Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Two radio DJ’s pulled a phone prank………
This has been the beginning of many hilarious anecdotes over the years. Usually they end with a punch line and a laugh. This time it ended with an assumed suicide, a family without a mother/wife/daughter, personal devastation for the two pranksters and a twitter housed lynch mob. To quote a family favourite here – that escalated quickly!
What amazes me is how the mood changed from ‘ha, those crazy Aussies’, to ‘string em up!’ in such a bizarre, bi-polar rate of speed without any facts.It is widely being exclaimed that the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide yet no police or coroners report has confirmed this.
Secondly, isn’t it wildly presumptuous to assume she took such a drastic step, if she did, over a silly telephone prank. How could anyone know what was going on in her head, what her home life was like, what her self esteem level was, maybe she had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Aren’t they doing this woman a terrible injustice by assuming she would destroy her family because of some embarrassment. Shouldn’t we dig deeper and find out what torment drove her to this incredibly final act. If, that’s what it was.
For the trolls screaming for the dj’s heads on a plate it doesn’t matter. The thrill of picking up their torches and proclaiming Mel Greig and Michael Christian ogres is much more titillating than such mundane things as facts. It’s so much easier to display false empathy for the dead women than to try to see all sides and judge it as it is, a surprisingly sad ending to what started as a comedy. Honestly, who listened to the audio of that prank prior to Ms. Saldanha’s death and thought, ‘these people are ruining lives with those ridiculously bad accents’? Did anyone, including the dj’s, think the result of their juvenile humour would be the tragic end of someone’s life. Quick answer, no. How could we/you/they? It is such an unimaginable twist that I think people are panicking and desperately in need of answers and somewhere to lay blame.
Then again, may its just more fun this way.