The CEO of 2day FM, the Australian radio station responsible for the now infamous Hospital Prank earlier this week, has told reporters he is satisfied the DJs concerned “broke no laws”.
Oh well that’s alright then. A woman is dead, two teenagers are now motherless, but at least no one’s going to be sued.
The insensitivity with which Rhys Holleran has responded to the “tragic” suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha is appalling. The fact that the prank call was made in the first place is absurd. What comic value did the DJs really think they were going to get out of the call? I’m pretty sure they don’t consider it a laughing matter anymore.
Holleran defended his employees with the frankly pathetic excuse that no one could have “reasonably foreseen” the suspected suicide of the woman they made the butt of their jokes. It is true, how could they have possible known that this poor woman was in such a delicate mental state that becoming a figure for international scrutiny overnight could potentially push her over the edge? It’s not as if she works in a stressful, high pressure environment like say, a hospital? Or that she was dealing with a particularly important, high-profile case like say, the care and welfare of the heir to the throne?
There is a famous quote believed to be coined by Plato “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Of course the CEO or radio DJs or company lawyers of 2day FM had no way of foreseeing the awful turn of events which their little skit could have triggered because they didn’t know nurse Jacintha Saldanha, they had no idea what occupational or personal stress she might have been dealing with at the time, neither do we, everything at the minute is speculation, but is “how were we to know?” a valid excuse?
It’s the excuse of adolescent bullies. We’ve heard it before; it’s all fun and games till someone gets hurt. The actions of those at 2day FM were unthinking, insensitive, unkind. They may not have been able to foresee this tragedy, but that doesn’t purge them of all responsibility or blame.
I’ve often had to remind myself of Plato’s words when I get frustrated with a customer at work or a friend who seems distant or uncaring, because it’s easy to forget what troubles others might be carrying around with them when you’re busy trying to shoulder the weight of your own world.