So stop inviting me

Quick: Think of someone who's a frequent guest on the TV public affairs talk shows. Such as, let's say, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Or Bob Woodward , the noted Washington Post journalist and author. Or maybe pollster John Zogby. Now, ask yourself whether, for any of them, the novelty ever wears off. It has for Hans-Olaf Henkel, who has found himself in just such a role. The retired chief executive of IBM in Germany and former president of BDI, the nation's leading industrial federation, appears so often on such programs there that he's considered the quintessential "talking head." And he says he has had just about enough. "I can't stand these shows anymore," the weekly newspaper Die Zeit quotes him as saying. "They make me [ill]. Sometimes I can't even stand listening to what I'm saying." Oh, and one other thing: Germany has so many of these programs that Henkel says he thinks they have beaten the nation's political issues to death.

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