Patterico's Pontifications


Greg Packer Finds New Victim: Newsday

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:27 pm

Barbara Barker of Newsday is the latest reporter to get suckered by Greg Packer:

The weather was bad. The economy is worse. But that didn’t stop Greg Packer from standing on line for nearly six hours outside a Barnes & Noble yesterday in order to purchase three autographed copies of Joe Torre’s book at $21.56 a pop.

“I had to be here,” said Packer, a Huntington resident who first parked himself outside the Fifth Avenue store where Torre was doing his book signing at 6:30 a.m. “I’m happy with what he wrote, because he spoke his mind for the last 12 years. Why should he stop now?”

Packer was the fifth person on a line that by 12:30 p.m. stretched up Fifth Avenue, snaked around the corner and ran east on 46th Street nearly to Madison Avenue.

Oh, Greg. Only fifth in line?

Waiting for Joe was one of those crazy New York experiences, the sort where one finally gets to know his neighbor.

If any one sentiment — other than craziness — tied this group of waiting fans together, it was an appreciation for Torre’s years in New York. Packer, who goes to many book signings, said this appears to be the most well attended.

Yes, Packer goes to many book signings. He also talks to a lot of reporters. Had you not heard, Barbara Barker?

All this reminds me that my interview with Packer is long overdue. The main thing holding it up is the combination of the three-hour time difference, and Packer’s insistence that we speak by phone rather than e-mail. Maybe this weekend . . .


What Do You Want to Ask Greg Packer?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:15 pm

I’m set to interview him after the holidays. I figure, everyone else is quoting him. Why not me?

I’m hoping to convince him to be a part of a semi-regular feature on the site. The idea is: when something big happens, I get Greg Packer’s take on it. It would be the ultimate example of blogs beating the media!

Anyway, leave your proposed questions for Greg Packer in the comments. I will ask him the best ones.

And be nice!


Greg Packer: “We are all one people.”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:41 pm

Greg Packer’s latest victim is a Times Beacon Record reporter, to whom Packer waxed philosophical at a memorial for Jewish victims of terrorism in Mumbai:

Another audience member, Greg Packer, of Huntington, had a different take.

“This is not just a Jewish thing,” Packer said. “The terrorists didn’t just kill Jews in Mumbai. Many people were targeted and killed. Yes, the Jews have always been targets. We have to continue to be vigilant and watch our backs. But when something like this happens, we are all one people.”

Mickey Kaus once said: “Greg Packer will not be not quoted.” You know, if everyone else is going to quote this guy, I want to as well.

Greg, I know you must be reading this. E-mail me, babe. Let’s talk.


New York Daily News the Latest Paper Suckered by Greg Packer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:01 am

The Daily News article is headlined Revelers pack city as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade delights young and old:

“It brings out the kid in all of us,” said Greg Packer, 44, of Huntington, L.I. “It’s that sense of togetherness that keeps me coming back.”

That — and the incessant need to be quoted in newspapers.

Don’t feel bad, New York Daily News. Even the New York Times recently fell for Packer’s cheerful brand of obsessive media whoring. You’re not alone.


N.Y. Times: Hey, Guess Who We Found to Be a “Man on the Street”? Some Guy Named Greg Packer!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:24 pm

Incredible. The New York Times again cites Greg Packer as a typical man on the street, as if he hadn’t been cited as such in dozens of other stories. Writing about a Philadelphia parade celebrating the Phillies’ World Series victory, the Paper of Record says:

The parade drew fans from beyond the region, too.

Greg Packer, 44, of Huntington, N.Y., drove in for Game 5 of the World Series and stayed for the celebration. He arrived on Broad Street near City Hall at 5 a.m. to secure what he considered the best spot.

“In New York right now, we have no Mets, no Yankees, no stadiums,” he said. “I came here to represent and cheer our neighbors.”

No wonder this is the most admired paper in the country.


Greg Packer Sees the Pope

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:49 am

The Pope delivered a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City yesterday. And Greg Packer was there!

Suzanne Struglinski of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News reports:

Greg Packer, 44, of Huntington, N.Y., traveled to Washington earlier last week for the Mass at the new Nationals Stadium and was on Fifth Avenue Saturday.

While he does not have tickets to the Yankee Stadium Mass, he does have a T-shirt ready asking for “one Mass ticket please.”

Packer, who is Jewish, said he still enjoys the Masses.

“The homilies bring me out and the togetherness of everybody,” Packer said. “It was really beautiful. It was worth going to Washington, but this is home. I feel like he is coming over to visit me.”

Packer added that he liked the fact that Pope Benedict has mentioned the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Kinda weird that he’s so into the Pope even though he’s Jewish, huh, Suzanne Struglinski?

Who wants to be the one to explain it to her?


Greg Packer, Giants Fan

Filed under: Buffoons — Patterico @ 12:51 pm

M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News has worn down some shoe leather and managed to dig himself up a true-blue Giants fan: one Greg Packer:

“It’s all about the Giants winning,” said Greg Packer, 44, a retired highway maintenance worker. “I’m as proud as I was in the Yankees dynasty years.”

Don’t forget the Mets, Greg.

And the Jets.

The full Greg Packer story can be read here, along with links to previous sightings. Or just search this site for Greg Packer.

You’d think there’d be a little more media awareness of a guy who is notorious for trying to get his name in the paper — and who admits he isn’t above lying to do it.

You’d think that. But you’d be wrong.


Associated Press Writer Taken in by Greg Packer

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

Greg Packer has hit the big-time once again. After Ann Coulter exposed him as “the entire media’s designated man on the street for all articles ever written,” Big Media outlets slowly stopped giving him the time of day.

For example, in 2003 the AP famously circulated an amusing internal memo that read in part:

The world is full of all kinds of interesting people. One of them is Greg Packer of Huntington, N.Y., who apparently lives to get his name on the AP wire and in other media. It works: A Nexis search turned up 100 mentions in various publications.

We ourselves have quoted Mr. Packer while he was:

— visiting the site of the former Studio 54 in New York City in 1996
— the first person in line for a White House tour on George Bush’s inauguration day in 2001
— attending an XFL football game in New Jersey in 2001 (and at many more East Coast sporting events)
— opining in Times Square on subjects ranging from the millennium to the war in Iraq
— sporting a bright green wig and a painted green mustache at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this year
— the first person in line to buy Hillary Clinton’s book at a New York City book signing earlier this week

And that’s just a handful of the stories. He also shows up in AP Broadcast actualities and in one APTN piece.

Mr. Packer is clearly eager to be quoted. Let’s be eager, too — to find other people to quote.

Oops! Looks like somebody at the AP didn’t get the memo. From an AP wire story from a couple of hours ago, we see this:

Virginia Tech students, faculty and staff cheered, sang along and stayed on their feet through a concert Thursday night that was conceived for them by rocker Dave Matthews in the days after the mass shootings on campus in April.

. . . .

Greg Packer, 43, of Huntington, N.Y., bought a ticket on the Web site Craigslist and rode a bus overnight to attend the concert.

“I just wanted to show my support and express my sympathies,” said Packer, who also wore a commemorative T-shirt.

Uh, and get my name in the paper.

It is heartening to see Packer mentioned in another AP story. After he was first exposed, he started having to settle for appearances in somewhat less impressive publications — like the Norwood News and the Epoch Times. He managed to get himself back in the pages of most of the bigger publications recently, when he pulled the stunt of being the first in line for an iPhone. But it wasn’t the same. For the most part, the Big Media stories about his iPhone line-sitting mentioned his “Man on the Street” shtick.

As far as I can tell, Packer hadn’t truly suckered one of the larger Big Media outlets in quite some time.

He’s back, baby!

(Previous Packer sightings here.)


Greg Packer: Like a God

Filed under: Buffoons,General,Humor — Patterico @ 1:14 am

The other day I told you about how the Sydney Morning Herald had become the latest media outlet to get suckered by Professional Man on the Street Greg Packer. Well, they’ve figured it out now:

Greg Packer, the first man in line at Apple’s flagship store in New York is now the proud owner of a 4GB iPhone. But because he hasn’t signed up to a plan, the phone lies dormant.

Packer, who we interviewed last week shortly after he began his 109-hour vigil outside the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store, turns out to be something of a professional line sitter.

Really?! You don’t say!

According to reports, the retired highway maintenance worker has been widely quoted over the years as a member of the public in articles and television broadcasts stretching back to 1995.

And . . . uh . . . we at the Sydney Morning Herald didn’t know that.

Here’s my favorite part:

Although Packer wasn’t able to tell us how the phone worked, he did say the experience of being first in line was like being a celebrity – “like Bono” – in a crowd. “It was like being a god,” he said in a telephone interview.

Heh. Although after 109 hours without a shower, he was probably kind of a smelly god.


Greg Packer Is Back — Yet Yet Again!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:38 pm

The Norwood News is the latest media outlet to get taken in by media hound Greg Packer:

Standing on the fringes of the crowd, sporting a mustache and a look that can only be described as glowing, was a middle-aged white man from Long Island named Greg Packer. He found out about J-Lo’s Bronx appearance from the F.Y.E. Myspace page (who knew?) and made the trek to the northwest Bronx the day before to buy the album and get a wristband. He returned the next morning at 7 a.m. and proudly became the first person to receive Lopez’s autograph.

“I’m a big J-Lo fan,” Packer said. “She’s from the city and she knows how to represent and put out a sweet, beautiful album.”

Case closed.

Heh. Yes, it certainly is.

The Greg Packer phenomenon is explained here, along with links to previous sightings.

P.S. The Norwood News?? Greg, you can do so much better than that!

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