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Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Pilger Television (Excerpts) – 2003 News/Current Affairs

Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Pilger

Television (Excerpts) – 2003 News/Current Affairs

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I remember watching this interview when it was shown on television the first time. John Pilger was one of the few antiwar voices that was allowed on the mainstream NZ propaganda outlets prior to the war. The show opened with a whole lot of lies about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and Pilger rightly called them out. From a very old memory Kim Hill stated something like everyone knows that Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction and you would have to be crazy to think otherwise, and the interview went rapidly downhill from there. Kim is a politically correct parasite that will never challenge the powerful. For her warmongering against Iraq she should be kicked off all publicly funded broadcasting outlets.

A dead Iraqi

A dead Iraqi 29 Apr 2019 - 12.30pm

I agree with francis van rijn.

23 Jul 2017 - 10.29am

Cautious, yet still prophetic words from Pilger on Iraq. And she hasn't changed: she's not alone, of course, our whole media is in a state of propagandised ignorance when it come to international relations or Western agendas.

Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert 22 Jul 2017 - 09.52pm

This is just another sad example of how many media people believe that right wing style attacks are "entertaining". Actually they're not.

Mike Brecker

Mike Brecker 14 Feb 2016 - 02.13pm

Gosh what an interview...I wonder how she feels reflecting on it now. Hopefully she has had enough time to read and be informed by now! I've really enjoyed reading all the above comments. You might find this follow up to the interview article interesting, in the Herald. The way it has been reported and the headline says a lot too.
'Pilger salvo leaves Kim Hill reeling' - March 22, 2003 - By Louisa Cleave.

"Kim Hill was yesterday at a loss to explain a stinging personal attack by journalist John Pilger during their television..."

Samara Kruskopf

Samara Kruskopf 8 Jul 2015 - 12.23pm

The answer is quite obvious, John is anti-war, anti-oppression , and Kim Hill is pro war and an blatant MSM shill.

Joe Blow

Joe Blow 27 Mar 2015 - 09.36am

Kim Hill continually disappoints me in her inability to interview leading persons.
She conducts herself as an amateur.
With little insight as to what is really going on in the world.
What a wonderful opportunity wasted.

francis van rijn

francis van rijn 7 Mar 2015 - 05.53pm

Thanks for keeping this wonderful piece of history!


Phoebe 19 Aug 2014 - 11.00pm

Taking into account the many years of selfless effort John Pilger has expended into making us aware of the plights of those less fortunate, I would have been a lot more humble were I Kim Hill. There's good reason the first half of the interview isn't here, Hill was shot to ribbons in front of the world, and good bloody job too. A bad haircut & facetious sarcasm do not compensate for an unprepared interview of one of the world's best journalists. Upside of it is I've been a regular fan of John Pilger ever since this embarrassing encounter.


Terry 15 Jul 2014 - 08.22pm

I remember the interview, and this short is a good reflection of it. For what little it's worth, and in my opinion, Hill was unnecessarily combative and petulant. While Pilger was wrong to accuse her of having not prepared well enough, she took petty swipes and launched verbal barbs, and came off looking worse for it.

Rob D

Rob D 10 Jul 2014 - 08.35pm

I remember watching this first time around and cringing. Just as i did now. I'd love to know why Kim launched in guns ablazing. I enjoy and respect Kim, so presume she had very good reasons?...just would love to know what and why?

Jennifer McKewen

Jennifer McKewen 25 Jun 2014 - 03.29am

I remember seeing this at the time. I have to agree with Michael Smith, John Pilger did seem to come into this interview with his back up. My guess was that he was given (by whoever) the impression that Hill was going to be a difficult character to deal with.

NZ Steve

NZ Steve 31 May 2014 - 06.39pm

She would be soooo good as a Weakest Link presenter.

boo ya

boo ya 27 May 2014 - 11.18am

Kim Hill got taken to school on that one and history has proven Pilger absolutely correct.


Arto 16 Mar 2014 - 09.29pm

We are sick and tired of Hill, her ego, constant interrupting during an interview, not listening. Come on broadcasting, give Hill a rest and find another journo. Sack her. Please, not another 'award' for being Hill.

Jennifer Hopkinson

Jennifer Hopkinson 9 Nov 2013 - 09.15pm

Pilger's predictions/comments have certainly proved accurate. He maintained dignity amidst Hill's strangely caustic and disrespectful questioning.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones 28 Jul 2013 - 10.42am

I watched this in 2003 completely aghast - like a train wreck. They are both respected journalists for goodness sake but Hill was abrasive and embarrassing and that interview affected any respect I might have had for her before it. It was a clash of egos - Hill needs to pull her head in more.

Robyn Williams

Robyn Williams 7 Apr 2013 - 04.34pm

Kim Hill appears to be a very angry, aggressive, defensive and rude person with difficulty regulating her emotions. I believe that while being under considerable duress, Mr Pilger was able to remain dignified, knowledgable and intelligent. I hope for NZ's sake that this woman is kept from any form of public broadcasting...and it would be safer for everyone if when out in public, she is kept on a leash.


Marilyn 24 Mar 2013 - 03.07am

Thanks for posting the mid/end part of the original interview...When I watched Face to Face and saw how Kim conducted this interview I was astounded. She began it by treating John Pilger with contempt and he was correct in saying that she was ill prepared for this interview. I wrote to TVNZ directly after the programme aired and expressed my disappointment in the way Kim had conducted this interview. All respect to John Pilger for containing his displeasure at Kim's disrespectful handling of the interview from the very first. I never watched Face to Face again after this episode. I found the whole experience embarrassing!


Kaosxrsy 22 Mar 2013 - 09.13pm

It's amazing how accurate Pilger has proven to be. Kim Hill... gee what can you say. How disrespectful and unnecessarily combative to one of the greatest journos of our time.


Roger 22 Mar 2013 - 02.44pm

"Kill Him" backfired


Andrew 13 Mar 2013 - 01.20am

Kim should never have made the comment "some predictions are all right then"


J 28 Oct 2012 - 08.19am

Go John! Read Kim, read. You are as informed on geo-politics as a turtle is on the derivatives markets. Please don't embarrass us anymore by impersonating a journalist. Why don't you do someting more befitting of your intellect like digging a hole. Literally, not figuratively like you did for yourself on this pathetic show.

Mike from Wellington


Mike 27 Sep 2012 - 08.58am

Kim Hill's manner when interviewing can be very irritating. She often comes across as very self-opinionated and abrasive.

Elizabeth Marshall

Elizabeth Marshall 14 Aug 2012 - 06.03am

I - too - remember watching this interview... and feeling both embarrassed at the level of immaturity shown by Kim Hill and impressed by the considered responses of John Pilger, despite provocation. Since then, I have read many of John Pilger's books and watched a few of his documentaries. I have also seen/heard Kim Hill in other interviews. Time and experience have only reinforced that opinion I have of both as they performed in this interview.


Paula 3 May 2012 - 05.06pm

Sorry, John Pilger was right in virtually every way, Kim Hill it looked like didn't really prepare and let her anger get in the way of being a real reporter. Passion is fine but she didn't ask any relevant questions and instead attacked the man with facetious questions.

Brent Leslie

Brent Leslie 29 Mar 2012 - 01.51pm

Pilger is easily the intellectual superior of Hill, whose constant interruptions and bluster simply serve to irritate.


Nic 29 Mar 2012 - 01.25pm

Kim Hill is plain confontational in all her interviews. The questions are sometimes just not worth answering and show poor judgement in even asking them


brent 29 Mar 2012 - 12.56pm

He is confusing and full of hot air.

Scott Higham Lee

Scott Higham Lee 16 Mar 2012 - 08.08pm

From watching this, I'd have to agree with Pilger when he says Hill didn't prepare. I watch a lot of TV online worldwide. Unfortunately, there really is a growing right-wing "rip them to bits" attitude that management seems to think is guaranteed to get ratings.

Sadly they're mistaken. And, they don't seem to care.


locprogressive 14 May 2011 - 02.24pm

Interesting to watch this interview several interviews. Quite apart from anything Pilger's analysis has been confirmed by time (the Americans were/are there a long time). Pilger's responses to questions were well-considered although he had to struggle against interruptions and other antics from Hill. I find the synopsis (as well as the interview) a disgrace.

Robin Westenra

Robin Westenra 3 Jan 2011 - 10.21am

Kim Hill's first question, referring to the Iraq war, was "Surely if there was ever a just war this is it?"
Given that all the weapons inspectors were saying they were fairly sure Iraq had no WMD this was a one eyed and belligerent assertion. Pilger's comments above turned out to be correct. America did slaughter the Iraqi conscripts, no one counted the bodies. The US is still there and has not rebuilt Iraq.

Phli toms

Phli toms 14 Dec 2010 - 01.06pm

I think Pilger was responding appropriately to Hill's antagonism. While he was giving quite considered answers - Hill was stewing about losing face. Great fun to watch - but an embarrassment for Hill.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs 29 Sep 2010 - 10.04pm

Hi Kim

Then would it be possible to link to a transcript of the first part? Presumably that would not breach licensing, and would allow the latter part on the clip to be judged better.

Steve Parkes

Steve Parkes 8 Sep 2010 - 02.31pm

@ steve, @mordi - we would love to have the whole interview up on NZ On Screen, but unfortunately as per-Kim's earlier note, we're restricted by TVNZ's policy with regards to licensing us these shows. We've asked about getting this interview up in full-length (no luck) and will keep trying.

Paul Ward

Paul Ward (NZ On Screen team) 8 Sep 2010 - 02.25pm

"The question that provoked Pilger's anger in the first place has been left out."

What was that question, please? Because that would really help explain the tone and content of the rest of the interview, which we see.

Steve Parkes

Steve Parkes 8 Sep 2010 - 01.32am

Hi Mordi, yes it would be great to have the first part of the interview but under a licensing policy we have with TVNZ we're limited to a 6 minute clip for this programme.

Kim - NZ On Screen

23 Jun 2010 - 10.03am

Any chance we could have the beginning of the interview here too please. The question that provoked Pilger's anger in the first place has been left out.


Mordi 22 Jun 2010 - 11.38am

It's not hard to see how this interview went south, and frankly, I don't blame Pilger. Hill was being extremely pedantic in her remark about predictions when it was clear Pilger was being facetious in his comment about elections in Saudi Arabia. I saw the whole interview when it aired and Hill throughout demonstrated a great lack of historical knowledge concerning the Middle East. She was also determined to play the devil's advocate and in the process came across as a complete denialist of the real geopolitics in play at the time, failing to criticise for a moment (or address the real motives of) the then current foreign policy and the war drive of the US towards Iraq. With hindsight, we now know the WMD claims were completely false, and a million people had to die as a result. The real primary object for the US was to establish a permanent military base in Iraq.

D Papps

D Papps 20 Jun 2010 - 10.43am

Thank you for having this piece of history available. I remember watching this in 2003 and wanting to capture it and share with other friends who love John's work. John gave Kim a well deserved lesson of 'know your questions' and 'do the research'.

Fa'amalua Tipi

Fa'amalua Tipi 8 Jun 2010 - 09.10pm

Good to keep this because sometimes it doesn't always go the broadcasters way. I don't think this is about ego just about the challenge that John Pilger puts out. He should not be taken lightly in a situation like this

Ken Burns

Ken Burns 7 Apr 2010 - 08.47am

Kim Hill brilliant? Usually yes but here, she looks completely embarrassed as well she should. Like a child who refuses to admit she is wrong she takes the offensive accusing Pilger of wasting time? I guess the acid test is to ask, what has Kim Hill done, what contribution has she made? Compare that to the likes of Pilger.

owen chapman

owen chapman 10 Jan 2009 - 10.00am

Kim Hill is the Channel 1 equivalent of John Campbell, all ego and little substance. Shown up by a superior journalist who's been to the country and seen it first hand. Watch Pilger's documentaries and you'll see how much he knows. Kim Hill doesn't even come close.

Rogan Smith

Rogan Smith 8 Dec 2008 - 08.53am

Woah, I wish I'd seen the full interview. Pilger's behaviour just seems bizarre! Kim Hill is hardly a light weight interviewer and I wonder if Pilger came onto the programme feeling defensive somehow because of that...? Hill's close is simply brilliant.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith 22 Nov 2008 - 05.17am

This is one of my all time favourites. Although the moment where Kim literally throws the book at him has, sadly, been left out. None the less, quite a memorable fragment of Kiwi screen history. One that I never thought I'd see again. Thanks New Zealand On Screen!

Dave Turnbull

Dave Turnbull 22 Oct 2008 - 10.10am

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