Before The Hangman’s Noose
Good day, children.
I’ve been flooded with information over the recent suicide of the nurse known as Jacintha Saldanha. She was the victim of a prank phone call recently made by the two Australian radio DJs, Mel Grieg, and Michael Christian. In this prank, they called the hospital where Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge is currently staying following the news of her pregnancy. During this phone call, the two DJs used fake accents in order to impersonate two other members of the royal family. Then, while attempting to find out information about Catherine, the two posing as Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Charles were actually patched through by Jacintha Saldanha to another nurse, who then answered a few questions regarding the medical status of Catherine. The two DJs, not expecting to be put through, let alone given the information they requested, aired the call on their show.
The nurse was found dead three days later, of apparent suicide.
Now, while I do understand that her death is an absolute tragedy, it irritates me to no end to see that the two DJs are taking the blame for her suicide. It also bothers me how many people have jumped on the bandwagon, turning this into a vicious witch-hunt. People have taken to Twitter and Facebook in a fit of rage, being quoted as saying such things as:
“A husband without a wife and two kids without a mother! All thanks to you two @MelGreigHot30 & @MContheradio SHAME ON YOU! #royalprank” (@vratnay)
“Mel Greig and Michael Christian of 2DayFM in Australia should be flogged. The power of morons on the radio. Can we declare war on Australia?” (@Joatmoa)
“We are outraged by your disgusting, invasive prank, which has caused an innocent person to take her life on account of believing your lies. The radio presenters should be sacked, the station should be sued. Absolutely hideous. We cannot believe what you have done here in the UK.” ~ Max
“Michael Christian and Mel Greig should never be allowed to broadcast again in the public domain for the rest of their lives, imbeciles!” (@ALG4)
Now that you’ve heard what kinds of creatively malicious things people can invent, you should also understand why none of this should actually be attributed to Mel Grieg, or Michael Christian.
Firstly, if people understood the intricacies of those who are capable of committing suicide, they would know it takes more than a prank phone call to set someone off. If Mrs. Saldanha truly had been taken over the edge by something as trivial and pointless as a prank phone call, then there was clearly something else shrouded by the incident that had been plaguing her prior to this event. Whether there was an internal conflict no one knows of, or a neurological instability that had yet to be diagnosed, something was clearly affecting this woman. The traumatic experience of a prank phone call, however humiliating it may be, pales in comparison to practically everything else that could go wrong in your life. If this phone call was truly that impacting, then by comparison Moe Syzlak on the popular TV show “The Simpsons” should’ve committed suicide twenty times by now, according to the amount of times Bart has ‘tormented’ this poor soul with prank calls. Suicide occurs when grief and pain become greater than the will to live. Seeing as how that instinct is pretty damn powerful, I’m going to have to say that the claim that the prank phone call did her in is bullshit. These people whining know nothing of what provokes suicide.
Next, I listened to this prank call. Those who could be convinced in the slightest that these were the voices of the Queen, or Prince Charles, are clearly incompetent. The voices used by the two radio personalities were not only poorly-articulated, but were comparable only to the likes of Monty Python, or South Park. To think that not only one, but two of the members of this hospital staff were fooled by such a blatant show of lousy voice-acting, should tell you something about the intellectual capacities of the nursing staff hired at this hospital that “typically takes in members of the royal family”. On that note, if this hospital has been known to receive members of the royal family occasionally, then why the hell would they not have some sort of remotely organized call-screening process, in order to prevent the press or even radio DJs pretending to be members of the crown-bearing clan, from receiving private information on patients? It seems like the list of failures for the security staff of the royals, as well as the hospital continue to grow, the more I think on this. If even low level politicans in America can obtain a secretary capable of giving vague, ‘okie-doke’ answers to anyone who calls regarding anything, I don’t see why the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t possess one.
Lastly, if someone was going to take their life, why was it merely the nurse who transferred the call? Why wasn’t it the nurse who actually divulged the private information? So far as I’ve heard, this lady hasn’t even been put on suicide watch. It would seem to me, that if anyone were guilt-ridden to the point of ultimate embarrassment, it would be that nurse. What sense does it make to feel bad for simply pressing hold on the phone while you tell someone else to “pick up on line one”? I fail to see how this could’ve been anything less than an “oops” moment, in the eyes of anyone else working the phone. Perhaps, upon learning that the incident was a sham I’d be mildly embarrassed, but to take it beyond an apology for not checking the caller more thoroughly, is absolute lunacy.
To the people who continue to blame Mel Grieg, and Michael Christian:
You’re all complete idiots. Your hypersensitivity and emotional insecurities have led to the wrongful persecution and crucifixion of these two radio personalities, who while their prank was idiotic and trivial, it was also completely harmless in their execution and intentions. A prank phone call, no matter how humiliating it may seem to you, does not throw someone off the suicidal cliff, even people who might be suffering from a social anxiety disorder. It was an annoyance, and maybe even was a blight on the clerical career of this woman, but to state that this prank was undoubtedly the leading cause that drove this women to off herself, is baseless, and can’t be substantiated. Something was happening to Mrs. Saldanha that we don’t know about. It may come to light in future days, but for now we’re left to ponder whether her mental stability was a contributing factor, or perhaps a domestic issue that made its way into her work life, causing her significant emotional distress. Now, of course this call could’ve been that slight, tiny push at the end to make her snap and finally go through with it, but to give these two the full extent of the blame for a campaign of pain that had been building for years, is also immoral.
While my condolences go out to Mrs. Saldanha’s family and friends on their loss, they also go out to Ms. Grieg, and Mr. Christian. I would never want to be in the spotlight of millions of sheep, all angry for the wrong reasons, because of the first headlines to make it onto major media outlets. They’ve painted the two of these people as villains comparable to Josef Mengele, and act as if they held a gun to Mrs. Saldanha’s head, forcing her to pull the trigger. There are actual people on twitter who have suggested that these two kill themselves, which doesn’t surprise me considering that the crowd of people on most social media sites fail to think before speaking, let alone critically think. I can only hope that things get better for these two, and that people will eventually learn to question a situation before speaking out.
For the internet being the place where all the information is housed, people sure like to disregard it in favor of inflammatory personal attacks. Be careful what you say, or you could be sent to the digital Gallows next.