From prank to tragedy

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

December 7, 2012 1:11:44 PM PST
Ok I'll admit it. I listen to those radio "phone scams" by the zany morning disc jockeys. I laugh, I cry, I think it's very creative.

But today's suicide by a nurse at the hospital in England who took the prank call from a radio d-j in Australia pretending to be the Queen inquiring about her granddaughter Kate, well, it's gotten me thinking about all this.

Yes, we don't know everything that was going on with this nurse and her life. Was she going to be fired? Is this suicide the result of her international humiliation and national violation of the law that prohibits releasing patient information? Were there other issues she was dealing with? We just don't know.

But we're all talking about it. And tonight at 11, we're doing a story on the suicide and the fallout for those radio phone scams. Jeff Pegues is on the case.

Also at 11, two stories out of Washington that deserve attention in addition to the fiscal cliff situation. First, the U.S. Supreme Court says it will hear the case of California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Second, President Obama is getting slammed by political watchdog groups tonight for doing an about-face and accepting unlimited corporate donations for his inauguration festivities next month. Last go-round, Mr. Obama had a self-imposed limit of $50,000 for individual contributions to the inauguration. Now it's going to be $250,000.

Lemme get this right, he's going to increase federal income taxes by 10% on the wealthy, but he's increasing by a factor of 5 the amount the wealthy can contribute to his inauguration? I'm just sayin'.

The watchdog group Public Citizen is blasting the President's reversal, calling him "Obama, Inc."

"The American people have a right to expect something other than an inauguration brought to them by Bank of America," said Public Citizen president Robert Weissman.

Also at 11, the story of a man who is getting dinged big time by New York State because he cancelled his insurance after his car was totaled by Sandy. Problem was he was supposed to turn in his plates ? but he couldn't get to his car to get the plates, and even if he had, the DMV in Coney Island was closed because of Sandy's aftermath. A Catch-22. So the man called Nina Pineda and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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