Kenyan Quest

Kenyan Quest

Richard Quest of CNN arrives Nairobi today for a multiple day visit exploring the country’s economic potential. His reports will appear on CNN’s “Quest Means Business.”

Preceding his arrival was an incredibly polite, perhaps too polite guest column that Quest got published in several Nairobi publications. He apologized for having not visited Kenya before and that “This week I am able to right this long-standing wrong.”

Quest is a mercurial character who integrates entertainment with news about better than anyone. He began as a weatherman but his ego quickly ascended the highest cirrus.

Ostensibly conservative he rejuvenated CNN’s moribund business reporting and now achieves ratings nearly as high as the textual networks like Bloomberg. But he has very carefully avoided politics, something rather difficult if you’re working for CNN.

Quest leaves no situation without straight pronouncements of his feelings about it: Kenya will either succeed or fail; its economy is robust or specious; corruption is under control or isn’t. Kenya needs to be prepared for this.

This extreme judgmental personality is what people like about him. It’s often done so extremely, with elements of comedy but never sarcasm, that the viewer doesn’t mind watching raptly because they know they often end a Quest session disagreeing with him.

That’s refreshing in this terribly troubled world where most media is so heavy that the viewer feels either shamed into accepting it or forced to switch off the power.

Traditionally, normal endorsements for travel come from standard news sources and programs, but curious onlookers have moved elsewhere, today. The standard programs are all politicized and starkly biased and personally I can’t see any better way. Those in power are unimaginably corrupt and manipulative. News is supposed to call a spade a spade, and that’s what’s happening: It just so happens that the spade is devilish beyond belief.

But on the sidelines life tries to go on. Vacations are still being planned. Who is to tell you if Kenya is the right place?

Quest Means Business?