Prank Calling Australian DJ Breaks Silence

Monday, December 10, 2012

microphone (Jody Avirgan/WNYC)

Australian DJ Mel Grieg of the radio program Today FM broke her silence on the journalistic prank call that delivered a scoop confirming that royal Kate Middleton was pregnant with an heir to the British Crown.

But the call is also being connected to a tragedy: The nurse who was fooled by Mel and her partner's impression of the Queen and Prince Charles has been found dead in an apparent suicide.

Miranda Devine is a columnist with Sydney's Daily Telegraph.


Miranda Devine

Comments [10]

Peter from Tacoma, WA

Let's not confuse a stunt, which harms no one, with a prank, the OBJECT of which is to humilate someone, as in this case. Let's also remember you don't mess with someone's livelihood, even "in fun." These two jerks are not the victims here.

Dec. 10 2012 04:14 PM
Nancy in Brooklyn from NYC

The prank is obnoxious but my question is, how was it that the call was put through to the bedside nurse?! Why on earth doesn't the hospital -- particularly this hospital, which the royals apparently have used and trusted for decades -- have a more sophisticated screening protocol before a call could possibly get that far? It certainly was not the nurse's responsibility to question who was on the line.

Dec. 10 2012 03:25 PM
Ken from New Jersey

Shame on Mary Franklin from Oregon. Has she never heard of HIPPA? In the USA, all health employees are strictly instructed to protect patient privacy. Would Mary Franklin appreciate a prank call to her hospital nurse should she be hospitalized? Ha, Ha, Ha... until it happens to you!

Dec. 10 2012 03:21 PM
Hugh Sansom

Remember when Sarah Palin was caught on air thinking she was really talking to Nicolas Sarkozy? Seems to me exposing Palin's idiocy was perfectly legit.

Dec. 10 2012 03:14 PM
Curtiss Manker-Seale from Flagstaff, Az

What I'd like to now is how the nurse's supervisors reacted & whether they had anything to do w/ her feeling so bad.

Dec. 10 2012 02:24 PM
Rochelle from Oregon, USA

There is another facet to this story you are not speaking about. Divulging patient information to unauthorized people is a huge mistake for a medical worker in the light of confidentiality rules like HIPPA. There is a good chance she faced losing her job, being fined a large some of money (and hospital also fined), and losing her professional license or being put on professional probation. Also the hospital and nursing profession culture is such that this nurse would be hung out to dry due the blemish on the facility's reputation. It is not just, she, as an individual overacted to the situation. The general public and media have no clue how serious something like this is taken and I am disgusted the media is trying to blame this nurse who dedicated her life to helping others.

Dec. 10 2012 01:23 PM
Mary Franklin from Oregon

What is the matter with people. Pranks have been in human culture forever. How is it that we have become soooo concerned and insist on making things like this so significant. Telephones were great for making prank calls back in the day. My father tells about tipping over outhouses. Come on people get over yourselves.

Sick of how intolerant and "sensitive" people have become.


Dec. 10 2012 01:23 PM
Mark from Danbury, CT

Needs to be remembered that the nurse was of Indian background, so the accent nuances would have been lost on her. Plus, her culture would have her deeply ashamed and embarrassed. Still, doing a joke call on a hospital is in bad taste, however which way one cuts it.

Dec. 10 2012 01:17 PM

A good rule of thumb is you want to be laughing "with" people, not "at" them.

Dec. 10 2012 09:15 AM
Sorry from Detroit

What have you been smoking? There is no element of journalism in a prank

A prank has as its intent the infliction of emotional distress. The pranksters in this case are hiding behind the argument - how could we possible have known that such a prank would have such devistating impact? When you play a prank, you expose yourself to unlimited liability.

Dec. 10 2012 09:13 AM

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