Los Angeles Times watcher Patrick Frey, who blogs as Patterico, has been waiting years for America's most-quoted so-called "man on the street" to finally break into the pages of his favorite (not) newspaper. Greg Packer, a highway worker from Long Island, has been quoted numerous times by the Associated Press, the New York papers and other media outlets — more than 100 times in all. There's a Wikipedia page that chronicles Packer's successes at getting in the media. His trick seems to be to 1) be present, and 2) say something quotable. In Times staff writer Tina Susman's report today from the Whitney Houston funeral in New Jersey, Packer conquers another.
But fans, like Greg Packer -- who woke up before dawn and drove about an hour from his home in Huntington, N.Y., to Newark -- were kept far away from the church.
Packer, who arrived at the public-spectator area at 7:30 a.m., was among the first there.
"It's important to be out here with the fans, amongst the fans," said Packer, who was dismayed that no public service had been arranged.
Today is a very special day, friends. It is the day when two historical themes of this blog finally intersect.
Theme 1: This blog has diligently chronicled the intrepid quest of Greg Packer to become America’s Man on the Street. He is the man of whom Mickey Kaus once said: “Greg Packer will not be not quoted.” Packer’s indomitable spirit — and his knack for coming up with exactly what the lazy reporter wants to hear, even if it’s not always precisely, well, true — are an inspiration to all of us here at Patterico.com.
Theme 2: This blog has also made something of a career out of being a watchdog over the Los Angeles Times.
Today, for the very first time, my friends . . . these two worlds collide.
LOL. When a man achieves his quest, what is there to say but congratulations.
* Monday update: Jim Romenesko picks up on the story and Susman tells him, "I’ve been overseas most of my career so probably a bit out of the loop on the guy.”
Photo: Packer in 2007 on Gizmodo.com