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.
The setting, although it really doesn’t matter, is Newark, N.J., the scene of Whitney Houston’s funeral. I will turn it over to Tina Susman of the L.A. Times:
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.
At least, he said, the city could have offered a big screen somewhere for people to watch the proceedings. “They should have allowed everyone to see it.”
You tell ’em, Greg!
Greg also scored with AFP, although that encounter does not hold the same attraction for me:
Saturday’s private service is meant to be a homecoming and celebration of Houston’s astonishing career, though some fans had hoped for a large public memorial event at a nearby stadium and were angry at being held back.
“It’s a disgrace,” said Greg Packer. “All the streets have been blocked, it is very difficult to come here. The family should have done a public memorial, something.”
Always the right quote; always at the right time — and always, always at the right place.
Greg Packer, you are indeed the man. On the street.
UPDATE: Our own Bradley J. Fikes speaks up for the reporter in this comment.