In the days immediately following the Presidential election, like many folk I was glued to television following the counting updates.

This exercise revealed the world’s most boring man, conceivably in all of history, namely CNN’s Chief National Correspondent, John King.

King, a circa 60 year old with a face totally devoid of any character or expression, spoke in a rapid tedious monotone, literally never pausing for breath or emphasis and periodically, while still babbling, pointing a ruler at various city suburbs in which the results were pending.

To condemn criminals to listen to him for say an hour, would contravene the international agreement most countries are party to, on cruel and unusual punishments. Do that and the buggers would never offend again for fear of a repeat dose.

Watching him brought back memories of buying Australian office-buildings in the mid-1980s.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, (FIRB) in a fit of inane nationalism by Prime Minister Bob Hawke, issued a 90 item strong list of activities permitted or prohibited to foreign investors.

To give an idea, at the top of the approved categories was starting a new high employment export-orientated factory in a provincial location. At the bottom, absolutely 100% strictly forbidden, were foreign investment companies buying existing prime CBD office towers.

Despite that, for 2 years my company was the only foreign entity able to buy existing Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne office buildings.

It drove our rivals mad. They protested to FIRB in Canberra who proffered the stock bureaucratic excuse that they couldn’t discuss other companies’ business.

One Auckland listed company optimistically offered us a million dollars to tell them how we were getting away with it while rumours flew that we were bribing the Canberra FIRB senior staff.

In fact far from bribing them we were terrifying them. What happened was this. Initially we made an appointment to see the FIRB top brass in Canberra about a Brisbane office tower. On arrival we copped a blast of abuse about knowing the rules and wasting their time. Then I came up with an ingenious idea. We entered another application for a Sydney CBD tower and this time made an appointment for our Sydney office accountant to go down and present our non-existent case.

In full flight he made CNN’s John King seem like a piker when it came to uninterruptable non-stop talking for hours on end in a dreary monotone. Nothing could stop him once he was underway. It was this terrifying experience that plainly traumatised the FIRB bosses for after that initial experience, subject to the applications going over his signature and a request for an appointment, immediately back would come a letter saying don’t come and approving our purchase request.

Once on being shown such an approval I couldn’t resist taking the mickey and sent off a faxed letter thanking them for the approval but saying out of courtesy our accountant would still like to come to Canberra and explain it. I immediately received a phone call from one of their top brass. There was genuine quavering terror in his voice as he almost tearfully kept assuring me there was no need for him to come and he begged me not to send him.

CNN’s John King is doubtless the world’s most boring television figure but with some imagination, perhaps dealing with similar scenarios with government agencies when seeking approval for otherwise prohibited activities, is where putting to good use his world class boring-to-death skills really lie.


I recall this amusing story from ‘My Property World’ but you’re out of touch on this one I’m afraid.
The internet seems to fallen in love with John King and MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. Not that I have paid them much attention, partly as I do not watch television, but it is what it is.

    @C.Mitchell, May I suggest that “The internet” to which you refer,would more accurately refer to that segment of it which hosts the various social media platforms.

    If Sir Bob is “out of touch” with this world,that should be no cause for fear on your part,rather the man should be acknowledged as sane,and emulated.

      You could perhaps just as easily call it ‘young people’ as a broad but reasonably accurate generalisation. I don’t disagree with some of your latter sentiment, but the facts being what they are simply calls into question the premise of the so called ‘world’s most boring man’. Your ‘@ing’ me like some social media user rather than just replying with my name is rather baffling and completely unnecessary, making it seem like you are so are doing so out of reflexive habit from frequenting such platforms. But each to there own. Any allusion to or mention of fear is a polite figure of speech, albeit questionable to the literal-minded.

Thank you for championing the boring chaps in our world to see the overthrow of brass buttoned bureaucrats and their native bureaucratese.

I totally agree Bob… my son kept switching to CNN whenever I went to top up a drink or make another coffee etc, and I tried.. believe me I really tried.. to follow him, but it was literally impossible.
If he is married (hard to believe!!), I really feel immense sympathy for his wife

Bob, cannot agree.
Why did you watch King if he was so boring ?
He was the most informed and cogent on the night – and worse, correct in his summations.
He is the ultimate professional .

They have King and we have Tame. At least Kings face is one of years of experience. One foot in the grave and as exciting as Biden.
Tame on the other hand is a prizzy twat who, like Cindy, knows what’s best for us.
I’ll take King any day.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: