Three interviews worth checking out

Last updated 10:08 05/03/2012

It's not very often that I get to start the week by giving praise to our local networks, but I really feel like I need to give a massive thumbs-up to TVNZ and TV3 for three fantastic interviews across three different current affairs shows in the last week. Hey, when you get the chance to say thanks, I reckon you should take it.

20120305The first of these brilliant interviews came last Thursday: John Campbell interviewed Kim Dotcom on Campbell Live, in an exclusive that covered everything from his thoughts on his impending trial, to why he moved his family to New Zealand, to his time in remand and concerns for his pregnant wife, to why he believed he was protected from charges by the law itself.

While I was expecting to find Dotcom an annoying, larger-than-life personality with little regard for others (preconceived notions based purely on his YouTube video collection), I was surprised to find Dotcom was a sympathetic man who appeared to genuinely feel that he was being wronged by everyone involved in the investigation.

He might have a case, actually. Dotcom revealed that groups like the MPAA and RIAA had administrative access to MegaUpload's servers so that they could remove copyright-infringing files, and that he had had been advised by some of the highest paid lawyers in the world that MegaUpload was protected by the DMCA (essentially a law that protects websites like MegaUpload from being prosecuted for file-sharing by its users).

The interview was fantastic - a wonderful, career-highlight job by John Campbell - and it really makes you consider your position on Kim Dotcom; it's a challenging watch. If you haven't seen it, check it out here (or read a handy transcript here, thanks to our friends at

The second interview subject was not as sympathetic, but just as riveting: Janet McIntyre interviewed David Tamihere on Sunday last night, going back over the details of his case - Tamihere was found guilty of the murder of two Swedish tourists back in 1991 and spent two decades in jail, despite the fact that there was no material evidence tying him to the tourists. Tamihere has protested his innocence all along, as has his long-term partner Kristine.

To be fair, my praise isn't as effusive for this one, as I actually thought Janet McIntyre did a terrible job. It seemed like she was more focused on getting Tamihere worked up about the case, asking him loaded questions like "do you know how to use a knife" and implying that he was guilty even as Tamihere was explaining that he had never met the tourists. Even Miriama Kamo's wrap was dismissive of Tamihere, explaining that the police felt justice had been done.

Despite the inept performance of McIntyre, this was still incredible to watch. Tamihere is a charismatic figure who brings forth truly mixed feelings: on the one hand I feel like he has been wronged and deserves a retrial, while the other hand is telling me that he was a bad man prior to all this and probably got what he deserved, justice be damned. It doesn't help that Tamihere seems unsympathetic to the tourists, repeatedly claiming that he doesn't care about them because he had nothing to do with their deaths. Not the best way to swing public opinion.

If you want to watch the interview, you can find it here - or for a more balanced, vastly more interesting take on Tamihere and the case of the murdered Swedish tourists, check out the latest issue of Metro Magazine.

Last but not least, Melanie Reid did a great job interviewing David Bain on 60 Minutes, giving a introductory lesson on how to go about interviewing a subject who has something interesting to say by giving Bain plenty of time to talk about his trial, his time in jail and his re-entry to the real world, and generally letting him get his side of the story across.

Janet McIntyre could learn a lot.

Bain didn't change my mind on anything - to be honest, I've thought he was innocent since I first knew of the case - but I thought he came across as an amazing man, extremely level-headed despite the massive amount of adversity he's been through. I can't even imagine how hard it must have been sitting through his initial trial, let alone making it through 13 years in prison. On the plus side, at least the ladies seem to love him in the outside world.

Reid did a great job with the subject, covering all the major angles of the story without focusing too much on any one side or coming across as biased (like McIntyre did in the Tamihere story). If you want to check it out, click here.

Did you watch any of these interviews - and did you enjoy them as much as I did? Did any of these interviews change your opinion on their controversial subjects? Post your thoughts below ...

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Jono   #1   10:26 am Mar 05 2012

I happened to see all three and agree with your summation. Dotcom was not what I expected at all and I thought John C did an excellent job allowing the man to tell his side and balance the ledger somewhat. I agree the Sunday interview was good despite the terrible interviewer. He was engrossing to watch and I admired his honesty about his feelings around the incident. The most enlightening part was at the end seeing him hand write a submission.. As for David Bain - the best insights into what makes him tick in 20 years I think.

J   #2   10:31 am Mar 05 2012

The Kim Dotcom interview was interesting, but it's clear he has had a fair amount of media experience/media training. It was basically half an hour for him to bag his accusers and portray himself as the innocent party (which he well may be). It won't happen, but it would be fascinating to see a similar interview with his accusers. Will make for a very compelling court case.

Didn't see JT, but for Bain, I couldn't get past the size of his ears. Man, they are huuuge.

Maz   #3   10:36 am Mar 05 2012

I was thinking about watching these, and you have convinced me that yes I do need to make time to see all three. Thanks Chris.

Trevor   #4   11:15 am Mar 05 2012

Yes, I've watched all 3 interviews and found them really's great hearing their side of the story as we hardly ever seem to do that but I also think Janet McIntyre has to do something about her interviewing style as David Tamihere must have felt like he was going through another trial

John and Melanie get the thumb up from me......Janet the big thumb down

Kathy   #5   12:28 pm Mar 05 2012

Even seeing Janet McIntyre's loaded questions in the teaser for that interview put me off actually watching it. Really poor interviewing technique. I don't know why TV One thinks this is good journalism.

wayno   #6   12:35 pm Mar 05 2012

I watched the dotcom interview and was pleasantly surprised - up until then I'd pretty much avoided any media surrounding the case (had just assumed he was guilty .. terrible I know!) but I have to say I have a completely different view on the case now and actaully feel sympathetic towards his plight - nice to see Campbell interviewing and not harrasing :)

And the Bain interview was very tastefully done - and he's quite a remarkable man to be so level headed and grounded after all that has occured. But I feel the interview whilst on horseback at the end was a bit naff and too staged - good that he got the last word though ( as should be the case)

Kurt   #7   12:54 pm Mar 05 2012

Ah the latest fad of TV journo's. Find a criminal and then make them out to be a soft teddy bear beaten into submission by the cops and society in general.

The Dotcom interview was good, he is an engaging chap and doing what probably needs to be done anyway since copyright law forces people to suffer through interminable adds that would drive anyone to the download screen. That doesnt change the fact that he was up to no of those cases whereby big business will drive the prosecution and jail time, undeserved IMO, will be served.

I am not going to kick off the debate on Bain. I am sure that will fill hundreds of posts. For my money he is as guilty as can be. It would be nice to have full disclosure....there is much hidden information surrounding this case.

Tamihere...a history of rape and assault.....nothing more to say. He's bad to the bone, always was, always will be. The fact that he is walking around a free man is an afront to justice

Crispy   #8   01:06 pm Mar 05 2012

Well, no I missed all interviews, so I can't comment on them.

However I will say that I can't stand seeing an interviewer with opinions that they must put forth throughout the interview and in the general editing.

It really pisses me off and I hate seeing a poor interview which presents only the side of the story 'they' will accept.

If they were trying to be respectful to the families of the victims involved, why do the interview at all.

I don't watch for what the interviewer has to say, I watch for what the interviewee has to say. Then make my own conclusion. It's rather simple, no?

Noshow   #9   01:08 pm Mar 05 2012

Harae Mai John Campbell's interview was excellent and proof of just what can happen when an interviewer allows the interviewee to do all the talking and not the other way round as so often is the case with NZ interviewers.

I was interested to watch the Tamihere interview but Janet McIntyre is a terrible interviewer and always has been, so I haven't.

Mind you Melanie Reid is average at the best of times too and I can only imagine that with the Bain interview there would have been some instructions from Camp Karam as to what was off limits, discussion wise, so she comes across quite well.

Scott   #10   01:14 pm Mar 05 2012

I saw part of the Kim Schmitz interview, and if anything my opinion of the guy decreased. And no I won't refer to him by a name that is nothing more than a stupid, nerdish affectation.

I thought it was one of those interviews where I was horrified at myself for even watching. Schmitz was practically dripping slime the whole time, and I felt like I needed to shower after watching (and disinfect the TV). And the guy's body language and his words were completely out of wack. He practically prefixed some answers with "this is a lie".

As for the other two, I have no interest in either Tamihere or Bain, and if I had noticed the interviews were on I would have turned them off. I know what my views are on these two "gentlemen" and nothing that they can say will change my mind.

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