That phone call about the Duchess of Cambridge and it's tragic consequences must have come as a terrible shock to everyone involved, especially the bereaved family of the poor nurse who took the call and then apparently committed suicide. And yet...
Pranks - and so many things in life - are judged by their consequences. A few years ago, a man managed to roll his car down an embankment (an accident). But people in a train were killed, so he was jailed for manslaughter.
But then there was the "prank" phone call made by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. I've just read a transcript of that, and it was outrageous; malicious, nasty, crude and very unkind. But nobody died, and after a brief suspension, Ross was back again.
The perpetrators of the Australian phone call were undoubtedly wrong. A tragedy ensued. They will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. But I think that Jonathan Ross, older and probably a lot more experienced, was very lucky to get off so lightly, for his conduct was, if anything, worse. By now, for him at least, what happened is more than likely a distant memory.
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
A phone call and a tragedy
Posted by Frances Garrood at 13:46
Labels: Jonathan Ross, Prank phone calls, Russell Brand
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I agree completely. Ross and Brand had an actual target.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you agree, Fran.Delete
We've just been talking about this, Frances, and I agree with you. I think the Aussie radio station itself was more to blame, for allowing the conversation to be broadcast without asking for permission (apparently against the law in Oz.) The pranksters were immature and silly but didn't envisage anyone getting hurt, let alone killed. I hated the whole Russell Brand thing, though, and agree he got off lightly - it was nasty.ReplyDelete
You are talking in riddles, Frances - I have really no idea what phone calls and tragedies you're on about here. But I understand that someone took a prank call and committed suicide (??? why would anyone commit suicide because of a phone call...?), and any suicide is a tragedy to those who cared about the person who decided that there was nothing worth living for in their lives anymore.ReplyDelete
Meike, you need to know the whole story really. But it was a prank that ended in tragedy, and I think lessons will have been learnt (though that's no consolation to the family).Delete
I think there are very big differences here Frances.ReplyDelete
Firstly manslaughter is death caused by the unintended consequence of an intended action. I assume that the jury reached the verdict that because they felt the driver of the car went to sleep at the wheel when he knew he was unfit to drive because he was too tired. I think evidence was led to that effect.
That is very different from a prank call which is intended to have a victim and the discomfiture of Andrew Sachs was the despicable and intended intention of Ross and Brand. Personally I cannot think of a harsh enough punishment although, presumably, there are sick people out there who found it amusing.
Living in New Zealand at the moment I am finding a great many people who thought the latest prank call was very funny and are blaming the British media for the Nurses death. As a person who finds these prank calls puerile it seems to me a very obvious consequence that the people who receive the call will be the butt of jokes and snide remarks for the rest of their lives (the Michael Fish syndrome). You know well that nurses are not generally equipped to filter out moronic pranks: they have a much higher purpose in life. The hospital should arguably have had systems in place to cope with these things. I can well see how the nurse could not live with what she apparently perceived was an intolerable failing. I hope that the two pranksters live with this for the rest of their lives but they will have forgotten all about what they no doubt regard as collateral damage it in a few weeks.
I'm not sure I entirely follow you, GB, but I think my points were twofold. One, was to do with cause and (unintended) effect; the other, with deliberate cruelty, as in Brand and Ross. I doubt whether the Australians will get over what they have done that soon. They sounded totally distraught on the radio yesterday. But who am I? These are just my opinions/ feelings.ReplyDelete
Yes and my point is that I think that the Australians could easily have foreseen the hurt they would do (though not the outcome any more than the chap who went to sleep at the wheel could have seen the outcome). A well known Antipodean prankster of 40 years was on the radio here yesterday and said that he felt that the Australian pranksters went to far and should have realised that people were going to get hurt along the way. I agree with him.Delete
I get your points, GB, but with so many situations in life I feel a "there but for the Grace of God" thing. I haven't fallen asleep at the wheel or made prank phone calls, but at other times I have done things that might have had dire consequences, with no I'll intent.Delete
How's New Zealand?
I couldn't agree more, Frances. Sometimes my blood runs cold at what could have happened - the piano that nearly fell on our son, the car I didn't see coming from the right because it was hidden by the A pillar of my car - the list goes on.Delete
New Zealand hasn't moved (at least not here) today and there's been no more tornadoes. Life goes on (which I regard generally speaking as a bonus). Thanks for asking.
Couldn't agree more, Frances. We live in a skewed world at times. Definitely think Ross and Brand bigger culprits - but I've never liked pranks of any kind very much.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Rosemary. I'm glad you agree.Delete