The World Over Reacts to Mel Grieg & Michael Christian Prank Call – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig

Jamie Gilcig

Jamie GilcigCFN –  Prank calls.   The world is buzzing and humming over the death of a nurse at a hospital in England after the mother of two ended her life after answering a prank call from an Australian radio station over the pregnancy of Kate Middleton.

From the Wiki on Prank calls:

prank call (also known as a crank call) is a telephone practical joke. Prank phone calls began to gain an American following over a period of many years, as they became a staple of the obscure and amusing cassette tapes traded amongst musicianssound engineers, and media traders beginning in the late 1970s. Among the most famous and earliest recorded prank calls are the Tube Bar prank calls tapes, which centered around Louis “Red” Deutsch. Comedian Jerry Lewis was an incorrigible phone prankster, and recordings of his hijinks, dating from the 1960s and possibly earlier, still circulate to this day.

The Mel & Michael Prank Call


Very prominent people have fallen victim to prank callers, for example Elizabeth II, who was fooled by Canadian DJ Pierre Brassard posing as Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, asking her to record a speech in support of Canadian unity ahead of the 1995 Quebec referendum.[1] Two other notable examples of prank calls were made by the Miami-based radio station Radio El Zol. In one, they telephoned Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, and spoke to him pretending to be Cuban president Fidel Castro.[2] They later reversed the prank, calling Castro and pretending to be Chávez. Castro began swearing at the pranksters live on air after they revealed themselves.[3]

They aren’t new and many are quite entertaining.

The internet radio station [wPCR] PrankCall Radio ( is the largest web-site that still continuously broadcasts prank phone calls as they happen live on the internet. Since its creation by “DJ FooDStamP” in 1997, they have completed over 185,000 prank phone calls and broadcast them to over 5 million people worldwide.

Imagine that.  One outfit alone made nearly 200,000 prank calls without a single fatality?!

It’s sad that this nurse decided to end her life; and I’m sure the media scrutiny in this situation was quite high, but surely this has more to do with issues of the victim of the prank than the actual prank?

The radio station and dj’s have gone into full damage control mode with a very hammy apology tears included which is what you do in these situations because that’s the kind of world we live in.

I’m sure Mel & Michael are sorry that nurse Jacintha Saldanha chose to end her life; but in the end Ms Saldanha made that very very odd choice not the DJ’s.   There was no intent to injure or even humiliate the nurse who was not even the intended victim of the prank call.

Of course money enters into the picture with sponsors pulling their support which triggers reactions like this apology, but in the end it’s another media circus at the expense of someone who obviously had deep personal issues or simply did not know how to handle and cope with a situation and that those in her circle were not able to assist her.

That’s the true tragedy.

And now for one of the funniest prank calls ever.

The Sarah Palin Prank Call via Montreal DJ’s

This has been a tragedy.   It truly is, but tragedies happen in life all the time.   To enact laws or start witch hunts will not bring Ms Saldanha back nor comfort her children and family.   We live in a world that increasingly over reacts and overcompensates in reactions to situations.

This is one of them.

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  1. I agree 100%. If indeed this nurse did end her own life, there would have to have been other issues involved.
    The Palin prank was priceless.

  2. I don’t think this situation should be called a prank call. If it is illegal to impersonate a police officer shouldn’t it be illegal to impersonate the Monarch of England, Canada and Australia, especially to obtain privilege information.

    To make it worse the innocent people who provided that information were held liable for the release of it.

    There is nothing funny about that situation.

  3. This is what I know; A family has lost not only a mother, but a breadwinner over the fact that someone halfway across the world decided it would be ‘ funny’ to pull a prank phone call inquiriing about Kate Middelton. Yes, its all fun and games isn’t it…untill someone gets hurt. This is blaming the victim, as in, ‘ oh, she must have had some pre existing condition that caused her to take her life. HYPOCRITICAL. Sarah Palin, or any other public figure who gets ‘ pranked’ are , themselves, public figures who know that this is part of the game. I highly, highly doubt that Ms. Saldanha qualifies in that regard. I’m not saying enact leglislation, ban prank calls…that’s part of freedom of speech, and belongs there. However, I do think that the very least that radio station should do is to fire both DJs involved in this incident. Choices have consequences. They don’t pull this ‘ prank’, Ms Saldanha would still be alive. Stop blaming the victim in this case, and put it exactly where it belongs.

  4. Author

    Jim what if I committed suicide over your comment? Would you feel guilt or have been in the wrong? Did you listen to the prank call? Again, I feel the tragedy for the family of this nurse but there’s something seriously wrong when someone takes their life with two children to support and a loving family over a prank call.

  5. Agree Jamie. And one of the things I keep asking myself is: are we to believe statements that the nurse’s employer did not chastise her for being so witless? I find that hard to believe they all went “dear, dear, there’s nothing at all to worry about” when the very serious issue of patient confidentiality and telephone protocols (when they’ve the Royals in house, no less!!) were screwed up.

    I put blame squarely on the shoulders of hospital managers who obviously FAILED to brief nursing staff on security measures.

  6. It’s probably hard for some to believe that there are professionals who take their work so seriously that they don’t have time to waste ridiculing others. They don’t watch these comedy shows and don’t listen to this type of humour, so in fact, they don’t get that it’s funny to someone else. There are people in this world that would not do anything to harm someone else, much less lie and snicker about how stupid others are. I know, it’s hard to believe…Perhaps Nurse Jacintha Saldanha took the whole thing so seriously that she would rather face death than job loss or lose face professionally- maybe she felt she could not live with herself for having made such a mistake. She obviously felt so strongly about it that she made the final decision to end her life. Nowadays if a story involves you and goes viral, which this did, it ramps up the bombardment of negative messages. It must be horrible to be in the eye of that kind of a storm, don’t you think?

    I think that saying that there was something wrong with the nurse for having committed suicide is a way of denying the seriousness of this so-called joke, made at the expense of an innocent victim- the nurse. Suicide is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. There are so few people who have a sense of conscience nowadays that it is probably very difficult for someone who does not have one to understand that people do suffer terribly from having a crushing disappointment with themselves, and sometimes, sadly, they do not recover. Anyone can commit suicide- it is not restricted to those who have certain issues, because, clearly, we all have issues. My hope is this tragedy may cause people to become more mature in their approach to others and treat them with respect, instead of derision.

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