Once upon a time, perhaps when James Packer's disastrous Las Vegas casino play was tanking, a journo trying to squeeze a word out of his mouth would have hit a permanently engaged signal. Apart from the occasional Australian Financial Review drop, hacks were limited to door-stopping the gambling king at public events and most came away with angry mutterings.

When Today Tonight and The Daily Telegraph opened fire, Packer stewed in private. But no longer. Now, the billionaire scion, with the assistance of NSW right glimmer twins Karl Bitar and Mark Arbib -- and Jamie's constantly bleeping smart phone -- is out and proud, safe in the knowledge the nation's fearless editors will shunt him the front page and as many full-page colour ads he wants to pay for.