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HaveIGotNewsForYou
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Registered: 5 Jul 12

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 15:30
What is the consensus of opinion on this subject by writers, lurkers and anyone else who reads the forums?

I would love the reporting of the suicide to be a prank - for in a few days the police, hospital and nurse to scream "gotcha!"....but that is not going to happen.

However, I have differing feelings about this:

1. It was a joke, a prank, extremely harmless and in fun, with no real malice intended. Before the suicide of the nurse the majority of the media reported it and joined in with the laughter. Now, I don't believe the prank was offensive whatsoever, there have been far worse.

2. The nurse, if she killed herself over the prank call, then I am afraid had, in my opinion, mental problems, and for someone to take their own life, leave two children behind, over something like this, I am afraid is rather pathetic.

3. The above said, I feel so very sad for the woman and her family if this forced her to commit suicide and I understand the fury now being aimed at the DJ's involved, though think it is overkill.

As we take the piss, often, and sometimes write hurtful words we think is a joke and funny, I think this could be a good discussion.




HaveIGotNewsForYou
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Posted: 8 Dec 12 15:38
Oh, and I have drafted a spoof entitled "Suicide Nurse Has Last Laugh as She Pranks Australian DJ's Disguised As Ghost"

Basically the story is it was a double prank and she frightens the shit out of the DJ's before they all have a good laugh about it.....not suitable? Too soon? Insensitive or a good satire on a current news story?

Where do WE draw the line I wonder?

(Strokes chin and fold arms before looking wistfully into space)

radiogagger
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radiogagger

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 16:28 - Edited By: radiogagger, 8 Dec 12 16:35
absolutely tragic turn for this 'story' to take HIGNFY.

I've written (or made) jokes about Diana, Jill Dando, Jackson, Amy and Whitney in the past but I'd err on the side of caution in writing the story (even though it is good satire) because suicide was such an extreme reaction to what you say was a harmless prank, she was an innocent victim and as you say she may have suffered some sort of mental problem (it did cross my mind) and also out of respect to her family.

Also, Prince Charles made a joke about the prank call, so I doubt that the royals were seriously offended, it was just a phone call, and in the past we've witnessed thru the media people breaking into Harrys birthday party, and Buckingham Palace sitting on the end of the queens bed.
We don't know whether the hospital were going to take action against the nurse or nurses - as the call was passed from one to another. I'm sure there is more to come out.

If, for example, Piers Morgan or one of the Murdoch family topped themselves I'd take it as an admission of guilt over the phone hacking and would have no problem writing it.

Was discussing with my mate yesterday, yet another cyclist being killed in Stepney, near where I live earlier this week, and he said that's 13 this year, and I said "13 - and none of them was Boris" and he replied "none of them were on Boris Bikes?" and I replied "no none of them WERE BORIS (that died)" I don't really wish Boris dead, just that he wasn't mayor of my city, although of course he provides good comedy material, so it balances out.

Back to the nurse, people commented on twitter, that the DJs will be feeling a lot worse than we are about it, and I felt terrible about it as a human being, comedy writer and former community radio broadcaster who tried the at of prank calls back in the days when Steve Penk was larging it on Capital FM. Worth having a look at his twitter feed from last night for his views.

Pretty sure this will kill off the 'prank call' for a good five or ten years if not totally, the DJs will not work for that station again, probably never progress to a tv career as most radio presenters do. If I was their PR I'd advise they don't work together again, and probably use different 'on air' names.


'How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything'
T Harv Eker
Erskin Quint
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Erskin Quint

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 16:31 - Edited By: Erskin Quint, 8 Dec 12 16:32
Former writer and now lurker here.

If you are making a genuinely satirical effort - which I would have thought would be best aimed at the dangerous idiocy of the media and how ordinary and vulnerable people (as well as 'celebrities') are harmed by said media and their actions, then it might be worth writing about.

If it's just a joke cashing in on the headline, then I wouldn't do it.

You shouldn't mess with real tragedy, especially if you are just producing mediocre would-be satire.

This was a trashy 'prank' that served no good whatsoever. We can't know what this woman went through and shouldn't make cheap points about her because we don't know what we are talking about.

There's too much of this shite about in today's high-tech media-polluted culture. Now that might be worth satirising, if you are up to the task.

SERIOUS ABOUT DRIVEL
radiogagger
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radiogagger

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 16:45
Agreed with Erkine.

Final point from me, when people criticize stuff that is written/made to entertain, naturally debate can become heated if we are passionate about it (your altercation with QM a case in point) but at the end of the day we can say 'nobody died'.

On this occasion someone has died. If the phone hacking had just targeted celebrities and who their sleeping with, i don't think the general public would have batted an eyelid, but when it was revealed they hacked Milly Downers phone, it brought a whole new light to the story and rightly closed down the News of The World - or do i mean rebirthed the NOTW as the sun on sunday.

Wouldn't be surprised if the media group that own the radio station change its name, or merge it in with another one they own, in the near future.



'How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything'
T Harv Eker
Roy Turse
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Roy Turse

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 17:05
I think there is a big difference between spoofing celebs, politicians and people who put themselves in the public eye and civilians like this poor woman who we are only talking about because of what happened to her against her will.

If we are not careful we can end up being not so very different from the Australian DJs who started the whole thing.

All the news that's fit to print or not
Ellie James
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Ellie James

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Posted: 8 Dec 12 17:15
I agree with EQ, RG and Roy. This wasn't a celebrity but a nurse who very well might have been overly tired or in the middle of 50 things at once and passed a phone call through which she shouldn't have. I'm sure that there is policy and procedures to follow if royals are in a hospital you're working at.

I feel badly for her family. As someone who has had a loved one in my immediate family take his own life, there is nothing satirical or funny about it. It's horrific.

There could be a time to satirize the media just as EQ said, but not this poor woman.

Ellie

Oh. They've encased him in Carbonite. He should be quite well protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is.
Tommy Twinkle
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Posted: 8 Dec 12 18:01
Though being reported in the press as 'suspected suicide' it seems the death is still being described by police as 'unexplained'. Therefore methinks unwise to jump to any conclusions.

I've yet to read of any suicide note having been found (which doesn't mean there wasn't one). In the absence
of a suicide note (she was a mother with two teenage children)I find myself wondering if this could have been a heart attack.

She was 46 - not old but not young. The job of a nurse involves long hours/shift work. And her duties clearly went beyond the nursing of patients - she was answering calls at the hospital's switchboard. Should a nurse be doing that?Strikes me as being totally inappropriate. The hoax phone call would have added to any stress, and stress is not good for the heart.

But I might be wrong. Perhaps it wasn't a heart attack, perhaps it was suicide. We don't know. That's the point.

Personal opinion. A life of privilege is wrong, and royalty is 'a life of privilege'. The hoax call wouldn't have been made had the patient been a pregnant nurse feeling sick!

TT

HaveIGotNewsForYou
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Posted: 9 Dec 12 01:30
I don't think I will be writing anything on this subject.

Agreed that "civilians" like this poor woman shouldn't be the butt of anything written here, though if there was someone who could do it justice, and satire the reporting of this incident, rather than the poor woman, I would love to read it.

Sadly, after the news that both Sir Cliff Richard (who is 69) and Jimmy Cliff (who isn't 69) both attempted to take their own lives after being the "butt" of a "fisting" joke, written here, my appetite for mocking anyone has abated.




 
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