Chris Lynch hosts the morning show on Newstalk ZB in Christchurch. Last night he debuted on his new interview show on Canterbury Television. The show is called Lynched. It might be an obvious play on the presenter's surname but, observes James Dann, it was still an offensive choice of name - especially in light of the show's appalling opening credits (see below) and some of the opinions that Lynch has been known to air on his radio show.
CANTERBURY TELEVISION (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 man with vaguely homophobic 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.
This column was first published by Rebuilding Christchurch.