In Australia a popular radio duo, Kyle & Jackie O, decided that it would be a great goof to hook a daughter up to a lie detector and let her mom grill her with questions. Then the most horrible thing happens:

As a former radio producer, I kind of feel for the hosts who got blindsided, and I have to say that the producer got lazy here. They should’ve had the participants one sign a waiver stating that they aren’t under psychological treatment or been abused or anything else that they could have the legal team think of. And yet this is clearly a case of a mother who is just a moron and who put her daughter in harm’s way and didn’t get her counseling to begin with.

I had something similar happen to me. We had someone use a racial epithet during a live show with a 7 second delay. It wasn’t the N-word but it wasn’t acceptable either. My engineer didn’t catch it because she was distracted by another staff member and I was on the phone with a caller and missed “dumping” the comment too (which means that we use our 7 second delayed signal to remove the comment from our airwaves).

Boy did we get calls and letters! Sometimes things just happen. I thought I handled it well. I was honest and told them the situation and that I thought it was deplorable what she said. They let me keep my job but they probably should’ve canned me and the engineer. Ultimately it was my responsibility. Sometimes things happen when you’re doing things live–it’s just the nature of Live TV and Radio.

Maybe that’s why I podcast now.

0 thoughts on “Radio Prank Backfires…Seriously Backfires”
  1. I am sitting here crying and feeling really angry. What a mess. I agree- those hosts had no idea, that is horrible.

    I think I feel most angry with the mom who seemingly knew this. Perhaps she felt desperate to communicate with her daughter and felt this was the only way. That said, if the daughter was already hurt deeply, this is so much worse.

    The words from the daughter, "You knew and yet you asked me anyway." will not soon leave my heart.


  2. What a daft mother! (What, we're using British English right?) That poor girl – I agree with Fran about her words.

    I must commend the radio hosts though for their immediate response. I don't think they could have handled the situation any better under the circumstances. I give them an A+ for the immediate stop and diversion to counseling.

  3. How sad. How very sad.

    My wife and I have never enjoyed prank shows or reality shows that thrive on pranking another. This is the absolute worst case scenario.

    I give the hosts kudos for responding as they did. The thing that tweaks me most is how the girl said she'd told her mother this story already. I mean, what the heck?! Poor mum simply missed it.

    Adding this poor family to my prayer list…

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