'DJ played 'Jump' as woman threatened to leap from bridge'A radio DJ in the Northwest of England has been criticized for playing the Van Halen hit 'Jump' for a motorist stuck in a traffic jam, as police attempted to talk a suicidal woman down from a bridge.
It is not entirely clear from reports when in recent days Steve Penk played the 1984 hit by the U.S. rock band on his 96.2FM The Revolution's breakfast show; he is the actual owner of the station on which the show is broadcast, but what is known is that the 30-year-old woman at whom the song was seemingly directed did indeed jump from the bridge close to or over the M60, a motorway (highway/freeway) which circles Greater Manchester, a metropolitan county in Northwestern England. Four of its lanes were closed due to the incident. Fortunately the unnamed woman only sustained minor injuries.
Responding to criticism of his decision to grant his listener's request and play the Van Halen song, Mr Penk, host of shows on national TV in the U.K., in addition to his involvement in local radio, is quoted by The Sun as saying:
The entire area had been thrown into total chaos by a single, troubled woman. I was, of course, very sorry to hear that the lady had subsequently jumped from the bridge but relieved that her injuries were minor. If, as has been suggested, the woman jumped because she heard the song from a passing car radio that's unfortunate. But I don't regret playing it for a minuteMental health charities have dismissed Mr Penk's argument that by playing the song he was "empathizing" with motorists, with the Daily Mail reporting that Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, explained:
Given the distressing circumstances, the decision to play "Jump" was highly insensitive and in very poor taste. Media have a responsibility for their audience and jovialising such a situation could be fatal. People that experience mental distress should be encouraged to speak out and seek help. Yet the huge stigma that surrounds mental health means that many feel they have to cope on their own, with potentially tragic consequencesOne of Mr Penk's listeners, Lorna Guinn, offered an opinion also. She said:
It's irresponsible - this woman could have overheard it on someone's car stereo. I found it pathetic and nastyMr Penk - according to Digital Spy a critic of the BBC's promotion of a new radio show being presented by his former colleague and "old friend" Chris Evans - assisted by impressionist Jon Culshaw, once convinced the switchboard at 10 Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister, that he was then leader of the opposition William Hague. The switchboard duly connected Mr Penk to Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time.
I don't even....
My entire response to this is just, what?