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The Word on the Week

Press Prank

The lust for a story that upstages rivals caused a couple of Australian newshounds to overstep the mark this week.

The story was all about the future UK monarch, even although he/she is still in the mother’s womb and will be for some considerable time. However Kate is unwell and anything about “Royals” sells papers, programmes, etc and generates revenue.

By impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles two Australian journalists obtained details of Kate’s condition which they broadcast via their radio station and globally via twitter. They also claimed credit for pulling off the greatest hoax ever, that is, till it all backfired.

The nurse, Jacintha, who took the call at 5.30am on Wednesday was ending her night shift and had been standing in for the switchboard operator. She put the call through to her colleague who was attending Kate in the belief that it was genuine. Details of Kate’s condition were duly divulged and enthusiastically distributed by the Australian pair. That is till Friday when the nurse was found dead and suicide suspected.

We may never know the depths of shame and despair Jacintha suffered. She had become the dumb nurse who was duped and facilitated giving of confidential information to the media. Thanks to twitter everyone knew about it.

The Chief Executive of 2Day FM the Station concerned said, “We are very confident that we haven’t done anything illegal. We are satisfied that the procedures we have in place have been met.” However they have taken action. The two presenters have been stood down and all advertising suspended in an effort to protect their commercial base.

The defence of “The outcome could not have been foreseen” rings hollow when the reality is otherwise.

We have all done tricks that backfired. What do we do? What should the victim do?

The Bible says in St Matthews Gospel chapter 7 verse 12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Now this verse, often called the Golden Rule, needs to be set in context. Without recognising the context the drunk could buy his friends another round in the anticipation of them doing the same for him.

Jesus reciprocal rule assumes the participants understand the Law and the Prophets where the governing principle is the law of love. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”(St Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37/40)

Where love not lucre controls actions the Golden Rule works.

For it to work in us we need to turn our lives over to Jesus. Put your trust in Him.