Dec 102012

The reaction to last week’s tragic passing of a nurse over a hoax phone call shows how hysteria and cynicism in new and old media fuel each other.

Having created villains, in this case the two hapless Sydney radio hosts, the mainstream media creates a moral outrage to stir up the mob which in turn generates more headlines.

As with the Hillsborough tragedy, this allows those in positions of responsibility the opportunity to avoid scrutiny and accountability.

In this case we see the hospital management demanding action being taken against the Sydney duo while conveniently ducking questions about why poorly paid nurses are expected to act as switchboard operators on top of their already considerable responsibilities.

Now we’re seeing calls to make practical jokes illegal – no doubt there’ll be a wave of teenage boys being prosecuted for making prank phone calls when panicked politicians pass poorly drafted laws to deal with the ‘problem’.

Our taxes at work.

Your mission in life is to use your brain and not to be one of the torch bearing mob.

If it’s you the mob are looking for, then it’s best to lie low until another headline or something shiny distracts them.

  7 Responses to “Life in the mob”

  1. This company has to clean its own backyard before trying to comment on UK. This radio network has had controversies before as well. What if someone had poked fun and humiliated Aussies including kids? Good fun, right? Should get brains checked in that case. These 2 are a cause though may not be complete cause for the suicide. And the radio network has more responsibility than these 2 – more to be blamed. Even, other media to be blamed as well. It should grow up and start acting like responsible people and firm. 1 of the 2 people used Internet quite a bit to play the prank out. Again, what if an Aussie or a kid was humiliated in such a way on the Internet? Things on the Internet spread out fast.

    Each country has a different culture. Think about that first before playing pranks because in some countries, if such pranks were played including being humiliated, well good luck to the ones who played it. Because they would have been bashed and then there’s no point of saying they are wild as they have been provoked.

    Lastly, families from 2 continents are affected. Can this company give back this lady to the family? Would you like this kind of situation to happen to any of you in a foreign country? This lady had been in UK just for a decade. Think before you do something even if it seems funny to you as not all cultures are alike including UK or US or Canada.

  2. Paul, Mark Newton posted this speech by Julian Morrow on Twitter; It’s all good but the salient point he makes is that these days oposition is ‘set up’ by a feedback loop that feeds on the outrage of ‘others’…

    “By contrast, the secondary audience come to access controversial content because it’s controversial. The secondary audience often tends to be the very opposite of the target audience.”

  3. Chaser pranks do not involve the invasion of privacy of a person in hospital.

  4. I am fascinated to note the affected concern over this woman’s mental health – which we have no idea what state it was in before the event (and neither do the DJs have any way to predict), and yet the more likely and easily visible people at risk for mental anguish at the moment are these two who the mob has decided have ‘done something’ and without a scintilla of concern for what they may be causing for these people. These people are being vilified by a virtual lynch mob. Utterly fascinating. Do what I say, not what I do, seems to be the message.

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