Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Most Quoted Man in News

Andrew David Watson has produced this wonderful portrait of Greg Packer for the New York Times: Packer is actually a road worker, but  has spent the past two decades standing in the first row at countless events and thus attracted the attention of many journalists. After all, someone always standing at the front must be determined to make some sort of statement. And Greg Packer always has a suitable quote handy.

Packer managed to not only meet two popes and four U.S. presidents, but also snuck in to Whitney Houston's funeral and camped outside the Apple Store as the iPhone came out. The result? Hundreds of quotations in all sorts of newspapers and the unofficial title of 'The Most Quoted Man in News'.

Today it's become a lot more difficult for Packer since the AP news agency issued a memo that a certain Greg Packer, should whenever possible, no longer be quoted. "That in itself is also an achievement," said Packer. He doesn't consider himself to be a media troll. Instead he sees advantages for both sides: the journalists get quotes and he gets memories for the family album.

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