I almost lost my shit last night when listening to an interview on Radio NZ with Scott Simpson, National MP. He is the chair of the select committee looking at toughening building standards, with respect to earthquake risk. Specifically this bit, from 1:30, in the audio here:
“If you exclude the fatalities that occurred in buildings like the CCTV building”
Firstly, he can’t even get the name of the building that collapsed correct. It’s the CTV building, not the CCTV building.
Secondly, and more importantly, you simply cannot exclude the CTV building. 115 people of the 185 people who died in the quake were in that building. A further 18 people were in the PGC building. Between those two buildings – one built in the 1980’s, the other in the 1960’s – more than 70% of the casualties occurred. If you choose to exclude the major part of the problem, then you have a different problem. You may come up with a valid response, but you are still ignoring the major underlying problem.
I am grateful for the tireless campaigning of Anne Brower. The 15 year time frame to fix buildings was far too long, and I think that this timeframe makes much more sense. But what are we doing to ensure that more people don’t die as a result of badly built or badly engineered buildings in subsequent earthquakes? Old dungers are part of the problem, but not the largest part. For the government to go after one small but easily scapegoated type of buildings, whilst excluding the major problem, is a dereliction of responsibility. To put an MP who doesn’t even know the name of the bloody building in charge of the select committee is an insult.
CTV will always be in the news around February 22nd, and appropriately so. However, their new current affairs show, which aired for the first time last night, might be making the news, rather than reporting it. The name of the show is “Lynched”, which is a play on the name of the host, Chris Lynch. I get that – but I’m not sure that “Lynched” is an appropriate name – especially given some of the opinions that Lynch has been known to spout. I’d call them “classic talk-back” opinions. I recall having an interaction with him on twitter a while ago, after he said “good riddance” to a homeless man who died in a house-fire. Should a talkback host with views like this have a show called Lynched? Really?
I thought all of this before I had actually watched the show. I still haven’t – I only got as far as the opening titles. I’ve screen capped them here so you don’t have to give it the pleasure of a view. Wow. Just wow.
I know that CTV is not a big network, and that probably, the credits were done by a student at broadcasting school who was happy for the experience. But did no-one in management at the station watch this and think “um, this crosses a line”? I don’t have any problem with a talkback host expressing opinions, but I think they could do so without such an offensive name and opening sequence. Before I get accused of being “PC gone mad”, here’s a story from today’s paper about mental health issues in Canterbury after the quakes. This is not a joke.
Psychiatric presentations to the CDHB were at an all-time high, with emergency services fielding a 35 per cent increase of new patients over the past two years. Each month, more than 400 people access the psychiatric emergency service suffering from acute mental distress, delusions, hallucinations or self-harm.
Update: thanks to Mike, who took this screenshot from Lynch’s twitter, where he refers to his listeners as “the Lynch Mob”