Yours truly has a more, er, pragmatic attitude to media moguls than
some of the Crikey crew – but is still quite a keen scholar of power.

Yesterday’s Crikey had this to say about a state memorial service for
Kerry Packer: “The fact that the government has offered the late media
owner’s family a State memorial service is unquestionably of national

Could there also be a small matter of personal gratification in there, too?

The offer came from the Prime Minister, John Howard. The John Howard
who is about to mark ten years in the top job. And the John Howard who
was the subject of that famous front page piece in Packer’s flagship
publication, The Bulletin, “Mr 17 percent: why does he bother”.

Kerry Packer may have prospered, but so has John Howard. And outlasted
him. And you can afford to be condescending to a dead mogul.