Readers condemn royal hoax killer call
Two Australian radio DJs responsible for a vile hoax call which resulted in a nurse's death were reckless and the station's management should be held equally to account, NBR ONLINE readers say.
A nurse at a British hospital, Jacintha Saldanha, reportedly committed suicide the day after being involved in a hoax phone call in which the radio presenters pretended they were the Queen and Prince Charles wanting to speak to Kate Middleton.
The DJs who made the call, 2Day FM's Mel Greig and Michael Christian, are said to be "fragile" over the incident – but not fragile enough going by what some readers say.
The call was pre-recorded then vetted by the station's lawyers and managers, but it's the two presenters who have attracted the most heat.
The story generated a lot of discussion among readers, many of whom believe the DJs crossed the line.
"JayBee" says their actions are indefensible.
"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."
Another reader takes a swipe at the overly jocular, low-brow culture of commercial radio.
"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."
"Brian" says the station's management are as guilty as the DJs, as the hoax was pre-recorded and approved for broadcast.
"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."
Another reader says it is too late for the DJs to say they never meant any harm with their prank.
"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."
"Richard", a reader from the UK, writes: "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."