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.
The 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 Throng.co.nz)
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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