2DAY FM presenters speak out

By David Knox on December 10, 2012 / Filed Under Programming 27

2DAY FM Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have spoken out in response to the royal prank that has backfired and attracted global headlines.

They will appear on both A Current Affair and Today Tonight.

2DAY FM radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian break their silence in a raw and emotional interview with A Current Affair’s Tracy Grimshaw. Greig and Christian sat down with Grimshaw early this afternoon and recorded their first interview since making the tragic hoax call to London’s King Edward VII Hospital. A Current Affair will play the full and uncut version of their interview tonight.

Tracy Grimshaw has tweeted, “Let me say clearly that our interview with the 2Day FM hosts for tonight’s A Current Affair was NOT paid for. Neither asked nor offered.”

6:30pm tonight on Nine.

A Today Tonight release says, “Sitting down with Today Tonight’s Clare Brady this afternoon, Greig and Christian respond to the worldwide debate raging over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who was at the centre of the Royal hoax call to London’s King Edward VII Hospital last week.”

Today Tonight  airs 6.30pm on Seven.

Meanwhile Nine News also weighs in with an online discussion:

It’s the story that has sent social media into overdrive. Tonight, we discuss your questions and reactions to the 2DayFM royal radio prank controversy LIVE in a #9STREAM panel debate.

Following news a nurse had committed suicide over the prank call, 2DayFM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have faced death threats and the show’s sponsors have been bombarded with abuse.

Is this reaction fair? Are the presenters to blame? Has social media created a lynch-mob mentality?

Panel includes:
A Current Affair host, Tracy Grimshaw.
She spoke with Michael and Mel today and will tell us how she found them and what state they’re in.

Former 2-DayFM breakfast host, Wendy Harmer.
Wendy was part of the Number 1 breakfast show for 11 years and during that time she made her fair share of prank calls.

Our social media experts will examine how twitter and facebook have changed the conversation. Has a lynch mob mentality developed?
Mumbrella and Encore Editor-in-Chief, Tim Burrowes
FORBES top 50 Social Media Influencers, Laurel Papworth

You can join the conversation using the hashtag #9STREAM on Twitter and www.facebook.com/9News and watch the video here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2012/12/10/10/56/watch-live-2dayfm-prank-controversy-panel-debate

7.30pm NSW/VIC/TAS
6.30pm QLD
7.00pm SA
6.00pm NT
4.30pm WA

Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

27 Comments »

  1. bicks357 December 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm -

    @ jezza the first original one “…..lets just keep this simple, if a prank phone call had not been made and then broadcast, Jacintha Saldanha would not be dead.”

    Isn’t that kind of a simplistic view? Everything that happens in the world is preceded by some other event. We can’t just stop living for fear of unwittingly causing something negative to happen. For example if I take my dog for a walk and he’s hit by a car, you could say “if only I had never crossed the road, my dog wouldn’t be injured.” It’s technically true but it doesn’t automatically mean that I shouldn’t have taken my dog for a walk. It’s not that simple. It becomes a question of predicting when bad outcomes are possible and/or likely, and altering your behavior to minimise the risk.

    Whether you think the radio station should have been able to foresee that a member of the public would react so badly to receiving the call that she would feel unable to continue living is another question. Given how few prank calls up to this point have caused the suicide of those involved (in that I include prank shows such as Candid Camera), it seems like predicting that outcome would be fairly difficult.

    This is a pretty good article on the subject, IMO

    nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/the-jokes-on-whom.html

  2. mr darcy December 11, 2012 at 11:44 am -

    While I don’t doubt the two presenters feel remorse, to be employed and not take an interest in anything other than your own role/department within a company of any kind seems slightly immature and naive. They simply seemed to absolve themselves of any responsibility nor allow themselves to reach beyond their “processes” or “We never meant…” response. I was expecting them to lay it on the line and actually indicate the “processes” that they use and show more than a deer caught in headlights act.

    If you have no idea of what those processes are and wish to play the puppet role in the midst of controversy – albeit from a radio station that is no stranger to media controversy – then you really need to take a reality check or get wise.

    While I do feel for them, my sympathy was greatly diminished by their overall “play dumb” or worse still…inability to know the workings of their other departments and what they actually do. They lost me when they said they had no idea what happens to the content…they just give it to “someone”.

    Unacceptable really.

  3. deedeedragons December 11, 2012 at 11:21 am -

    I am sick of hearing about this story.

  4. Jake December 11, 2012 at 8:29 am -

    Heads should roll for this deadly prank and let it be a lesson to other DJ’s who get laughs via making stupid phone calls to the unsuspecting public……

  5. Dayman December 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm -

    I think you simply have to apply an eggshell skull principle.

    You have to take someone as you find them. Not have some idealized view of what is normal is. Both physically and mentally.

    It appears as a result of this prank and in the aftermath it caused this lady to commit suicide.

    This is the response and the result it had.

    Whatever mental state or condition she was/may have been in is irrelevant. That’s the condition and the state she was in. You have to accept someone as they are.

    Was it reasonably foreseeable? Not really, no. However that’s besides the point. This happened to that lady and this was the result.

    Remove the prank, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Those involved in the prank and it going to air ultimately are responsible. Excusing it away that someone else, a ‘normal’ person wouldn’t have done this. Is a distraction. This is what happened.

    I don’t quite understand how people seem to confuse a lack of intention and reasonable foreseeability with what actually happened.

  6. tvf December 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm -

    Watched both interviews and have many questions regarding the procedures after the call is recorded. Those procedures are very unclear. Don’t think the 2day fm representative that came on the project in lieu of the djs did much for the 2dayfm cause. This whole situation is very sad and I feel sorry for the family of the nurse.

  7. Ashton December 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm -

    Like the DJs said, the prank call was planned by higher officials and went through the proper processes. Obviously it’s the board members that should resign

  8. Sydney2K December 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm -

    The 7:30 Report tonight indicated in a story about the interviews that the two were scheduled to appear on three commercial networks, but their agent said they were too emotional to participate in an interview with the third netwiork.

  9. Pertinax December 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm -

    This is amazingly stupid. As if using tabloid media to defend yourself against other tabloid media attacks will ever achieve anything for anyone involved.

    They should express regret and then show some respect and shut up and let the nurses relatives, friends and colleagues grieve.

    It is the coroner’s job to rule on whether or not it was a suicide, the nurse’s state of mind and the likely reason.

  10. Pertinax December 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm -

    @Jonasboi

    1. Why wouldn’t parents want to check on the condition of their daughter-in-law who was in hospital?

    3. Hospitals routinely supply information about condition to spouses and families of patients.That is perfectly OK.

    In this case the hospital was deceived by the DJs but no action but no action would be taken against the nurses.

  11. jezza the first original one December 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm -

    @ jonasboi…..lets just keep this simple, if a prank phone call had not been made and then broadcast, Jacintha Saldanha would not be dead.

    No individual should be sacked, all involved should, in my view, resign. Failure to do so indicates their continuing moral vacuum and if that is the path they choose in life, well they deserve everything that is thrown at them.

    The radio company seems content for the 2 presenters to be the focal point, but what about the execs and mgmt who actively support and promote this behaviour.

    To Mel & Michael….walk away from this fledgling career, it simply is not worth it. Learn from this and rebuild your lives.

  12. Craig December 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm -

    IMO what should have happened is any fee they normally would have been paid should have gone to Life Line or another organization, or the family of the nurse.

    They probably went to ACA/TT because most other shows have been shut down for the summer and lets face it they want to get their word out to as many people as they can.

    I might watch then on The Project but will stay clear of the other 2.

  13. Dave December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm -

    this story should be paid for and all money go to the nurses family. ACA and TT are the only winners in all of this.

  14. jonasboi December 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm -

    Lets look at this logically,

    1. Why would Prince Charles or the Queen need to ring the hospital?
    2. Would either of them now how to operate a telephone?
    3. Patient Confidentiality.
    4. Common Sense.

    Who is to blame for the Hoax call? um dah, the idiots who made the call.
    Who is to blame for Kate’s medical records being shared? The Nurse

    yes the story made the headlines because of the royal family, but the fact is that even if it was a “commoner” it is still a breach on the confidentiality act.

    the radio hosts should be sacked, no questions asked. any one else involved should also face the same fate.

  15. Tony Bee December 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm -

    Clearly, the radio station is in damage control … although it’s hard to imagine how bringing these two out to front the media can help the situation. In my view, it would have been better to keep them out of the spotlight until emotions had cooled.

  16. catherine December 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm -

    Wow both channels. I think Tracey will really dig deep on this one. Im a bit surprised they are on both. They will just be repeating themselves.

  17. Bella December 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm -

    I think making an a video statement released to all networks and world media would of worked better. That way its all the same and you don’t have the network branding everywhere.

  18. Chris N. December 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm -

    Why would they go to TT and ACA? Surely not for their reputation for journalistic integrity?

  19. tvf December 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm -

    Also appearing on the project on channel 10 according to the herald sun
    heraldsun.com.au/news/national/radio-hosts-mel-greig-and-michael-christian-sorry-but-not-ready-to-face-public/story-fncynkc6-1226533223652

  20. Muscledude December 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm -

    I bet those “unofficial” summer ratings will start to get very official when the figures start coming through tomorrow morning.

  21. jezza the first original one December 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm -

    Oh hell this just gets worse with this pair of pious crappy shows getting involved.

    And why should just the djs/presenters be the only ones to front up. Where are the executives who authorised and encouraged all this behaviour? What are their names and why aren’t they being hounded by social media.

    All involved in this are partially responsible….and finally let us not forget one simple fact…..if the prank call had not been made and then subsequently broadcast, Jacintha Saldanha would not be dead.

  22. Benji77 December 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm -

    The Project have an interview too

  23. Stan December 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm -

    Let’s get to the heart of this matter concerning the prank call. It made international headlines chiefly because the patient at the hospital was a royal. If this happened to anyone else (including non-taxpayer subsidised celebrities) then it wouldn’t have been a big deal to the outside world. Much like the topless photos of Kate Middleton before, there seems to be one rule for taxpayer subsidised ribbon-cutters, and another rule for the rest of us. Contemporary monarchy is nothing more than living history in 2012. Their limited functions could easily be served by (a much cheaper) parliamentary elected Head of State. The only purpose Kate and her mob serve is to sell copies of Woman’s Day. With that in mind, the only Australian radio controversy that should have had somebody lose their job (and maybe go to jail) was Alan Jones, inciting mass violence during the 2005 Cronulla race riots. Everything else after that (including this) is just social media nonsense legitimised by traditional media. Mel and MC should not lose their positions for simply doing their job, unlike the British nurse who wasn’t doing hers. Why does everyone fall for this, ‘she was hard working’ line? We don’t even know her! If anyone has more questions to answer, it’s the UK media and some sections of their society who may have ‘embarrassed her to death.’

    Even if we were to accept this anti Mel and MC rubbish, and on a technical note, why all the focus on Sydney’s 2Day FM? I know Southern Cross Austereo will be happier to limit the fallout to just one station, but the Hot30 Countdown is broadcast to over 60 Today Network stations across the country and its business as usual for them. That’s a basic fact that seems to be missed by everybody. It’d be like The Chaser’s War On Everything only getting suspended on ABC1 Sydney for two weeks after their ‘Make A Realistic Wish’ sketch.

  24. Dr_Rudi December 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm -

    @jumpjakflash – I seriously cannot believe your point of view (or indeed that so many seem to hold it).

  25. BigJMATHEWS December 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm -

    As well I’ll be keen to see whom is involve with the Channel Nine Live Stream.

  26. BigJMATHEWS December 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm -

    Well this is going to be a great battle of the Big 2 in the Television world with Channel Ten apparently no where to be scene at all.
    This will possibly be a night for ratings!!!

  27. jumpjakflash December 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm -

    “Following news a nurse had committed suicide over the prank call”…
    This has not been made official. No news articles have verified this.
    I dare say there were many other contributing factors.

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