ready for that and how we're going to organise that."

For now, Mel Greig and Michael Christian are in hiding. Their Twitter accounts have been deleted.

The pair are said to be fragile - a development that has has sent UK tabloids into a frenzy. "Australian radio station boss refuses to sack Royal prank DJs and claims THEY are the victims" offered The Daily Mail in a typical headline.

Radio network replies to hospital
After an emergency board meeting Sunday afternoon, Southern Cross Austereo promised to "fully cooperative with all investigations" carried out by King Edward VII Hospital, which wrote to the company over the weekend, demanding it take steps to avoid a similar incident happening again.

In a letter of reply (read full text here), chairman Max Moore-Wilton said his company will be ''taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast and processes involved."

But Mr Moore-Wilton was short on specifics.

''It is too early to know the full details leading to this tragic event and we are anxious to review the results of an investigation that may be made available to us or made public," he wrote.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard issued a brief statement of condolence to the family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha (46), who put through the hoax call, and is believed to have take taken her life.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said it was up to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to determine whether 2Day FM had breached the commercial radio code of practice.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman issued a statement saying the authority wouldn’t make any comments at this stage but would be "engaging" with the station over the facts and issues over the call. The situation is coloured by the fact the call was pre-recorded, then vetted by Southern Cross Austero lawyers and managers before being broadcast, plus the fact the call was made offshore.

Federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson was more direct.

"We shouldn't be engaged in activity which could have the affect of embarrassing and humiliating people because that can put them under extreme pressure," he told Channel Nine.

Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas told media the London Metropolitan Police had been in contact, but had not asked for any action at this stage.


Dec 9: The chairman of London's King Edward VII hospital, Lord Glenarthur, has sent a sharply-worded letter to 2Day FM, the Australian radio station behind a prank call that led to a nurse's suicide.

The letter says two staff were "humiliated" by a hoax call from DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian - which it notes was pre-recorded and approved by managers. 

The 2Day FM presenters called the hospital posing as the Queen and Prince Charles. Nurse Jacintha Saldanha (46) put the call through to the ward were the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness. A second nurse gave the pair details of Kate Middleton's condition. Ms Saldanha was subsequently found dead. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances - code for someone taking their own life.

In the letter, released Saturday night, Lord Glenaurthur calls on the station to " take steps to ensure that such an incident could never be repeated."

He describes the call as "extremely foolish" and the station's decision to broadcast the pre-recorded audio as "truly appalling."

On 2Day FM's Facebook page, an avalanche of 15,000+ comments has been mixed. Some slam the pair, but others said anger should be directed at the hospital's poor security. 
 
The station's staff are reportedly babysitting Ms Greig and Mr Christian and trying to shield them from media coverage - fearing they may in turn do themselves harm. 

2Day FM has temporarily taken the pair off air. They are described as "fragile."

And yesterday Southern Cross Austereo, the company that owns 2Day FM, suspended all advertising on the station.

Two high-profile politicians have sympathy for DJs
The move came after supermarket chain Coles pulled its ads.

Not everyone joined in the backlash, however.

Ms Greig and Mr Christian received high-profile backing from ex-Victorian Premiere Jeff Kennett, now chairman of depression awareness organisation beyondblue.

"When they did this they had no intention to cause harm, it was a harmless prank,” Mr Kennett told ABC radio.

"Now they will be under extraordinary pressure and I just hope that they get our support and that their employer provides them with the professional support to help them get through what will be a terrible few weeks."

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell also had sympathy for the pair, whom he told reporters must be feeling "terrible".

"I don't imagine in any way that those who were engaged in the typical FM radio stunt would have thought it would lead to this,” Mr O'Farrell said.

"I think there are some people today who are suffering, not just the family of the nurse but those who in some way were involved with what appears to be the trigger for this tragedy."

'Nasty little lie'
New Zealand commentator David Farrar wasn't buying that argument.

"I think there is a place for prank calls, but I don’t regard what that radio station did as a prank call. It was a nasty little lie," Mr Farrar wrote.

"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.

"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."

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104 Comments & Questions

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Why shouldn't those two be charged with 2nd degree murder?? They CAUSED the Nurses death!

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No they didnt..

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NO they did not - it's very unfortunate that the nurse took her own life, but in modern day radio pranks like this happen for the amusement of their listeners (and advertising money). it's the hospital to blame for the security breach and no one else.

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Rubbish. It was a simple prank.

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Any prank, simple or otherwise should not humiliate any lame hardworking and sincere victim to death....simple joker, eh?

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Is Bart Simpson going to be held responsible if Moe commits suicide?

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It was not a prank. Were it a prank then permission would have been sought from the person being "pranked" prior to call. This was simply a misguided attempt to increase ratings by ruining somebody's career.

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Grow a brain. It is not much of a prank if you ask for permission first!

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Except that it's not ratings period. It's summer programming so your argument is flawed.

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I agree. Although I think this all started with an unnecessary hospital visit by a Royal....who else gets preferential treatment for Morning Sickness??! However the actions of the Radio DJs directly led to this poor woman committing suicide. A woman whose work saved lived and contributed more to humanity than two hapless DJs, whose function is totally redundant in this world when it comes to matters of life or death

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Is this a comment from someone with medical qualifications who is able to diagnose via the internet that this was an "unnecessary" hospital visit?!

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It can only have been the straw that broke the camel's back, not the whole cause. Is it the straw's fault, or the rest of the load the camel was carrying that is to blame?

99.9999999% of people would not have killed themselves in the same situation - no one could have foreseen that this would happen. Yes, it is sad, but it is ridiculous to suggest that anyone making a call that actually harmed no one can be to blame for this death.

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Yes, they are taking someone's family forever.

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She made a mistake at work (if there was a policy that she breached). Even if they were involved in the mistake, it is not the DJs' fault how she, her employer, or her colleagues deal with that mistake.

If every person who made a mistake at work killed themselves there would only be the permanently unemployed still alive.

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Jeff Kennett should take a good hard look at himself.

Whilst I agree that blaming the presenters for the death of the nurse is unfair, saying that their actions in making the prank call are acceptable is very disappointing indeed from the chairman of an organisation that purports to support vulnerable people. Planning to obtain private medical details of a pregnant, sick woman and broadcasting them is NOT acceptable to any decent person. Planning to do so by conning vulnerable people and exposing them to disciplinary action is even worse. The fact that the consequences of this action were so much worse than planned and have resulted in such a huge backlash does not excuse the original intention.

I’m very disappointed to see the chairman of such a valuable organisation making such statements.

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I agree with you in general, but I do regard the DJs as responsible for her death. Any prank call carries a risk, you do not know the circumstances of the receiver, what may be harmless for many can be devastating for some. This risk needs to balanced against the gain, in this case very little. There is no public right to know confidential patient information. As well, their later boasting about how easy it had been to fool the hospital was bound to cause humiliation and shame, in this case on a world wide scale. So the DJs are responsible for her death, there actions created a risk, without any counterbalancing justification for that risk.

Also prank calls to hospitals are always irresponsible, they tie up time of staff who are trying to care for the sick and save lives. In the worst circumstances that could harm patient care. The call maker has no idea of the circumstances at the hospital when they ring.

The idea that this sort of media stunt is harmless is simply wrong.

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Agree 100%.

While the presenters are indirectly responsible for the nurse's death, the level of abuse heaped on them by the global media (social and commercial) is over the top.

Blame them for the original stupidity, but don't accuse them of murder. After all, if a somebody plays a practical joke on or bullies or stalks or harasses another person, and death results (either suicide or accidental), the perpetrator is not charged with murder, as there was no intention to cause death. Same situation here. What they did was NOT acceptable in the same way bullying is not acceptable.

I would like to see "prank calls" outlawed in the same way bullying has been. It's the really the same thing.

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Surely it's obvious that focusing undue rage in these DJs will
Next lead to one of them harming themselves.

When that happens can we then suggest that all the anonymous angry/stupid blog posters can also be charged with 2nd degree murder?

The incident is simply unfortunate, but if you listen to FM radio this is what they do everyday and the audience continues to listen - they live listening to this nonsense - if the audience didn't want it, the station wouldn't make it. And the self righteous advertisers would advertise their.

Sadly when this nurse was the victim of a prank she was isolated(her own words) by those who should have supported her.

Stop the witch hunt before someone else get hurt.

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"if the audience didn't want it, the station wouldn't make it" - sounds exactly the same as a child porn manufacturer defending his work. That's an extreme analogy, but the sentiment is the same.

Just because a segment of the population want it doesn't make it right.

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if the audience didn't want it, the station wouldn't make it.

And 9 out of 10 participants in a gang rape enjoy it ... therefore it is OK?

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There is as yet no evidence that they caused the dealth of the nurse. The over reaction from the hospital manager was to cover his own incompetence as the security at the hospital was clearly non existent..

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I very much hope that both presenters will have a good hard look at themselves and anybody who seems to lack any kind of empathy or, at points, seems to entirely misjudge how being made fun of in front of others can be very hurtful to some people. It displays an unfortunately quite common ignorance towards the fact the people are different from one another. It's based on an arrogant view that everybody should be able to take a joke. It's supported by a culture where many will feel that something is not quite right but will go along with it just for the fun of it or because they are too unsure of their own beliefs. I'd be curious to see if this incident will have any repercussions at all. In a week, maybe less maybe more, 2day FM is going to air more stupid pranks, more people will laugh at it and nobody will question where a joke stops and where bullying starts.

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What a sad world the Media is visiting upon us. They are like a lot of Pirahnas in a tank and will, hopefully , end up eating one another. There was no "evil intent" in the actions of the reporters. They were merely doing their job in getting stuff which their readers want to know. (Can't think why!). I doubt that they thought that they would get past first base in their quest. And indeed they wouldn't have if the hospital had half decent security procedures. Now we have other sections of the media proclaiming " World in uproar over prank" . Who are they kidding ? The only uproar has been created by them. Soon it will be impossible to crack a joke or pull a stunt on family member without it being headlines in the paper the next day. Of course it is very sad that this affected the nurse in the way that it did but to blame the reporters and castigate them is well over the top. I agree with Jeff Kennett and Barry O'Farrell and think that they have more common sense than "New Zealand Commentator" David Farrar. Who? We need to have a look at where this is all going and remember what life is about.

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Pulling a stunt on a family member is totally different to obtaining private medical information by deception for commercial gain, with the totally predictable result that the employees who are conned will be in trouble. Honestly, people defending this sort action really do need to have a look at themselves. For a start, deliberately getting somebody into trouble in the workplace is not a "harmless joke".

Also, since when does "merely doing their job getting stuff their readers want to know" excuse these sorts of actions. The end result of that is that anything that the listeners (not readers) want to hear is OK, and the desires of the listeners justifies doing anything at all. Pretty much where we are at the moment in commercial radio in fact.

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"merely doing their job". - The NAZI excuses at Nuremburg was; "I was just following orders". Didn't worth there!

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I was trying not to Godwin the thread - but that analogy had occurred to me as well.

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Two idiot radio jocks. They and journos like them sound like little kids saying 'but we didnt mean to'. Perhaps they should have thought about what they were doing first, and about the consequences of what they did and what they intended to do with the information their prank solicited. So pathetic to now say you are sorry, and pathetic for people to try and defend their actions. They did it, now they face the consequences. Tough.

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Storm in a teacup.. It was a harmless prank. We dont know why she took her life or what other problems she was dealing with at the time or what was going on in her head. For all we know her reason for commiting suicide could be un-related, she is responsible for her own death. These dj's have been copping a lot worse treatement and public humiliation by the media then the nurse ever did.

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This sort of thing is not harmless. How would you like to be publicly laughed at, and have the DJs boast about how easy it had been to fool you to the whole world? That is radio and cyber bullying (it was on the station's webpage). Also, it was bound to cause repercussions for her at work. It should never have been broadcast, and the DJs and the station must accept that they probably contributed to her death. That such a broadcast could cause some harm to those being hoaxed was entirely predictable, even if her death wasn't.

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The two presenters should be charged with causing the death of the poor girl. I write from the UK and listened to the prank call on the Internet. The accents and language are laughable - WITH HINDISGHT. But just imagine a young, flustered and tired nurse, half-way through a night shift (it was very early morning over here) and it's easy to see how she must have felt to receive a 'phone call purporting to be from our Queen! When all was revealed, she must have felt excruciatingly embarassed - and one can only immagine the comments she had to contend with from her colleagues.
It was dreadful to hear that she'd taken her own life, leaving two kiddies without their Mum - especially at this time of year.

R.I.P. Jacintha.

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...but you went out of your way to go and listen to it. What does that say?

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It says that they're in the UK (and therefore didn't hear it on the radio), that they were interested enough to want to know how good or bad the accents were and so they went and found the recording on the internet to judge for themselves. (after all, it was playing on 2dayfm's website for hours after the death)

You went out of your way to make a nasty insinuation about their motives and/or character. What does that say about you?

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We have been bombarded with the news here in the UK and so, not wanting to pre-judge the issue, we listened for ourselves. Anyone over here who heard the 'phone call - and whose native tongue is English - is clearly highly unlikely to have been taken in by it - especially the 'Queen's reference to the 'bloody corgies!' But this poor girl did not have that benefit, was half-way through her night shift at the hospital and suddenly confronted with this call ostensibly from the Queen and Prince Charles. It was not as if the presenters got (or were likely to get) through to Kate herself - so consequently others were put in the firing line and therefore the potential consequences of this particular prank must have been obvious to any half-wit!

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The nurse over-reacted by committing suicide.
One does not commit suicide over a prank call - especially when the hospital supported her.
Didn't she have a husband to discuss things through and vent and reason things out?
Leaving her children without a mother because of a prank? What was she thinking?

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Clearly the 'pranksters' were happy to risk the telephone call recipient being reprimanded or even fired.

That shows how cynical and uncaring the radio station staff and supporters are.

The death merely (?) highlights the personal & moral failings of these people.

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Typical defence of a bully - blame the victim

"it was only a joke"
"the victim over-reacted"
"I didn't really mean it"

Wake up to yourself. We've outlawed workplace bullying, humiliating initiation rituals and all sorts of other things that were once considered acceptable. It's more than time that we outlawed this sort of bullying masquerading as entertainment.

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Is bullying at work illegal? Ooops...

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If she breached a hospital policy then she should have been disciplined. If they didn't, then it wasn't her fault. Either way, it is not the DJs' fault she killed herself.

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I think you should all remember where the call was directed, A hospital!

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The C.E.O. of the station says they did nothing wrong. So the management are as guilty as the two jerks who did it. To impersonate someone (deceive them) for personal gain is illegal. They all did it for more publicity, more notoriety, which is worth much more money to them all. They were gloating over their success until this happened. Now they are copping the same energy that they so cockily inflicted on that poor woman. They are now on the receiving end of world wide headlines, but not for the reason they want. It does serve them right.

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Do you people make lying calls to hospital wards where ladies are
receiving urgent medical attention from hard working medics, at 5.30 in the morning ? ?

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Mr Kennett- and some of my fellow commenters- obviously have a new meaning for the word 'harmless', of which I am unaware.
If I make an error while driving to work, and someone is killed in the ensuing accident, I'll have to front court under a charge of manslaughter, or at least dangerous driving causing death.
Why is the media different?

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Yes true, if you drive a car and do so negligently or recklessly your responsible for it as it can be deemed a dangerous thing. Just think about how ridiculous your statement is. The situation is that sound waves are not a dangerous thing, or at least this is what I make of your comparison of a car, which is a dangerous thing. If we hooked the radio up to some ultrasound, coupled it and then blasted at the nurse then it becomes a dangerous thing because it can cause perforated ear drums and deafness, which is what they do to protesters in war zones.

If you read any newspapers you realise that if she had held on for a little longer some other sensationalised story would of replaced this one with in a week or two.

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I don't know whose hands are clean here. The DJs provoked a mistake, the radio station exploited it, the hospital dealt with it and its staff and public reacted to it along with all the other media.

There is is probably plenty of blame to go around them all. And plenty of motive for all to point their fingers at someone else.

In the long run, the only cure for cruelty is kindness. It may as well start with us.

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Well said Alan and a pertinent observation I had also made. There are no winners in this sorry saga, none at all. Everybody needs to look inside themselves and see how they can make the world a better place to fix the malaise exhibited with this event.

Taking concrete pills to harden up is not going to solve anything.

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Such a pity the anonymous pushers of the dislike button do not front up with a) their names, and b) their argument.

They show only they are capable of voting but not of thinking.

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I think the managers & hosts are to blame. Why would anyone try & prank a pregnant woman when she's ill in hospital, I know they didnt get to speak to Kate but the plan was to speak to Kate herself.

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I agree the two jocks did not mean to cause harm and as they said, they never even expected to get through. But... for the prank to be played on air after the lawyers looked at it is deplorable. The poor nursing staff in all countries are becoming more and more over-worked as governments and health agencies feel the pinch. I do blame the hospital and the lack of security, for heaven's sake, they surely must have some sort of protocol or even a private line for the sort of situation they must expect if they treat royals? However, sadly we are all to blame if we have ever laughed at a prank call and the radio station is definitely to blame if it ever even remotely contemplated the fact that taking advantage of one of our most valuable resources; i,e. people who actually care about and for others, was acceptable. The poor girls in this incident were quite likely to face some sort of disciplinary action in this case, caused by a mindless prank. Now one has lost everything, her family have lost her and we try to place blame. Poor Kate has the knowledge that her pregnancy, something to be celebrated, has led to this. I hope the radio station loses enough money over this to think again and vet it's presenters better, better yet, contemplate a different style of "entertainment". Moreover, I hope the lawyers feel ashamed too.

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You can't blame the hospitals lack of security, the receptionist might have picked up on the trickery but nurses aren't trained to deal with any media on the phone whereas receptionists cover it in admin training. Another thing, Jacinda RIP, was not native to Britain therefore would have difficulty distinguishing similar accents and/or dialects. Plus how was she to know what the queen sounds like or that she would've had someone else call on her behalf.

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I agree with #8. It's not the DJ's fault - everybody saw it for the fun it was. It wasn't something that should have precipitated anyone to take their own life, so there must have been something else in that woman's life that lead to it. Put the blame fair and square where it deserves to be (she took her own life) and that is not the DJs.

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Excuse me - everybody saw it for the fun it was ???

Maybe in your world and peer group - certainly not in mine, nor in the majority of the world.

Blaming the victim is just not acceptable.

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If the nurse hadn't taken her own life, that's exactly what it would have been seen as - having fun. She was not the victim, but she made herself the victim. Pranks are just that - pranks - and even those it was aimed at (the Royals), saw it in the spirit that it was intended. As a number of people have said, a prank is no reason to take your life and leave your children motherless. Clearly there must have been other underlying issues in her life and hopefully the inquest will bring those to light.

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Tragedy aside, the fact that they fraudulently acquired a sick woman's medical information and broadcast it to the world is staggering. If you or your family were subjected to such criminal behaviour you'd be rightly outraged. The fact the presenters have gone into hiding and their employers are protecting the decision to air this information shows what a spineless bunch they are. The suicide is tragic, but they also need to be held accountable for this gross invasion of privacy which can be legally punished in the UK. I hope the station and the employees concerned are held accountable.

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This really is the important point.

The nurse's death is a tragedy, but it has obscured the original problem.

The fact that it is considered acceptable to lie and impersonate somebody on the phone in an attempt to obtain privileged, confidential information, and then broadcast that information to all and sundry is appalling. The fact that it also holds a pair of honest hard-working employees up to international scorn and ridicule makes it worse.

That people such as Jeff Kennett and Barry O'Farrell are willing to stand up and say that this is "just a harmless prank" horrifies me.

Prank calls MUST be made illegal. The entertainment industry will never voluntarily comply with any code of ethics, so it has to be done by legislation.

If the media had it's way, they'd still be able to throw people to the lions "because it's what the audience wants to see".

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This prank was extremely poor judgement, when do we ever prank the emergency services, time wasted on a foolish prank could mean some ones life. Would these hoaxers call the police with a bomb scare, or the fire service with a report of fire. What were these people thinking?

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In Social Terms all people must take ownership for their words and ill-considered actions knowing causing others stress and pressure is unforgivable We must all consider the impact our action and words have on other. You never know the make up or stresses on others at any time as well as work and in this case social pressure.
The poor nurse was going to be subject to ridicule in any event, and immense pressure, The shock Jocks should be deeply ashamed as to the effect of there actions, all just for ratings. !!!

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An immature childish act by two immature childish individuals given too much autonomy by a radio station interested only in shock and ratings have triggered the death of an innocent individual. Sadly there is no crime of "Stupidity" if there were they should be charged with it. Not only have they cost this lady a useful and caring member of the community her life , unlike themselves they have also cat a pall over what should be a joyous and happy occasion for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and the Royals as a whole. They do not deserve sympathy or support and both Kennett and O'Farrell are wrong to suggest that they do the prat "Christian" was still tweeting about it after the announcement of the ladies death and the radio station were still streaming their silly little sound bite of the matter. THere may be no criminal charges brought against them but they should be sacked and the ACMA should take punitive action against the operator after all its not the first time.

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So who is to blame for Jacintha Saldanha's death? Jeff Kennett, Barry O'Farrell and Tory McGuire all say it's not the DJ's fault....

So is it the senior management and Lawyers of 2Day FM for allowing the hoax to be aired and two hard working nurses to be held up to Worldwide ridicule.....

Was Jacintha to blame as some seem to point out as it must be more than just a "harmless prank" that sent her over the edge...

It's simple to me.......

No phonecall, No death... A husband has a wife and two children a mother at christmas

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What a funny world we live in and sometimes quite surreal.

The tragic irony of all this, is that the least person to blame (Jacintha) took all the blame upon herself. The royals are to blame for not supplying adequate security for Kate, the Hospitals to blame for not training staff on security protocols surrounding the royals, the DJ's are to blame for hatching such a stupid prank, the stations management is to blame for Ok’ing it for airing, the stations lawyer is to blame for having no moral compass and the media is to blame for blowing the prank out of proportion.

But loving, caring, humble nurse Jacintha took all the blame herself and she just couldn’t handle it.

I wonder if the Pope will make her a saint..... Saint Jacintha of misdirected blame. Next time you get blamed for something that fate handed you .... just pray to St. Jacintha for strength. RIP angel.

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If the radio station and the management actually had a grasp of what the right thing to do is, what actually constitutes ethical behaviour, both the DJ's and the producer of the show would be sacked. But clearly they don't. It's partly the reason for why they find themselves in the current mess they do. Such unattractive people.

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What these DJs don't realise is that they've committed treason by impersonating the monarch, under an ancient law (Instruments of State Security, dating back to 1382) that was never repealed in England and later automatically inherited by Australia as a colony. After the Peasants Revolt of 1381 the law was passed to stop people gaining intelligence by 'making communications by impersonating the monarch, the monarch's heir or any agent of the monarch'.

The procedure to be followed to deal with the accused included a session with the 'appointed interrogator' who would use torture to extract a confession. The rack was usually available then, and a confession was almost guaranteed. The few who failed to confess all died during the interrogation.

The penalty was to publicly hang, draw and quarter the offender, a most gruesome way to go.

As this law has never been repealed, even in Australia, it could be applied today to these two DJs. What a thought.

By the way, I'm only joking.

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Last I heard - the prince was "incandescent with rage". You can only presume he was "incandescent with rage" at the hospital for allowing this to happen and he would have made his thoughts clear. I have no doubt that this rage filtered down to the person who took the call. Should the prince not grow up and realise there is more important things in life than a couple of DJs making a prank call and stop trying to make other peoples lives hell? I can see that everyone is now covering up for the prince and "he made no official complaint" and there is now no mention that he was incadescent with rage anywhere. We know where the blame lies and it aint in Australia.

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This would be doubly sad if it were true. Given that the Prince is rightly wary of press shenanigans after having his mother hounded to an early grave by disgusting French papparatzi tactics he may have over-reacted towards the hospital causing undue stress to flow down the chain.

What a terrible thing for Duchess Kate, who is burdened enough by the new pressure of carrying a direct heir to the throne to term (could be a possible cause for her illness?). The honeymoon is now well and truly over for her, and Wills.

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Oh, great.

Now it's not only the nurse's fault that she was so traumatised she took her own life - it's the husband of the sick lady who was the target of the prank who is to blame. I don't think anybody else "heard the prince was incandescent with rage". Perhaps you'd care to share your sources?

Anonymous - rather than suggesting the Price grow up, I suggest you attempt to do so and accept the simple fact that the so-called humour that instigated this prank call and then chose to broadcast it, even though it was completely predictable that the people involved would be ridiculed and humiliated, is not acceptable in today's society.

The consequences may have been worse than the perpetrators expected, but they certainly knew there would be consequences. The blame certainly does lie in Australia and they do need to be held to account.

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Which prince? Presumably you mean William. His dad actually laughed it off after the call and made a joke about perhaps him not being the real Prince Charles.

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Has it been confirmed she took her own life? How do we know she didn't have a medical condition. Everyone take a deep breath.

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Seriously! How many of the 50 or so commenters above are interested in the facts. From my reading at least half of them must know this unfortunate woman personally. This is an emotional discusion don't let a few facts get in the way.

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So presumably a hoax call reporting a bomb is now ok? Surely nothing but a harmless prank and if action result it's just due to the overreaction of the victims?

It's important to note that while this is a typical Aussie "underarm" incident there are perperators of similar stunts in NZ. Recent news items indicate that their numbers include an announcer with a mental health condition and another "comedian" who has name suppresion over a sex offence against a child. Quality people - quality industry.

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the nurse over-reacted by taking her own life. it's not the 2 DJs fault. their purpose is to create entertainment for listeners but of course at the same time abiding to their boundaries. any prank call is a slack thing to do but who would have thought that someone would commit suicide over one? i think more information on the nurse's background should be disclosed. what if she had a case of depression? is that still the DJs fault? people are one sided and stupid...

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The Prince is no stranger to death caused by media

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David Farrar is worried that a innocent persons ápparent suicide is associated with the future monarch of GB. Do you have a clue how ridiculous and lame that is, David? Yeah bla bla bla. These days its all about painting a favoúrable image of yourselves in the media but you know they do not call it the butchers apron for just any old reason, do they'? Oh yeah, sure, as long as it's not your lot's blood. Get lost.

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Let the nurse R.I.P enough is enough

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It is also an offence to obtain information by deception - ie,blagging. This is now counted as a crime in the UK under the Fraud Act of 2003.
Blagging in the UK press, etc, led to the Levenson enquiry here, and has meant people obtaining information under this pretext are heavily fined and can go to jail for up to a year. Now the inquiry has published it findings you can bet that the fines will be increased and heavier jail sentences demanded for these offenses.
Therefore, no wonder the UK police are already asking their counterparts in NSW to interview the pair to get statements, plus other radio station personel.

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2nd degree manslaughter. They are old enough to account for their actions. End of.

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The nurse didn't over-react. People who are depressed can function and hide it very well. Idiots here have no idea what it is like to be depressed and try to carry on with normal life so no one suspects and you don't feel like you are letting anyone down. The two DJs humiliated her and that may well ahve been the final straw that sapped her strength. They prank-called a hospital in the early morning. that alone is enough to make them prats.

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They made the call & a woman died . If they hadn't called she would still be alive so there can be be no doubt that their call was the cause of her death.

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"If they hadn't called she would still be alive"

Your assumption which may or may not be true. We don't know what other people said to her afterwards. Had they been kinder she would still be alive. Had the radio station not broadcast the call, no-one would have known and she would still be alive. Had the other media not picked up the story, hardly anyone would have known and she would still be alive. If the Brits were not so nuts about royalty nobody would have cared, other media would not have bothered to pick up the story and she would still be alive.

But let's find a scapegoat because then we can feel virtuous and parade it loudly showing off our ignorance and stupidity - while most likely it is our very own morbid curiosity which rewards the media for pushing the boundaries of mischief and intrusion.

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2DayFM seems to have forgotten the Commercial Radio Australia "Codes of Practice", which includes:

6.1 A licensee must not broadcast the words of an identifiable person unless:
(a) that person has been informed in advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be broadcast; or
(b) in the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of the words.

Did they really get the advance consent of those poor nurses before humiliating them on air? Or were they too busy dreaming of how their ratings would rise to be concerned about trivialities like Codes of Practice?

Apparently the station's lawyers reviewed the broadcast before it was aired. I hope those lawyers are immediately sacked and stripped of any and all professional standing. They, at least, should have been able to see how grossly improper this whole stunt was, even if the young DJs were too self-centred and naive to realise it.

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Unfortunately, that section is only applicable to people in Australia (my understanding).

Given the global nature of media and the internet, the code needs updating. It also needs more teeth.

I was not a fan of the Leveson enquiry in the UK, but I am fast coming to the conclusion that media in general does need legislative oversight, with significant penalties for breaches.

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What does this have to do with New Zealand business?

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Before we all get to heated on this issue let's ask ourselves one question.

Do we have all the facts?

I'd wager that rights and wrongs aside, we don't have all the pieces of this very sad story. That a nurse killed herself after this says to me that she probably had bigger problems (depression would appear to be a fairly good possibility) and decided to commit suicide.

Let's add that into the mix before we go any further, shall we?

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It is good that we can read the range of reactions here to this tragic suicide death. From the comments, we get an excellent feel of what kind of individuals we have in our society.

For those of you who are defending the DJs, just be mindful of this - playing a prank on anyone is only okay if you know that someone can see the funny side of the prank and you can manage the fallout. That is only reasonable.

No prank is harmless. It involves making someone embarrass, feel stupid and/or humiliated.

In this instant, the nurse felt responsible and the radio station and DJs did not even accord her the courtesy of letting her know what was coming.

Shame on those of you who think that any prank victim shares blame.

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Political Correctness on crack cocaine!!

Take a deep breath and get a firm grip!

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Oh, how smug, how pleased with yourself and your values you sound. Can't you see the issues involved here?

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The English newspapers love this sort of stuff. It's full-on tabloid journalism.
It's not a good idea to talk about suicides as there are a lot of copycats out there with weak minds waiting to break.
It's not a good idea to sensationalise these sorry events because it gives people ideas about getting some sort of perverse sympathy by doing something similar.
Suicide is wrong, people need to told that. It's called tough love, but telling the truth is important, especially when it saves lives.
Life is difficult. It's wrong to entertain destructive ideas. The rest of the world needs to be helping these types, not gorging themselves on emotional, faulty reasoned indignation.
Everyone has faulty thinking in some area. A friend will quietly tell the truth. We all need friends.
The UK newspapers need to concentrate on doing their job, like bringing truth to power.

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It's all very sad but the silence is deafening as to what action, or what the hospital said to staff after their procedure meltdown, and did THIS perhaps also contribute to events?

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What of the hospital management? Was the culture so bad (stiff upper lip and all that ) that they did not immediately move to support the nurses. Especially if afraid of the royal family reaction.

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Yes, I think that’s an important issue as well. The hospital said they supported her but that’s what they are going to say anyway. However, a friend said she felt lonely and was withdrawn. That says to me they didn't help her much at all. You can just imagine all those looks of disappointment from doctors, nurses and even the lowly cleaners.

From her photos she looks like she has depression - never smiling and sad eyes. It is said she had a nervous and shy disposition which means anxiety, and was also hard on herself. Being 46, she would have being battling the black dog for a very long time if she did indeed have depression. Being introverted and without help all those suicide thoughts she had fought off a long time ago would come flooding back. I'm surprised she lasted 3 days of public humiliation if that was her state of mind.

Anyway, its just possibilities and hearsay, but it seems to fit this very sad situation.

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I can't see a link between the two events. Somebody please bridge the gap for me?

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It is fair that two jockies taken off from the job. Anyway they are useless. Is that only think they can do other than this call and someone life.

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I hope people understand that the hospital is legally not suppose to release this information. If they never did this prank would have never gone to air. Let's focus on the source. The laws on privacy were broken by the hospital, which led to the information becoming public. If you really believe the hospital had no part to play then that shows your ignorance. Yes, the radio station did a tasteless prank but their material came from the hospital, breaching privacy.

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Please read the radio stations 'Code of Practice'. The 'prank' was clearly in contravention of that so both the DJs and those who allowed it to be broadcast should take responsibility for the results of their action.

The media coverage worldwide is a reflection of the level of disgust and disapproval that most people feel about the events.

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It's culpible manslaughter. The DJs knew or ought to have known that their actions could result in the victim taking their own life. Blame political correctness, but that's the law. If you do something that results in a direct consquence you are liable for that consquence. The DJs went too far and now have to pay the price of their stupidity.

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This episode highlights the complete lack of judgment that infects our communities.

This "prank" was thought up with the purpose of tricking somebody to divulge private information. There is little to commend it.

The presenters had no right to make the call in the first instance. They acted dishonestly and irresponsibly. The radio station, in sanctioning the publication of the hoax, also acted dishonestly and irresponsibly.

It was entirely foreseeable that the disclosure of the personal medical information sought would have serious repercussions for the innocent people duped by the hoax, including losing their employment and facing professional sanction. At the very least it was entirely forseeable that some form of inquiry would be mounted, placing significant pressure on those people who were unreasonably targeted by these idiots.

When people are placed under emotional pressure, it is not uncommon that some might break down. When someone suffers a breakdown suicide is not an uncommon outcome.

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The only people to blame for this death are the royals' own security organisation. Only they would have made a big deal out of an amusing phone call. No one else would have cared about the call, meaning they harassed the poor woman and drove her to suicide (if that's what really happened), not the DJs. You can't ignore the facts just to be "politically correct".
Who else really cares about a bunch of pompous inbred royals who murdered millions and raped and pillaged the whole continent to get where they are now. Can anyone honestly deny this fact?

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This has nothing whatever to do with the royals per se.

The radio station sought, without any justification, to fool someone into giving up personal medical information for a laugh.

They succeeded.

It does not matter who the information belonged to. Medical information is very private. All adults understand that and 99.9% of reasonable adults would not attempt to trick someone into disclosing the private medical information belonging to another person.

One might expect even republicans would not entertain such a deceitful and irresponsible action.

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Hmm, who hurt this woman the most? An extremely polite prank call or the brown-nosing officials at the hospital who harrassed then fired her to save their own a*ses? Anyone with half a brain would agree which event has a greater impact on a person's life. The DJs are being used as a scapegoat to distract from the overreaction of the bigwigs.

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Who says that the deceased was sacked?

The DJs and the radio station decided that this was a prank worth doing and worth broadcasting.

But for their actions, the circumstance which appears to have led the deceased to take her own life would not have come about.

They must now live with the consequences, which though dramatic cannot be said to have been unforeseeable had anyone given it more than a moment's thought.

To suggest that the hospital is to blame is quite wrongheaded and to suggest that the royal family is to blame, as victims of the hoax is simply delusional.

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Harassed & fired her?? No wonder there are lots of different opinions when they haven't even got all the facts straight. She took a call at 0530 there was no receptionist on duty at that time. Hospital policy stated that during nights no calls were to be forwarded messages were to be taken. But who says no to the queen? As english was not her native language she would've found it difficult to differentiate between some accents which is why she put the call through. She was never fired....

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Now another part of the media want to feed off these pathetic DJ's. No doubt some whiny self-justification. Time to look at more regulation of the tabloid trash.

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When people carry out pranks, they should be ready to take responsibility for the consequences. By keeping on saying "it's only a prank" hasn't changed its consequence.

Don't be such ignorants!

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Regarding my comments re #25

I see the "blame game" takes a different slant....

The hospital blames 2Day FM of "appalling behaviour" by its management as it seems to have been pre-recorded and approved before airing.

Southern Cross now seem to be blaming the hospital to deflect this away from them (I am absolutely sure she would have been "told off" by somebody in the hospitals management possibly her line manager) for transferring the call as the "harmless prank" angle isn't working and blaming Jacintha (who must have had other problems) seems now to be beyond the pale for most people.

SCO now claim at least 5 calls were made to the nurses to get permission to play the call but it took nearly 3 days to make this claim after having board meetings "to get their stories straight?"

The call was played without PERMISSION by 2Day FM as it was considered "ratings gold" by its management and too good to let slip. No thought was given in respect of the nurses' reputations and the effect on their careers.

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What kind of sociopath thinks it's OK to prank call a hospital?
The radio station should lose its licence, the DJs should be charged along with station management, and also the lawyers who passed this rubbish through. They are all culpable.
We have to show everyone that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

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Aus $500K......

I see SCA considers this the right amount for BLOOD MONEY for Jacintha Saldanha's life to ensure that 2Day FM continues making profits for them in 2013....

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