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When pranks go wrong

Posted by Bothell none (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 0:57

It isn't a prank, it does have consequences & it's time we started holding all media accountable for what they do, what they say and how they say it. I don't care if its a local radio station, MSNBC, FOX or anyone who has access to public airwaves. Their actions have consequences and I'm disgusted that so little is being said about how we allow the media to write, say, show anything they want. Don't tell me about censorship because when the media chooses to use someone who has not agreed to participate, isn't a public figure, and who could be hurt by it, then someone needs to say enough and stop them. I don't pretend to know what issues would cause a person to committ suicide after being an unwilling participant in a "prank" but I don't find the prank to be amusing or funny. I'm done accepting excuses from the media when they cross the line into peoples' lives.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When pranks go wrong

O'Reilly and Fox called fro the killing of Tiller the abortion doctor and it happened.

"I've been reading about Scott Roeder today. He is the murderer who killed Doctor Tiller in Wichita, KS this weekend while the doctor was in church. Doctor Tiller is a physician touted as an abortionist doctor by the Republican extreme ANTI Abortionist groups like Operation Rescue. Roeder often posted on Operation Rescue's internet forums.
Roeder frequently listened to O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and other AM Shock Jocks. He was a member of Operation Rescue. He was a member of the Republican Party and Christian Conservative Movement. These groups are avid on the internet, AM Radio and on Cable News.
Many of these groups are rapidly attempting to distance themselves from Roeder, even though he often posted on their websites and was their welcome member for years.
Violent Acts by Roeder is what happens when the zealots brainwash the weak-minded.
The right wing extremists hated Dr. Tiller. Roeder believed their extremist rhetoric and often posted very negative comments about Tiller frequently on the internet. Roeder listened to Bill O'Reilly's rants against Tiller. In some of O'Reilly's rants, he advocated, what some say is violence against Tiller.
Roeders ex-wife said his extreme anti-government beliefs contributed to the breakup of their marriage. Roeders family life began unraveling more than a decade ago when he got involved with anti-government groups, and then became "very religious in an Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye way," his former wife, Lindsey Roeder said.
"The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew.?

Here is a link that might be useful: Scott Roeder, Home Grown Terrorist, Son of O'Reilly


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Bothell, and then there is THIS!


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I don't find the prank funny either, but would that really drive one to suicide? Ashton Kutcher had that show Punk'd which I have never seen nor had any interest in seeing....but I doubt it drove anyone to suicide?


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Is suicide just collateral damage to public humiliation as entertainment?

Ashton Kutcher is a bully, sadly, he's been given license, by people like redsox, to bully and humiliate people on television.

The DJ's in Australia are also bullies, and their behavior led to the suicide of a young, Indian nurse who got caught in their sick joke. And it went viral. How would you like to have "the world" laughing at you? She probably got death threats, since that is the first response of so many of the nut cases out there.

Faux News staff are also bullies, and, again, have been given license by the public to carry on their bad behavior.

This is the sad state of public behavior on the world today.


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what momj47 said.

I can't think of a single "prank" that isn't/wasn't grounded in sadism;
pranks aren't funny, they're vicious.


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For the life of me I don't understand "humour" that's sole intent is to embarrass or humiliate. I was even uncomfortable when Palin was "pranked" by a pair of Canadian comedians. Lots of reason to shake your head at her "stupidity" without a setup.


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I was sickened by the result of the prank and the suicide of the nurse. All pranks, I think, do have a certain bully-theme to them and certainly a streak of meanness in them. In this particular situation this hospital catered to the royal family - they are the royals hospital. Not being British, I can't pretend to understand the depth to which the royal family is a part of the British psyche and their national identity.

The nurse (Jacintha) may have felt she let the royal family down, and in front of the world while doing her job.

I hope these two DJ's carry this pain with them for a very long time.

As a side note, I hope that Kate's pregnancy and the birth of the heir to the throne isn't tainted by this prank. I feel sorry for all involved.


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License? I've never seen the show! How is that license! Can you twist words any more profoundly?


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.......because you have trivialized the effects of a show, or actions, like that.

Death is not trivial


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"The DJ's in Australia are also bullies, and their behavior led to the suicide of a young, Indian nurse who got caught in their sick joke. And it went viral. How would you like to have "the world" laughing at you? She probably got death threats, since that is the first response of so many of the nut cases out there."

Mom, neither you nor anyone else here has a clue as to what EXACTLY led to this nurse's suicide and to say that you do know is total BS. And then to say that she PROBABLY got death threats...well you are blowing more hot air with that one, too.

Pranks have been around as long as I can remember. Some turn out to be harmless and some don't. these 2 djs got a he!! of alot more than I bet they ever bargained for or thought about.


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No one said death was trivial. My point is that yes, these 2 DJs are J.A.s like all such DJs who broadcast nonsense at other's expense. Same with the punk'd show, which again, I have never seen. I don't watch such drivel and I think someone who does probably has arrested development.

I don't watch Honey Boo Boo or such nonsense either.

But if this woman had not killed herself, we would not be talking about it. No one would and it would have passed over in the matter of a week when some politician was caught with his mistress, or some such.

The woman had to realize that she did nothing wrong. All she did was answer the phone. Who would not have been duped in this situation?

So, for her to commit suicide, there had to be something else at play. Perhaps mental illness, who knows? Perhaps something else.

But for me to kill myself over such a matter, that maybe was embarrassing or humiliating, I can't see it because I am raising children, and they always come first. That is why there must have been something else at play.


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Pranksters are bullies...ie, Mitt Romney. I never liked Ashton Kucher's show, and I think most pranks are to humiliate people. Juvenile, infantile ,sadist behavior. I hope these DJ's live with this death the rest of their lives, and are not hired back by the station. Their moment of "glory" resulted in the suicide of a beloved nurse, mother, wife ,and friend. She felt totally humiliated by her innocence in believing the best in people.


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" I hope these DJ's live with this death the rest of their lives, and are not hired back by the station"

Excuse me, the radio station hired them to do exactly this type of thing...they are as culpable.

I have to agree with jmc. We have no idea what about this, if anything , prompted the suicide. Any assertions that she was getting death threats etc are totally unfounded at this point.

She was the nurse who simply TRANSFERRED the call to the nurse who ACTUALLY was "pranked" into giving out the personal details with regard to the Duchesses condition.

Did that nurse receive any type of threats or public ridicule? Nothing has been said about her.

I dislike these types of pranks but I do believe there is a serious rush to judgment happening on this one.


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Bothell, redsox posted,"I don't find the prank funny either, but would that really drive one to suicide?".
Unfortunately, there has been a sort of precedent -
Kevin Carter.


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I have not heard the call or any thing about it till I opened this thread. Having said that I surmise from the information given that there is a lack of understanding of differing cultures.

The lady that took her life was Indian with the possible upbringing that devalues women in that society. She was in a position of responsibility for a member of the royal family and being questioned on her performance of that responsibility could be devastating to her.

Mind you this is only my surmising of the situation but a probability. For one of her culture and upbringing to fail at a job that important in her view could require retribution in her thought possibly to the point of self immolation.

This type of "humor" has far reaching consequences not apparent to the perpetrators and when crossing different cultures can result in unexpected outcomes as shown here. As I said I am only surmising but these things do not occur to those that will do many things for fame and profit including the management of "shows" such as these.

The degeneration of what is considered humor and entertainment has consequences and will show up more as different cultures become more enmeshed in our societies. Different actions mean different things to many the world over. This is why being an ambassador to another country is a difficult job.


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Bothell, my introduction to that undefinable sentiment that persuades human beings to pursue lofty ideals occurred when I read Airport (Arthur Hailey - 1968)
Here is a synopsis of the 'sub-plot' as lifted from Wikipedia.
"A mostly separate plot line concerns Mel's brother Keith, an air traffic controller tormented by guilt and flashbacks, due to his self-blame of not realizing the eminent danger of a mid-air collision, and failing to take steps to prevent it from happening."
An American character in an American setting.
The human conscience knows no cultural divide.

This post was edited by ronalawn82 on Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 19:50


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Remember this prank that went wrong? A college student took pictures or video of his male roommate in an intimant setting with another male. He posted the material on the web, after all it was funny wasn't it? His roommate committed suicide and the student was charged and convicted of a crime. Not so funny now is it. Pranks are only funny to the person(s) pulling them. There should be consequences for the behavior and that includes legal consequences.


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Bothell, many thanks for updating my memory.
Where is the dividing line separating prankster from bully?


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I forgot about that too, Bothell. It only happened in the last year or two and I think the perpetrator got some time.


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I recall reading in the paper about 2 young adults...men...who called families in the middle of the night and told them that their loved ones had been killed in an accident. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe they also impersonated a police officer.

When asked why they did such a horrific thing, they said they were "bored and drunk." I felt like they should get 20 years each. Let them see how bored they would be in prison.

What malicious intent.


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If this nurse committed suicide over this prank, she had a lot of other issues first. This speculation is silly, IMO.


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how about this one:

BOULDER : Two University of Colorado Boulder students are facing multiple felony charges after they allegedly fed pot-laced brownies to their unsuspecting history class - leading to the hospitalization of three people.

The professor of the course was taken to a hospital by paramedics Friday after complaining of dizziness and dropping in and out of consciousness.

"Anybody who thinks this is cute, anybody who thinks this was funny, is going to face pretty serious sanctions, both criminally and potentially within the student conduct process," said CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard.

Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, 21, and Mary Elizabeth Essa, 19, baked THC-laced brownies for their class at the Hellems Arts and Sciences Building on Friday, said Ryan Huff, CU police spokesman.

After the professor was taken to the hospital, a student's mother notified campus police that her daughter, who had been in the professor's class, was in the hospital after having a panic attack.

Later that day, the parents of another student in the same class took her to a hospital after she told them she felt like she would blackout.

A total of eight people out of the class of 12 fell ill from the brownies.
The names of the professor and students were not released by the police.
Police said it was clear that the students' intent was to have the unsuspecting class consume the brownies.

"There could be prison time involved in this case," Huff said.

The charges include assault in the second degree and inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means.

The brownies were brought as part of a "bring food to class" day. Police said the brownies and orange juice were the only items brought to class.

It is not clear what the relationship there is between Cunningham and Essa, other than they are in the history class together.

Police said they did not know how potent the brownies were, but did say it appeared they contained just a THC product.

Cunningham and Essa are being held without bond at the Boulder County jail, Huff said.

As the investigation continues, the two they could face suspension or expulsion, officials said.

All three victims had been released from the hospital by Sunday, police said.
"This is something that we take very seriously," Huff said. "These are serious felony cases."

The campus will not ban food from classrooms in light of the incident, CU spokesman Hilliard said.

The incident comes just a month after voters passed Amendment 64, which makes it legal for people over 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

The CU incident should have no bearing on the law or its aim, said Mason Tvert, a leader of the campaign to pass the amendment.

"This is illegal behavior," Tvert said. "That would be like going back to prohibition because some college kids spiked the punch."

No matter what the two students may have thought they were doing, Huff said their actions were in no way a prank.

"It's felony activity," he said. "That's why we take it seriously and will continue to take it seriously."

The Boulder County district attorney will review the case, at which time Cunningham and Essa may each face more than 10 felonies, Huff said.
Both Huff and Hilliard said they have never experienced a case like this before.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dude! Like wouldn't it be funny if we .......


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Elvis: I agree she probably had other issues. That isn't my point. My point is when someone plays a prank they have no idea how it will turn out for the person that is the victim. It's wrong to assume that what you think is funny will be perceived as funny by that person. It's past time for the media to stop their disgusting, low class, attacks that they then claim weren't meant to harm anyone. They do harm people & I think it sends a message to others that it's ok to ridicule or bully other people. The big question is when does a prank stop being a prank. They need to be held accountable for their actions.


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And she may not have had "any other issues". She may have been so shocked by the public humiliation that she couldn't think of any way out. And it happened fast.

Most of us live quiet, uneventful lives; to be thrust into a humiliating public spotlight like this might drive us over the edge, no matter how well adjusted we are. I doubt many of us could pull our inner resources together fast enough to deal with something that goes viral.

She certainly feared losing her job, even though the hospital denied that would happen, but going to work would probably have seemed like walking in to a nightmare that would not end.


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not their fault!
she shouldn'd'a got her feelings hurt!

(Hey, not my fault your 4-year-old doesn't have any better sense than to walk in front of my speeding Ferrari;
you should have been watching him more carefully.
& I'm entitled to that car.)

Blaming the victim not only isn't nice, it doesn't make sense;
it's base rationalization.


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It IS stupid to blame the victim. I think because she was Indian and maybe in that culture she perhaps reacted more strongly because of the humiliation than you and I would.


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I detest practical jokes too, there has always been a kind of undertone of glee at another's great (even tho temporary) distress that bothered me, I've never participated in them for that reason. However, that is only my opinion of it all, I'm quite sure that for many this probably doesn't really apply.

I would need a whole lot more information to determine with any personal surety that this practical joke or the combination of the joke plus her percieved fallout from it was the main cause of a mother of two children to kill herself.

I could easily go with the idea that this was the *final* thing in her life that drove her over the edge and into suicide - but only if there was other very disturbing things that had been going on with her life or mental state that precluded the stupid joke.

I suspect more information will come out about her and her life/family, and that too would be sad as precious little privacy for her surviving family will happen for a good while.

The whole thing was an unnecessary tragedy, all going back for the want of higher ratings and thus profit - for a radio station.


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Prankster -- from the German pranken, i.e. a show-off.

Prank -- a 'trick' intended to embarrass someone.

Not 'clever', just *mean*. It's surprising there are not more 'unintended' consequences.


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Mitt Romney is the consummate prankster all thru his life as when he shaved the classmate's long hair because he was different (gay).Bullies do this to make themselves look more powerful.

I did see the press conference which the DJ's gave yesterday. I really did pity them because in the scheme of things, it was rather harmless. Their accents were awful and they had no clue anyone would "buy" this. The woman who transferred the call but didn't give out any info is the one who committed suicide, not the one who gave details on Kate. Now that should be investigated. I know no one in this country could get medical details on patients with a phone call.


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I do not get why anyone would take their life because of a mistake. A mistake that did not cause medical harm to the patient.

She had to have other issues. I do not see what these 2 DJ's did harmful. It was not bullying, it was no real harm done. The harm was someone took their life because she were embarrassed. How many of us have been embarrassed? Did you think you would take your life?

If she had given a patient the wrong meds and caused her death and felt guilt is one thing but a info mistake. I do not get this uproar.


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 14:48

Sure, you are embarrassed and six people know, and you get kidded at work for a day or two, then everyone forgets about it.

How about if you are embarrassed and 500 million people know about it and they comment in every media source available, and it goes on and on, and a lot of those comments are angry or even threatening, but nothing is good-natured.

You, too, might collapse under the stress.


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I'm glad to see so many people say what I've said for so long, I hate pranks. They're so mean. I hadn't known about the nurse. I am sorry for Saldana and her family. Thank you for letting me know about her. I am appalled at the radio station for protecting the "shock jockies". I think all sjs should be banned. They are hurtful and not funny in the least.


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I read this same radio station was in touble a few years back for getting a teenage girl to confess on air that she had been raped when she was 12.


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I can't believe that a mother of two would collapse to the point where she committed suicide, knowing that she was leaving those children motherless, over a stupid and embarrassing prank.

Not just that - many people have endured far, far more intense stuff on a global scale of embarrassment than this nurse would have suffered from the beginning to the end of the fall out of the prank.

If she really was that fragile, she probably was not at all well suited to the job of a nurse in the first place - but I just can't buy into the idea that her suicide was a direct result of this stupid prank, I believe that it was the last straw of stress in what was going on in her life that we may never (hopefully will never) know about.

Because this was not the first time there were bad results from 'pranks' pulled, there should be at the VERY least a hefty fine. Should the two jockeys be fired?

Well, were they ever warned about this sort of thing? Did somebody have to approve of the prank ahead of time? Perhaps that somebody is the person who should be fired rather than the two disc jockeys, they would just be the sacrificial lambs when looking at it in a business decision kind of way,

I've never liked the "sacrificial lambs to shut the whole thing down" kind of reactions that are so common in business.

Of course if they had been previously warned about pranks and then did it anyway without prior approval, then fine and fire them.


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So...explain what's *good* about a prank. What makes a prankster admirable?


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I do not think a prank is good but it is my opinion it is being blown over the top because the nurse committed suicide. Sorry people go through a lot in their life and do not commit suicide. I cannot understand killing myself. That is a person that had other problems and she was not thinking of her children. They come first even before your embarrassment.

The prank was approved by the station management. Again, no one was hurt by the prank other than someone's feelings. The prank was not mean. They pretended to be the queen with a bad accent and they expected to be called out as "Not Being the Queen". They said that when she transferred them. You heard them saying they did not believe the operator believed it is the Queen calling.


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I would never presume to judge what might push a person over the edge. What seems small to one may be insurmountable to another.

I too suspect that other issues were at play but was this the straw? Who knows.

Pranks are a form of bullying and bullying hurts.


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The nurse left a note for her family. If the contents are released at some time in the future we may have a better understanding...


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Pranks are a form of bullying and bullying hurts.

I hate the day the word Bullying was spoken. Anything someone finds these days as not a comfortable situation, hurt feelings, rose garden life disappears is now bullying or a form of bullying. I am not happy so I am being bullied, someone said something I did not like "It is bullying".

Have we become a society of intolerant of any uncomfortable situation. It starts with schools not giving a grade. We cannot tell our children they did something wrong it hurts their feelings. Everybody is a winner.

What is bullying? Now we have a form of bullying because you were embarrassed? They did not know the woman and set out to hurt her.

A person is at their breaking point and the last person that embarrassed you it is now that person's fault.


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According to the news reports, all Jacintha did was answer the phone because the receptionist was away from her station and transfer the call to an on-duty nurse. That's it. She's been a nurse since the '80's; one would think it would take more than transferring a phone call to make her flip and commit suicide. Reports also say it may not be suicide.

More sensationalizing on the part of the media. Helluva way to get her "15 minutes".

I think a lot of people are barking up the wrong tree on this one.


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In retrospect, what went wrong in the Australian hoax-call case was the targeting of a public figure to no obvious end and the inadvertent ensnaring of private figures. The Duchess of Cambridge was scarcely guilty of hypocrisy or illegality in throwing up during a treacherous and fragile stage of pregnancy. The two London nurses had done nothing at all to invite or deserve intrusion or publicity...

...there has been a progressive tendency in which traditional and social media have encouraged each other to treat real people as if they were cartoon characters, and this may have been a factor in what happened at the London hospital. Guardian.

The state of mind of the victim or 'other factors' is not the issue. It's rather like saying: 'Oh, she had cancer, so the fact that I shot her doesn't matter.'

I wonder what would have been said had the call actually gone through to Kate, and she had subsequently miscarried? Still say it was a harmless prank and she would have miscarried anyway, probably?

As for the defence that 'I wouldn't have committed suicide . . .' well, some test.

The state of mind that needs to be questioned is that of the people who approve and carry out these stupid and pointless 'pranks' for the sake of increased ratings.

Best wishes
Jon


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"no one was hurt by the prank other than someone's feelings."

Well, except for that dead person.

what jon said.


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Political cartoons are a bit like pranks -- intended to take the wind out of someone's sails. A difference is, these are public figures.


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what jon said


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Tacky "comedy" never makes me laugh.


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To funny..............

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 13, 12 at 10:34

And what if the shark had attacked him?

I just don't get it? What drives people to act like this?

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

A new YouTube video shows horrifying prank - a surfer is pushed into the water directly in front of an oncoming shark.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another prank

This post was edited by momj47 on Thu, Dec 13, 12 at 10:37


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