Of radio prank calls and the Outrage Train | Street Jazz

Monday, December 10, 2012

Of radio prank calls and the Outrage Train

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I hadn’t really wanted to take up blog space twice in a row writing about the troupe of actors who portray the current cast of the “Royal Family,” but the tragic suicide of the nurse who took the phone call from the Australian disc jockeys, and the boiling rage in the civilized world against the two hapless radio hosts has sort of inspired me this morning.

I can’t begin to even imagine what went through the mind of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who initially answered the call from the disc jockeys, in which they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles. In the days following the call, of course, we all had a great laugh (I did, too), but Ms. Saldanha wasn’t laughing.

“News” programs, which might have spent more time covering Syria, say, or even countries and subjects which they routinely ignore, played the audio clip with all the loving enthusiasm they might give a singing cat video on YouTube.

Let us give a thought as to what might have been going through the mind of Ms. Saldanha, who left behind two children, as she heard her voice constantly, or was reminded of the incident in ways we do not know. We live in a world of nasty, ugly people. People make death threats over something as silly as football team loyalty; it isn’t hard for me to envision the thuggish cruelty of people who might want to “defend” the Royal Family.

Naturally, the expecting Royal couple were saddened by the “news”; the piece I read of the incident today mentioned that on Sunday, Prince William has pulled out of attending the British Military Tournament, on account of his wife’s illness. Kate has not been seen since she has left the hospital.

I hope to high heaven no one from the Royal Family attends this poor woman’s funeral, as the majority of the reporting will be about them, and not about Ms. Saldanha.

Prank phone calls. I’m closer to 60 than I might once have been comfortable with, so the whole concept of disc jockeys making such phone calls doesn’t really amuse me all that much. But before we get all collectively hot and bothered about this particular call - especially liberals - perhaps we should remember the famous call to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, when someone pretended to be one of the infamous Koch Brothers, and the audio, like the shots at Lexington and Concord, was heard around the world?

Walker, is just the tip of the iceberg. Sarah Palin, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro are among others who have fallen prey to this sort of thing.

But all of these folks, are, of course, public figures; they have sought the limelight. Ms. Saldanha did not.

That being said, I’m not not going to jump on the Outrage Train, and join the rest of the world in attacking the Australian disc jockeys, Michael Christian and Mel Greig. The fact that they were able to puncture the pretensions of a world which is still enamored of folks whose only real function is to open supermarkets and sell tabloid rags should be respected.

They should have muted the voices of the nurses. They, after all, were not public figures.

But the truth of the matter is that Royal Family groupies were venting their rage at these radio hosts even before Ms. Saldanha took her own life. One can only imagine the harassment, if any, that Ms. Saldanha may have faced from people whose world view is still firmly rooted in the 18th Century.

The police are involved now, of course. Will they examine a fawning news media for hanging on to every word, every gesture, that someone in this family makes?

No.

Will there be any honest criticism of news programs playing and replaying the audio over and over and over again? Because they, too, violated Ms. Saldanha’s privacy, perhaps even more than the website of an obscure Australian radio station.

No. There won’t be.

******

Second Amendment News: Oregon boys (ages 7 and 11) use loaded gun in attempt to carjack and rob woman

In Portland, a 22 year old woman reported to police that while she was waiting for her parents in a church parking lot, two young boys approached her. The younger boy told the older to “ . . . show her your piece.”

After she refused their demand that she give them her vehicle, they demanded her phone and money. In response she drove away. As she did so, she saw the older boy pull a gun from his pocket.

*****

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Saying what we think gives a wider range of conversation than saying what we know. - Cullen Hightower

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