Monday, July 15, 2013

Could The Royal Dickheads Yet Swing?

Two infamous "Royal prank" DJs may yet face criminal action.
Britain's Metropolitan Police have asked Australian authorities to consider charges. Mel Greig and Michael Christian could be prosecuted along with Oz radio station 2Day FM, after they tricked a nurse into revealing patient info [the background]: the nurse later killed herself.
London police: "The Metropolitan Police Service has requested that consideration is given as to whether any offences were committed under Australian legislation." Scotland Yard previously decided there was no evidence to support any UK charges against the dumb duo.
It'll be interesting to see what, if any, charges can be laid under Australian law...
+ ...meanwhile Greig's case against 2Day FM's parent company, Southern Cross Austereo, for 'failing to provide a safe workplace', could net her a six-or seven-figure payout!
That's the view of personal injury lawyer Anthony Carbone, who says the station appeared to have been "playing with fire" by encouraging questionable stunts, and that Greig has a "very strong case" against her employer. He says she'd probably need to prove she had suffered a diagnosable psychological injury as a result of the prank...but not that the nurse's suicide was forseeable. The claim could comprise medical expenses, loss of future income and damages.
Carbone says Austereo's rap sheet – including tricking listeners into believing a popular presenter had died, a stunt that police claim encouraged dangerous driving, and a notorious lie detector scandal – could bolster Greig's claim: "It goes to the heart of what kind of workplace Mel was working in. Did Austereo condone and encourage the pranks? Did they promote bad conduct? This doesn't seem to have been a one-off thing; it seems to have been ongoing."
I would however be extremely surprised if a radio station was fined for this sort of stunt. Despite their dubious relevancy, prank broadcasts have been ongoing since virtually the dawn of radio. Orson Welles' rendition of The War Of The Worlds gripped the US nation in mass hysteria in 1938! In Auckland, Radio Hauraki's Kevin Black released several albums of his prank calls in the '70s!
This is not illegal behaviour - but to call it 'entertainment' (as radio should be) is to liken a bucket of vomit to a gourmet meal.

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