Why the outrage?

I have watched with incredulity the building outrage against two radio show hosts who played a prank and who have subsequently have been blamed for a nurse taking her own life.

I have had screaming arguments with friends and family over this very issue in the past two days as they gleeful seek “revenge” against the radio hosts. Some have even suggested the best thing they could do is end their own lives…missing the irony of the situation in their outrage.

Now some will suggest I am a heartless bastard for even suggesting that nothing should be done. But consider this, as I have done, from another perspective.

We are far to quick to lay blame and seek explanation from people for wrong that happen in life. If we can blame then we can wash our hands of guilt, or somehow make ourselves feel better that despite a desperate situation for one person that there is someone to blame.

This is erroneous thinking…and one unfortunately conditioned into us with the advent of the all knowing and caring state…where things happen but it is ok because someone else is to blame and the state will fix it. It is rubbish thinking.

From my perspective I have much happen in my life that I could have taken my own life…and people would have been able to point the finger at someone else.

I could have killed myself when my business failed…and people could have blamed my thieving business partner.

I could have killed myself when in the darkness of depression…and people could have blamed the medication, the treatment, or indeed depression itself.

I could have killed myself when Fidelity Life unilaterally ended my claim against all medical advice causing me to lose our house, essentially impoverishing me, unable to fight them through lack of funds…and then someone could have blamed the insurance company.

I could have killed myself when I was coming off the medication I was forced to take so that an insurance company to have the proper forms filled out…because the only way to deal with depression is to take drugs apparently…and then blamed the same insurance company and the drug companies for the evil side effects.

I could have killed my self when the Herald on Sunday ran a nasty story about me….and then Kathryn Powley would have been blamed for ending my life.

I could have killed myself in the dark days of despair and loneliness that I felt in the days after my mother died.

And I could have killed myself in dealing with a psychopathic, vexatious litigant intent on causing me as much financial harm as possible…who even sent letters demanding my appearance in court the day my mother died saying it was tough she was ill but too bad he would show any consideration…and then he could have been blamed as well.

These are just a few of the incidences in recent years where contemplating ending it has entered my thoughts. Quite literally there are hundreds of nasty emails, voicemail messages and texts that have come my way in the years I have been blogging that are far worse than a prank call from a radio station that I too could have used as an excuse to end my life…some of those messages actually tell me it would be best if I killed myself.

Even today I am worth more dead than alive. I still struggle with depression and dark thoughts are never far away. I have not killed myself because…well I don’t really know why I haven’t…other than own personal beliefs around the issue, and that no matter how dark and awful things get I always seem to be able to see some hope. I certainly gave up blaming anyone else a long time ago.

But…as this story unfolds in the UK and Australia I find myself wondering why no one is looking at the actual person responsible.

The only person responsible for the ending through self harm of ones life is the person who actually kills themselves. Suicide is one of the most selfish, self centred, egotistical acts of violence that we see. It isn’t a cry for help it is a final…well look at what I did then.

Until we confront suicide and deal with it in a realistic manner then we will all continue to lay the blame at the wrong feet.

If we are to say that the radio host are responsible then what we are saying is that no media, not print, not radio, not television should ever interview, speak with or indeed prank with anyone until they have seen a full mental health certificate of the intended interviewee or prank victim.

It is flawed thinking to blame anyone else other than the person who killed themselves. No one can ever know the mental health status of any person they are talking to…to now attribute blame is flawed logic and will not assist in any way, shape or form in understanding and dealing with suicide.

We need to grow up and stop reacting so emotively.

In commenting on this post please try and look logically and pragmatically at the issue rather than rush to silly emotive rantings.


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  • Phar Lap

    Another enigma.For months or even years we have heard from all sorts of sources,that the end of the world will happen either on 12 12 12,or is it 21 12 12.When that fails to happen,and thousands of people commit suicide,because of failed expectations,who gets the blame.

    • trisha

      the mayans of course……humans are built to blame…. it helps us cope more readalee with the fallout of a failed prank joke etc

    • Mitch82

      You can play the blame game with just about anything. If Shearer, Dotcom or Blomfeld killed themselves, could Slater be held accountable?

      Who’s to blame if Brendan Horan commits suicide? Just about everybody has had a dig. Will it be Peters? His family? The media? Bloggers?

      IMO society loves to watch people fall, so being able to extend a tragedy into the toppling of well known people works well to satisfy that. Everyone was in on the jokes about Amy Winehouse being a drunk, drugged up tragedy.. yet everyone quickly shut up when she died so they didn’t get called out and shamed.

      • Bunswalla

        If Shearer, Dotcom or Blomfeld decide to kill themselves, they are the ones to blame.

        If Brendan Horan commits suicide, he is the one to blame.

        Which part of this are you not understanding?

        • Mitch82

          The bit about you answering rhetorical questions.

          I’ve made two points in this thread – one about the blame game, which is as much the blood sport that Whale wrote of politics being, and the other about the fact that those pointing the self righteous finger at these DJ’s aren’t blameless themselves.

    • Hazards001

      Shit..it can’t be the 12th..I have drinks that night. I’m picking it’s the 21st..nothing on then!

  • Kate

    The radio announcers didn’t set out to cause intense humiliation – but it was a stupid prank. It was a stupid prank at the time, now as a consequence a nurse appears to have taken her life. I don’t think anyone can lay claim to interpreting suicide, but it may be fair to say that she would still be alive today had this prank not caused such incredible humiliation. I think more thought needs to go into our ‘humour’. Bring back the Billy Ts and John Clarks.

    • All pranks are stupid…that is why they are pranks.

      Who is to know that the nurse wasn’t suffering post-natal depression..two small kids and shiftwork…it happens…

      It isn;t fair to say she would still be alive…she still made choice…a poor one, but it was her choice nonetheless

      • Kate

        Stupid, as in wasn’t actually funny. Revenge is a waste of time and irrational. But in this day and age what some think is funny can spiral out of control…as we are seeing.

      • Rebecca

        I agree with the reporters who commented “From the moment I heard their
        silly, adolescent giggles and the poor nurses’ polite replies, I saw the
        prank as another example of the casual, tacky, thoughtless cruelty that
        has infected popular culture like a plague – on radio, on television
        and increasingly on Twitter and other social media outlets”. You might
        add certain blogs to that list, ahem. As for your unnamed litigious pursuer- if it is who I think it is, you were warned that pursuing him for the amusement of a baying audience could have consequences, but you knew better. I am sorry if he is successfully coming after you because I believe you did society a great favor by lifting the lid on some disgraceful behavior on that as well as other occasions. But two wrongs never make a right and only the Catholics are going to be prepared to turn the other cheek forever if people are constantly casually slapping at them.

        • He isn’t successful, he is finding out that I never give in to bullying and psychopathic behaviour…he will no longer get away with his predation on small business in New Zealand.

          • Rebecca

            Fair enough. If “you know who” is watching- don’t feel smug, if WO has a halfway decent lawyer the best you can hope for is a Pyrrhic victory… and even if you can secure a $urplus the Official Assignee will be pleased to receive the additional funds for your unfortunate creditors. In the end WO still will have the busiest blog and you’ll still have a smaller pond to harvest… meaning the only real win is to change your own ways. Yep, in the end the only person we really can change is ourselves.

    • But then all pranks are stupid, – that’s why they are pranks…. and then you pop up Whale saying the same thing….

    • Gazzaw

      Kevin Black, the perpetrator of many hoax calls in his jock days hit it on the button this morning with Mike Hosking. He NEVER made hoax calls to the listings in the front of the phone book ie no hospitals, doctors or emergency services.

      I don’t think that any blame can be attached to the two radio people (they will probably suffer the consequences for a long time to come) but it’s a timely reminder for the media that there are consequences for stupid actions.

      • GregM

        Yes he did. I remember many years ago he pretended to be a Greek shipping tycoon (Kevos Blackos), and phoned the Navy wanting to buy a frigate to turn into a floating brothel. It was fuckin hilarious.
        In this case, I would like to know what disciplinary measures the hospital had clobbered this woman with, that’s probably what tipped it.
        I just feel compassion for her family and friends.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Yes I listened to the press report, officially they were assisting her through this difficult situation, in reality they were probably pillorying her night and day.

      • He also rang the Ministry of Mines about his “goldmine” in Dirty Grey Lynn

        • Mr_Blobby

          Him, old enough to just remember that one, it was hilarious he had the guy hook line and sinker, it went on for ages. Typical bureaucrat taking himself to seriously. Great laugh.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Dont forget the gang ‘Honk and the Grubby Radiators’ wanting Air NZ to remove seats from the plane so they could stack crates of booze on board.
        A prank is funny, no matter how stupid. Someone who ends it has an underlying mental condition just waiting for an excuse to do what they are going to do anyway.

  • Dyan Thorn

    I still can’t believe that such a fragile person was working as a nurse
    in a high-demand hospital – or any hospital for that matter. I don’t
    like hoaxers- never did have that sense of humour. But would all this
    hooha be going on if someone hadn’t killed themselves. I bet not. It
    would already be yesterday’s news and the hoaxers would have been on to
    their next prank

    • Mike D

      This comment is a very good example of a lack of understanding of depression. You might be surprised at the pecentage of our population suffer from depression and it effects them all differently. In a number of cases of particularly male suicide it was not obvious that the suffered from depression until afterwards. She was not necessarilly “fragile” and her situation was probably made untenable in her own mind, due the reaction of her employer and probably the UK media immediately after the haox call.

      • Mitch82

        Well said, Mike.

    • manuka416

      Fragile people working everywhere. You’d be surprised at the number of people affected by mental health issues, in all manner of professions. Many cope very well, but dire circumstances can tip the scales.

  • Scanner

    Nobody has any idea what was going on in this woman’s head before the phone call, the call may have been the straw that broke the camels back.
    What these two did was intended to be funny and would have been if the nurse hadn’t killed herself, there was no malice on their part and publicly flogging these two won’t bring her back.
    Anyone who claims to have never laughed at this type of call must be a sorry arsed soul, see what happened for what it actually was, an unfortunate accident.

  • This is a ludicrous situation. I hear that the pranksters are getting ‘intense psychological counselling’. All because the media are reporting faux outrage of sad people. Has anyone investigated the womans’ superiors who probably gave her the bollocking of her life? Was her job even threatened. Her belittling was not by the radio hosts, it was from people around her/media. I watched the stunt and it was funny! No one got belittled. No one was personally targeted. They never expected to be able to get through hospital security. Surely because they did there was an enormous breach of privacy which could be seen to be advantageous because of its exposure. I bet the hospital management are fanning this faux outrage to keep attention away from their own inadequacies.

    • Mediaan

      It’s a hospital. People are doing work. There are sick people. Which part of “mindlessly wasting their time to make myself gloriously famous” do you find admirable?

      WO has made a great statement on suicide, big issues, depression, more big issues, keeping going through serious adversity, more big issues.

      But the suicide can be left right out and the event is still sickeningly selfish and of superficial values. There is nothing funny about what they did.

      BTW, the hospital superiors did not rebuke the two nurses involved at all. They offered support.

      • “BTW, the hospital superiors did not rebuke the two nurses involved at all. They offered support.”


        More outrage. As Whale posted, people are responsible for their own actions. You are adding to the blame game. It is sad for the nurses’ family, yes. But her death is not the ‘fault’ of 2 people in Australia who unwittingly uncovered a serious security breach.

        • Mediaan

          Oh god, somebody who is too lazy to read the coverage. Car radio news or nothing, is it dear?

          Clearly stated on multiple TV interviews with the CEO and the Chairman of the hospital, Lord Glenarthur, quite unequivocal. Also see The Telegraph.

          Here is one link, giving detail about some of what I corrected you on.


          The express statement about how they did not rebuke and offered support is on an accompanying story on the website, something with a headline starting “hoax call”.

          • The hospital was made to look bad, there would have been consequences for a break in protocol. Thankyou for the link, but I found no evidence for no culpability by the hospital. I did read with interest that the hospital was very quick to issue their statement. I was also interested to read this line in the other article you alluded to, “Mrs Saldanha’s sister-in-law, Irene, also voiced her disbelief that she had killed herself over a prank call.”
            So I repeat what you think you corrected me on, that the DJs were not responsible for this poor womans’ death. There was more going on and I believe she most likely did get a ticking off for breaking protocol by her superiors.

    • Mediaan

      BTW again. The hospital phone call procedures were fine. Night, no receptionist on, procedure was put no calls through, take a message. She’s Portuguese, so exact English accent is no help to her. She either overrides procedure because it is the Queen, or gets flustered.

      Somebody in England needs to set up training courses in understanding how vile the Australians can be. We down here know. Over there, they think people automatically respect certain standards of behaviour and observe basic morality.

      Doesn’t work with Australians.

      • Bunswalla

        Somebody in your small circle of friends needs to set up a training course for you to help you recognise what a sanctimonious tosspot you are. Over here, people know what a twat you are but the poor English and “vile Australians” don’t know – unless they read anything you ever post.

        • Mediaan

          What’s your opinion on child poverty, Bunswalla?

          • Bafacu

            There is no such thing – there’s either poverty or not. In NZ we only have relative poverty defined against the average so we will always have a theoretical poverty regardless of income. Want to see poverty – go overseas and look beyond the tourist areas – there’s numerous countries you can go to.

          • Mediaan

            Bafacu, your comments are always top grade. I do not however understand this one. Can’t link it to any part of comments above.

  • Troy

    Anyone that has studied causation and counterfactual conditionals will know that the vast majority of accusations that are flying around and arguments put forth are not even close to being cogent. That’s the problem often – no one knows the real reason, what happened could have been a trigger from other issues…who knows… well only one person does and because we will never have the answer (unless some form of note was left behind if is was suicide), I don’t see the point in it being pursued, especially by the media who are always keen to sensationalise anything to put them in the headlines. If anything, there should be just pure sympathy for the immediate family, no more, no less.

    • Scanner

      WTF, did you get a dictionary for your birthday?

      • Troy

        No, i studied philosophy at university… try it sometime, you might learn something useful. Keep up.

        • Scanner

          To quote from Mrs Brown “That’s Nice”, the overuse of elongated words to make one appear superior to others is often a common trait amongst “educated” people.

          • Troy

            If you want to feel inferior – go for it. It was my genuine analysis of the situation, if you want to attack that – feel free, but you just look fucking stupid doing it in the manner you have. PS, i didn’t go to uni until I was 40, before that I served in the military for 20yrs… .don’t fuck with wrong soldier.

          • Simmer down fella. Scanner was taking the piss. I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a personal attack.

          • Scanner

            What a coincidence, I too served, not quite for the big 20, but certainly as a youth entrant and for quite a number of yrs after that.

            I don’t feel inferior, nor ever would I, my comment was generated after wading through the five dollar words.

            My general observation was that most that stayed for 20 or better were too confused get a real job and after they left spent all their time missing the group hugs in the sgts mess,

          • Never in the dark…..

            Now that’s getting personal.

          • unitedtribes

            Boys Boys this is making me feel suicidal

        • manuka416

          That’s quite condescending Troy.

      • Mediaan

        Reverse intellectual snobbery, you are showing. “How dare you parade three university words describing exact special things…”

        Sorry, people with specialised knowledge often have to be exact and technical to put something across. The only word he used (I think, because I haven’t studied Philosophy and Logic) instead of simpler words he could have used was “cogent”. He could have used maybe “logical” or “sensible”. But that would have been treating us with disdain, as people too stupid to use big words on.

        He can’t win. Either he is being patronising and thinks we are idiots who need the Walt Disney version, or he is “trying to be superior”.

        I just wish somebody would teach this I-Pad to shut up and not make nonsense substitutions to what I type.

        Don’t say, ask a nine year old to fix it. I already did, and she fixed up the worst of it. But it still has remnants of the You-Are-Too-Stupid-So-Let-Me-Do-It disorder.

  • cows4me

    You have to love the fake moral outrage from the pommie bastards. The wankers are frothing at the mouth, how dare those colonial prisoners fuck with the British establishment. No doubt these are the same pommie bastards who have made countless people’s lives miserable by tapping their phone calls and printing bullshit stories. Aren’t these are the same wankers that nearly hounded princes Diana to death, their froggie mates succeeding there. It’s all bullshit

    • ledzpln

      Rather than blame the Aussie DJ’s for what was a funny prank, why not blame the over-hyped Royals, one whom is apparently pregnant, creating this media fuss. This tragedy is not an Aussie problem.

  • Random66

    If heads roll at 2DayFM I hope they go a little higher than the DJ’s because they ultimately are just puppets who have their strings pulled by a producer or someone a little higher up the food chain. Isn’t this the same radio station that was the home of the shock jock Kyle Sandilands? If so it says much about this stations code of ethics. Let’s remember we in NZ hold our pranksters to account when they cross the line – impersonating a pilot comes to mind. I agree with those who allude to the fact that the tipping point for this 46 year old woman, who was a mother of two teenagers, may well have been the consequences she faced from her employer (as well as media). Was this outcome foreseeable? Certainly a negative employment outcome to staff involved at the hospital should the prank be successful would have been expected by the radio station.

    • If 2DayFM had made the call to a Oz hospital they would have needed the hoax victim’s permission before broadcast. The target was overseas so no permission required. The station exploited a legal loophole. Southern Cross Austereo have form already for sure, this is their worst but not by that much. I suspect the intensive “counselling” the DJ’s are receiving is more along the lines of damage-control PR coaching. They’ll be fronting the media soon no doubt, though maybe not sitting down with Jacintha’s daughter and son and attempting to justify themselves face to face.

  • Never in the dark…..

    It was a prank, and whether you agree or not, I thought is was funny. Even Prince Charles saw the funny side of it when approached by reporters.

    The nurses end result was tragic. @gregm: I’ve been wondering the same. For all we know this might’ve been a ‘another’ disciplinary measure on her file. @dylan: Nurses roles are extremely stressful. Personal experience, has demonstrated how ‘fragile’ they can become towards the end of a shift (often extended) cycle. Either way I’d contend that this was the final straw for her.

    I don’t blame the ‘jocks’. They’re fast becoming the victims.

    The security measures at the hospital, or even the ineptness of royal ‘watchers’, need to be seriously reviewed.

    • Mediaan

      No, Prince Charles didn’t “see the funny side”. He obviously tried a rather flat light remark, to take the pressure off the horror experienced by the caregivers at the hospital. Kind of him. That’s the way the Royal family behave.

      • Never in the dark…..

        Check the time stamp: http://bit.ly/Vszk5j

        Two days before the suicide he joked, quipped, made light of the situation, call it what you will, with
        ‘How do you know I’m not a radio station?’. I’m sorry, but he saw the funny side.

        Got nothing to do with royalty either, just good British wit.

      • Bunswalla

        Bullshit. More sanctimonious claptrap. A “rather flat light remark” – WTF?

    • manuka416

      I don’t think the ‘jocks’ can ever be more the victims of this drama than the nurse who took her life. Unintended consequences, but consequences nonetheless.

      • Never in the dark…..

        I added a “the” in my comment, my error. They are nonetheless becoming victims too.

  • Mitch82

    I’m sick of the situation, have been ever since I came home as a teenager one day to hear that Diana and Dodi had been killed in a car crash being chased by paparazzi.

    When the hell is society going to get it through their head that they’re all responsible for this shit? Tabloid newspapers, ‘Woman’s Day’ style magazines, TV specials about the life of the Royals. These DJs might have used a little bad taste in hindsight, but they’re no different to the above in that they’re they supply side of the demand equation for gossip about the Royals. Had this nurse not killed herself, there’d be someone trying to outdo Austereo, the tabloid publications would be covering it all and elaborating on the juicy gossip obtained, and everyone would be laughing all the way to the bank as Joe Public pays for the resulting few dollars of perverse voyeurism.

    If you thinned out the outraged commentators to those who hadn’t put money in the pockets of those hounding the Royals and publishing the pictures, there’d be a very uncomfortable silence.

  • Homepaddock

    Suicide is an extreme reaction which no-one could have foreseen. The DJs
    shouldn’t be blamed for that but the radio station should look at its
    standards. The call was recorded and played later, it wasn’t live. That
    none of those who vetted it thought to question the appropriateness of invading Kate’s privacy is a very poor reflection on their ethics and empathy.

  • Sym Gardiner

    Cam… I enjoy reading your blog. I tend to agree with what you say.
    Posts like this, however, are absolute gold. I am sure you are responsible for numerous people making a good choice – to hang in there and slug it out (rather than popping themselves). Keep on slugging!!!

  • peterwn

    Interestingly the outrage we are seeing here is similar to that which has ‘driven’ some legislation. For example drink-drive involving a fatality has a 10 year jail term maximum. One could argue from a logical viewpoint that there is no additional drink-drive culpability if someone happens to die, and therefore it should make no difference to the sentence imposed. However Parliament has taken note of the public outrage factor and has significantly boosted maximum penalties if someone happens to get injured or dies. The Aussie radio station and its DJ’s are now right on the sharp end of this sort of outrage in the same way as a drink-driver is if someone is killed. Hence the sanctions faced by the station (official and unofficial) are far greater than if there was no associated death. There is no logic to it – but this is life.

    Even without the death this was a thoroughly mean thing to do to people when in an extremely vulnerable situation as a hospital night nurse is when faced with an almost unprecedented situation – even for one who is as tough as nails (and we would rather not have these sorts of people doing nursing). The two nurses suffered a serious violation of their (and their patients) privacy and rights especially when the conversation was broacast – something which no one (except perhaps politicians) should have to put up with. Severe sanctions against the perpetrators are fully justified.

    • Bunswalla

      This is horseshit of the worst kind. Trying to compare drink-driving causing death, or any kind of drink-driving, with making a harmless prank call of the type that thousands of immature DJs do every single day around the world, is drawing a ridiculously long bow.

      The fact that a troubled but ultimately selfish person made a decision to take their life – even if she left a suicide note saying “The DJs made me do it” has nothing to do with anything the DJs did. They are guilty of immature behaviour and nothing more.

      • peterwn

        It was not a prank and it was not potentially harmless. It was a deliberate piece of deception and invasion of Kate Middleton’s privacy. Even more so as the DJs’ with station managements’ blessing broadcast the recording to the world. Even if one argues that it started as a prank, it ceased to be a prank when the recording was broadcast. So arguably the station’s management were ‘immature’ when they allowed it to be broadcast despite having a breach of privacy situation staring them in the face – bring out the Tui billboard.

        The extra public outrage because of the apparent suicide is only human and natural and IMO is fully warranted.

  • ConwayCaptain

    I think that the prankwas beond the pale. Phoning a hospital is pretty low. However they were not to know the outcome and there is more to her suicide than meets the eye.
    William has said that he will protect his family’s privacy at all csts after the way his mother was hounded.

  • sheppy

    I wonder whether she had many media types camped outside her house after the event, my guess is there would have been quite a few long lenses and the odd outside broadcast truck.
    Of course the media will never report that they could have been in any way responsible

    • Mediaan

      She had a family home elsewhere, but was overnighting in hospital digs in a flash street near the hospital, away from her family. Not sure whether this was in response to the incident or whether she routinely stayed there because on-call.

  • Mediaan
    • Yeah, funny until some unstable person tops themselves because they trust their PM so much that they believe the world is going to end. I suppose that would then become Guillards’ fault?

      • Mediaan

        Phar Lap made the same sort of remark five hours before yours, which is what prompted me to go looking for the Gillard thing.

  • Jax

    Peter Fitzsimon has a good article on the matter which sums it up quite well – http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-tragedy-but-who-is-at-fault-20121208-2b29q.html

  • Kate

    Oh, and Cam, most of us are pleased you haven’t topped yourself :-0

  • fozzie2

    Well I guess that post Whale is the sort of meat headed response we have come to expect from you. Suicide is not as you suggest “the most selfish, self centred, egotistical acts of violence that we see nor is it a cry for help – far from it. It is a way of escaping the pain and the hopelessness. Actions and words have consequences. To believe you should be able to say or do what you like and not take ownership for the consequences is just childish. How often do we read the tragic stories of those bullied or ‘pranked’ who take their own lives – not due to ego – but to hopelessness and sadness . If Jacintha death means anything then let it teach us all that actions sometimes have unintended consequences – they certainly have for her family and for the 2 DJs whose lives have been changed forever.

    • Let me fix ‘your’ dilemmna fozzie. You start with childish name calling, but we are big enough to overlook that; Suicide is the most selfish, self centred, egotistical way of escaping pain and hopelessness. There you are. So you get some points for having half the argument which was already implied in Whales’ Post.

      • fozzie2

        No “dilemmna” here Euan – sadly just experience at the coal face – did not see too much ego – just too many lost souls full of pain despair and hoplessness.

        • Travis Poulson

          What you are is an apologist for selfish people that refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. There’s always some other cunt to blame, isn’t there. It’s never their fault is it.

        • Bunswalla

          Sorry Fozzie – what do you mean by “hoplessness”? Is that people who kill themselves because they are no longer able to hop around on one leg? Or they have run out of beer, perhaps? Or mislaid their ticket to the big dance?

    • I disagree, it is a selfish act. I faced suicide in our dark days when I was throwing up day after day for 6 weeks due to depression. I felt so bad and my weight was dropping rapidly. I just wanted the stress and the vomitting to stop. I was desperate. I wanted it all to end. I didn’t want to die I wanted it to end and the fact that suicide was actually looking like a good option terrified me. There was no way I would do that to my children or family. So I made a choice. I chose to get help. It was very embarrassing and humiliating to admit that I was suicidal but I did because I am not a selfish person. What is harder? Arranging to get my hands on tablets that will kill me and put a plastic bag over my head or getting in a car and going to visit my GP? Ask for help. There are plenty of places that will help you. You just need to ask.

  • Phar Lap

    Wondering if there was or is a connection here.The Dom-Post allegedly rang Greg King,on some sort of fishing expedition.Next day he was dead.Nuff said.

  • If the DJ’s get fired then so should the boss of the nurse who put someone so inexperienced on the phones when something so important was happening. Its a cluster fuck of silly little mistakes, and i feel so sorry that it came to what it did for the family of the nurse.
    I have to say the fact the DJ’s were skiting about it on twitter right up until the announcement of the suicide really does not paint them in a good light.
    I think the big lesson for me is stop screwing with the royals. Just leave them the hell alone and people will stop dieing.

  • Never in the dark…..

    My last word(s) on this matter. I know that while I’m someone who has suffered depression on and off most of my life, doesn’t necessarily qualify me to make any special comment, but I do concur with what WO has stated as the opener for this ‘thread’. I realised the cowardice, selfishness and callousness of the act of suicide when I was contemplating back in my teens (I’m in my 50s now). It dawned upon me that the only victims, are those left behind, not the deceased. And they were bigger than the sum of all my woes.

    Back to the core of this subject though, the ‘jocks’ are in business to entertain. They made the original call and performed the act, sure. But it was recorded and then before it was broadcast, they sought approval from management. When they got the go ahead, it was released to the listening world, most us laughed, with many commenting “you’ve got to hand to those Aussies”.

    If it ended there, all would have been well and good. But then a mountain needed to be made of a molehill, as seems to be the modern way. The result of which lead to more extensive HR reviewing at the hospital. The “papp’s” go on a massive witch hunt.

    While it is sad that someone central to, what had now become a fiasco, could not take the heat and left this mortal coil of her volition, leaving the people she loved and I’m sure loved her back, the entertainers should get hung out to dry?

    Imagine how we’d feel if one or some of the folk WO has taken to task, took this final act following a story he’s broken.

    That’s the outrage.

    • Mediaan

      My outrage. which started well before I heard about the suicide,
      covers more than that repellant radio duo and their slimy lying
      radio station.

      It was about a background anger over a lot of nasty stuff in our media-shadowed
      society, including witless public info-tainment.

      Controlled often by organised crime, such as in the Kerry Packer days of owning
      all the glossy picture women’s magazines that poured on to our shop
      shelves every week or month, (when he was widely identified with crime
      interests and even mentioned obliquely by the Costigan Commission into
      organised crime in Australia), it has become revoltingly seedy and

      You want to know a big part of the reason why our NZ society is in a mess? Why, as far as family life goes, too many of our kids are neglected and abused? A reason that covers all the children born in the 1973-1987 period (this radio station’s key demographic), plus?

      They grew up on that glossy-women’s-mag intellectual diet, as did many of their mothers.

      Falsely led, they leaped, accordingly, at an age when they have a biological need to be popular amongst their peer group, into trying to look older, early sexual experience, fashion, clubbing, and very often non-married parenthood.

      The women’s colour magazines sold them a non-family-friendly line of immediate sensual experience and idolising trashy showbiz figures.

      Was this going to lead to effective motherhood and making a great home life for a family? No.

      Unlike the old, pre-1970 NZ Women’s Weekly, the trash women’s mags contained nothing of what should have been their most basic area: becoming the core of a happy home, a wonderful wife, a great mother and a competent homemaker. There was almost nothing about the joy of raising your kids in the best way you could.

      Silly manipulated “feminists” wrote books that encouraged the move away from these topics, saying they enslaved women.

      The trashy women’s mags contained fashion, gimmicks to buy, advertorials on face makeup, some cooking, unrealistic tales of romance, and news of showbiz celebrities. Readers were pushed towards idolising pop entertainers.

      Just about all the colour women’s mags coming into New Zealand were owned, through Broadcasting and Publishing, and ACP, by the uber-vile Queenslander, drug and crime-associated billionaire, Kerry Packer.

      So, some of my outrage here, which I reiterate came before the suicide was known, wasn’t really about the dull shallow carefree Mel and Michael. It was about my background hatred of trash media.

  • Middleagedwhiteguy

    Anyone who is laying the blame for the suicide at the feet of the 2 radio hosts is drawing a long bow in my opinion. However, I do feel that the 2 hosts, and the radio station management have a lot to answer for.

    Leaving aside the issue that the person in question was a member of the royal family, what happened is that the radio hosts tricked someone into revealing the medical status of a patient, recorded that conversation and the proceeded to broadcast the recording. Now no one could have foreseen that the nurse who answered the phone might take her own life, but it would be a logical to conclude that any personnel who divulged such information in this circumstance would lose their job, and that in itself would have been harm enough to reconsider their actions.

    That they did not speaks to a jack of judgement on the part of the station management and the hosts themselves.

    Ironically the station has a privacy policy. Part of it reads as follows:


    Sensitive information includes information about your race or ethnic
    origins, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade
    union membership, or details of health, disability or sexual
    activity or orientation. We rarely ask for sensitive information, but
    may do so occasionally, for example, as part of a competition,
    promotion or survey. We will not require you to provide sensitive
    information unless:

    (a) you have consented to providing such information (such consent will be deemed when you submit such information to us); or

    (b) the collection of the information is specifically authorised or required by law.

    Could the station be deemed to have broken it’s own rules as well?

  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/8057945/Royal-prank-call-DJs-want-to-talk

    According to the oracle that is stuff, the nurse was targeted:
    The pair, who have been facing global condemnation after the death of a British nurse targeted in a prank phone call, broke their silence this afternoon in a pair of interviews with Grimshaw and another Australian show, Today Tonight.

    I’m thinking they should try working on the ‘impartial’ reporting thing.

  • Mediaan

    A lot of people are saying, the suicide was the nurse’s choice. She should have been less self-absorbed, perhaps, they imply. WO comments about the inherent meanness, to others, of the act of committing suicide.

    Her fault? That’s not fair – women all their lives get stamped and pushed into shape by others. Many men do too. Thinking of Portugal, that means maybe religious others. Churches work on creating guilt, because it leads to control.

    If she had too profound a sense that she must do the right thing, too keen a horror of being ostracised and laughed at, she didn’t choose to get it. Some nasty outfit imposed it on her, for their own ends.

    WO blogs in this leading piece about how selfish suicide is.

    He trawls through some painful times in his own life, when he could have
    gone that way but didn’t. He obviously still feels enormous pain over
    the loss of his mother, which I recall was recent, and still has a
    tussle with depression at times. None of those resulted in him
    retreating into suicide, he points out.

    He realises the horrible effect suicide has on others.

    Rejecting suicide, pulling himself through hard times, no doubt helps him and builds him up. It’s like exercising your muscles in a gym, you get stronger by doing it.

    Because he is a dad, something close to a political notable, and now also quite a notable leader of thought, and particularly as he expresses himself well, it also helps everyone who encounters him.

    We certainly need more strong male leaders.

    “Suicide is one of the most selfish, self centred, egotistical acts of violence
    that we see,” he says. A thoughtful and emotionally mature statement.
    Thank you, Cameron.

  • Mediaan

    What I called “the horror experienced by the caregivers at the hospital” occurred before the suicide. It referred to professional people, working extra hard to excel, with a VIP at the hospital, suddenly feeling they have failed in some way and have also been lampooned.