(From the Pew Sheet)
The international outcry surrounding the ‘pranking’ of the London hospital where the Duchess of Gloucester was undergoing treatment has been one of those events in which massive and to some extent righteous indignation has colluded with a myriad other sentiments, not least opportunistic anti-Australianism, to generate a tsunami of media and political response.
By now presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian are mere collateral in the frenzy. That’s probably sensible: they were doing their job, and while they have done what Lenny (in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men) called ‘a bad thing’ they are really no more than pawns in someone else’s obscene game. In the current bloodlust I doubt the frenzifiers will be content until one or both of them are imprisoned or, worse, takes their own life. That cycle of revenge must be broken.
As always when we look at the cycles of sin, in this case the sin that led to nurse Jacintha Saldanha tragic death, the tendrils work their way beyond the frontline. The chains of command and management of 2DayFM and its parent company, who should have intervened before Greig and Christian aired their prank, are certainly culpable. If Greig and Christian didn’t consult then management are still at fault for permitting such a culture to evolve.
That nebulous creature that Phillip Adams calls ‘dear listener’ is perhaps the most culpable of all. How dare we become a culture that thinks it’s okay to invade the privacy of a 14 year old girl, as 2DayFM did some months ago, to ascertain the secrets of her sex life? How dare we become a culture that thinks it’s funny to con private or public individuals merely for the sake of entertainment (and, let it be said, the ABC’s The Chasers falls into the same category)? Is exposure of an individual by lies and chicanery for the purposes of entertainment a decent act? A society that thinks that it is okay to laugh at deception is a society that is losing its soul. Jacintha Saldanha and her family have paid the price.
έ̉ν Χριστω̣̃ – (Fr) Michael