Shock Jock Pranks: Do They Go Too Far?

As two Australian shock jocks undergo a probe after posing as Royals to gain telephone access to Kate Middleton’s hospital room, we’d like to hear your thoughts on shock jocks in general and the pranks they pull.

It’s all good fun until somebody gets hurt.

That’s the mantra it would seem radio shock jocks from Australia to Tampa Bay follow.

Unfortunately, for two disk jockeys in Australia, somebody did get hurt. Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who work at Sydney’s 2Day FM, have been indirectly (and by some directly) linked to the suicide death of Jacintha Saldanha.

Saldanha, a nurse, was fooled by the two shock jocks into believing they were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. She connected them to the room where Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, is resting following complications from pregnancy, according to Yahoo News.

Following the incident, Saldanha is said to have committed suicide. It’s unclear whether the royal snafu had anything to do with her actions, but police are taking it seriously, Yahoo reports. Public outcry has been so harsh, in fact, the pair are said to be in hiding.

Outlandish pranks perpetrated by disk jockeys are commonplace here in the Tampa Bay area. After all, we have the distinction, dubious or otherwise, of being the home of Bubba the Love Sponge. That particular DJ has made a name – and quite a following for himself – by crank calling everyone from local cable companies to the Federal Communications Commission along with his sidekick Ned. He also faced animal cruelty charges after castrating and slaughtering a pig on air.

Bubba most recently made news after settling a lawsuit with Clearwater resident and pro wrestling star Hulk Hogan over an alleged sex tape. 

As the British issue unfolds, we’d like to turn our attention to what you’re thinking Tampa Bay. What do you think about radio shock jocks and their pranks? Are they just downright funny? Is it really all just in good fun? Maybe you think they go too far and should face more regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Jennifer Logan-Porter December 14, 2012 at 03:35 AM
@Zigsauered, As a person who is deeply involved in public health, as well as the well-beings that are associated with it, you have my full agreement!
Jeffrey Rosenfield December 14, 2012 at 04:33 AM
@Jennifer Logan-Porter, I definitely agree it was not handled properly and that the whole incident did not need to happen. It should have ended as soon as someone called the hospital pretending to be the Queen of England and was actually put through to the patient's room! Perhaps, and obviously I'm just speculating, that is the underlying cause of why the nurse tragically took her own life - not because any confidential information was revealed, but because the DJs were able to pull off such a simple, childish ruse. As they have stated, they never expected to be put through.
Lacota December 15, 2012 at 01:35 PM
For crying out loud!!! It was a JOKE! What happened to sense of humor???? These days, people are killing themselves over something so trivial!!! I do not blame the the radio boys. The nurse made her choice to die, what ever her reason/s were! Let's see the truth for this matter! Years ago, we all took a joke for a joke and people did not commit suicide over something so stupid!
Lacota December 15, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Charlie, very well said. Many people do not take responsibility for their actions and is much easier to blame others. I also believe this woman selfish for the act she decided to commit.
Zigsauered January 08, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I lean more to her commission of violating patient rights by letting in the callers. This in itself with the possible accumulation wrongful standard of nursing acts would cost her job/license? What people don't know is nurses legally make NO mistakes! Again I understand that people really do not know this. I am not a lawyer, but this may help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omission_(criminal_law)


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