Good call

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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:45 pm

The Bullletin’s Laurie Oakes reports:

Soon after the Al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, Kerry Packer and I were among a small group of business and media people invited along to meet the army’s top brass. One of the generals, while condemning the terrorists in the strongest terms, unwisely ventured the opinion that it was impossible not to admire their courage.

“Bullshit!” thundered Kerry.

Exactly right. Complete Packer coverage here; also, via Bob Carter in Houston, confirmation from Mirage Resorts CEO Bobby Baldwin of several Packer gambling stories—including the wonderful tale of the braggart Texan.

UPDATE. Not many have noticed the sad symmetry involving Kerry Packer, his father Sir Frank, and son James. Sir Frank died at 67; Kerry at 68. Kerry inherited the family business at 37; James has inherited it at 38.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/30/2005 at 01:35 PM
    1. I’ve enjoyed reading your Kerry Packer coverage ( a Kerry I can actually like, imagine that) and his reply of “Bullshit!” earns him a few points. Here’s hoping son James is cut from the same cloth.

      Posted by Retread on 2005 12 30 at 03:59 PM • permalink


    1. You know, the exact same word went through my own mind when I heard that blather about the courage of the terrorists.  Now all I need is a couple of billion dollars.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 12 30 at 04:44 PM • permalink


    1. It’s great to read about someone who didn’t suffer fools.  There are so few people like Kerry Packer around.

      Posted by Mystery Meat on 2005 12 30 at 04:45 PM • permalink


    1. Completely off topic but where’s the “SHOW US YER TITS!” link on the peta ad?

      Posted by Paul on 2005 12 30 at 06:43 PM • permalink


    1. James probably got the 69 liability out of the way with that ex of his.

      Posted by Phranger on 2005 12 30 at 07:38 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry, Mystery Meat: it has always been my experience that, whenever I look for the person praised with the expression “Not suffering fools… “, all I can see is an intolerant bigot. If you wish to retain this reference to Kerry Packer, so be it. Until your prompting, I would not have thought of applying the expression to Kerry Packer, given as he was often considered the fool by his elders and elements of the press. I have often heard the expression used with regard to many of his fawning underlings and, in case, my sensing of bigotry and intolerance was confirmed.

      Posted by Russell Street on 2005 12 30 at 07:57 PM • permalink


    1. Well with all the eulogies on Tim’s blog, i am full expecting packer to rise from the Grave at any moment and be hailed as the new Australian messiah.
      And to all those critics who accused him of being a patriarchal bully, i say bullshit!
      Kerry did more for the image of Australia abroad than even paul hogan ever did with a string of blockbuster movies.
      And anyone who would question Alan Jones superb independant assessment of his life is Unaustralian to say the least.
      Many of us will remember him as the man who brought wondrous technology and brought us into the twentieth century. I am not talking of course about the money mad,evil, Bill Gates, whose only contributions to humanity are the construction of worthless universites and donation of billions to empoverished no hopers in the third world.
      No he made the “Poky” a symbol of australian culture for all to enjoy and i would suggest that the memororial should in fact be a Giant poky machine. funded by the Grateful Australian taxpayer
      Of course there should be a slot to accept coins for donations to the Packer Foundations.
      To pay my dues to the great man, I will go to Cardiff to see myself how the Metamorphosis of that city into a Welsh Las Vegas is progressing. Personally i see nothing wrong in carpeting Australia from Bribane to Perth in sea of Poky machines. After all All that desert needs to be put to good use!
      Tim’s handling of these sad days has been fair and honest to the poinnt of disbelief. Such is the good work of Journalists who have no hidden agendas!

      Posted by davo on 2005 12 30 at 08:20 PM • permalink


    1. Mr. Street is a new member here, (I just got his sign-up announcement a few minutes ago), and he obviously doesn’t know that the people here don’t consider intolerance of fools to be a mark of horrid “bigotry.” As for myself, I not only don’t like to suffer fools any more than Mr. Packer did, I like to see fools suffer.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 30 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. Any readers of the blog living in Australia should go out, buy the print version of the special Bulletin edition, and turn to the double-page spread on pages 20-21.

      Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2005 12 30 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. I like the way that Packer cut through the pretense. He didn’t need to admire what lesser people glorified (ie the terrorist’s behaviour.) Says to me he had a very secure sense of self.

      Posted by captain on 2005 12 30 at 09:13 PM • permalink


    1. Happy New Year, you heathen furriners!

      Or as PETA would have it, heathen furriers…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 30 at 09:13 PM • permalink


    1. Thanks for your courteous welcome, Andrea. You’ve certainly have made it easy me to ascertain where you are situated on the intolerance spectrum. Please, however, during the hurly-burly of applying your branding iron to each of your contributors, take a few moments to consider their contribution; buried within any one of them may be a nugget which will assist some of your contributors, if not yourself, to enhance their understanding of our world and their compassion for their fellow man.

      Posted by Russell Street on 2005 12 30 at 09:21 PM • permalink


    1. Russell Street
      Its a little more usual to post a few laid back comments before burying us in a steaming pile of your “nuggets”.
      And I dont really think Australias richest man would have lost to much sleep over those who thought him a fool either.
      If I was to come to your house and dance a naked little jig on the bonnet of your car would you suffer my foolishness for long?
      There are people who by opening their mouth subtract from the sum of knowledge in the world, I dont see any great point in listening to them unless I want to mock.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 30 at 09:32 PM • permalink


    1. #12 My sense of your wierdness is confirmed.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 30 at 09:33 PM • permalink


    1. #7 Sloppy writing can really take the sting out of sarcasm.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 30 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. Keeping in mind that Tim’s quote above is not a verbatim account of the “General“‘s statement, or indeed of Kerry Packer’s response, but of Laurie Oake’s take on the incident, as lifted by Tim, the sentiment I perceived was not “admiration of the terorist’s behaviour” but rather a bending to the unanswered question that is asked of every soldier from the time of their commitment to the defence of their country, to their dying day. The question with no answer deals with the soldier’s personal response when called upon to risk, or indeed, give his life to defend his country and his fellow citizens. I believe that terrorists exhibit a bravery of a sort: the television shots of many of the terrorists show fear in their eyes. This bravery is easy when it is fuelled by a fanatical belief and it is only a one-off action. Soldiers in our Defence Force have to display a different bravery. They may go untested for many years in peacetime and then be tested time and again in action, knowing that this may be the time they fall short – and the the reward they seek is not to pass on to heavenly glory but simply to return to enjoy the life they have been living.

      Posted by Russell Street on 2005 12 30 at 09:50 PM • permalink


    1. Andreas got a branding iron!!!
      Oooo saucy.
      Brand him compassionately Andrea.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 30 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. I say, old boy, wordy fellah, that Street chappy.

      Playing with fire, crossing swords with She Who Must Be Obeyed.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2005 12 30 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. #14 Paul Keating cemented, for me, the homily (which I twist for effect ) “what Paul tells me about Peter, tells me more about Paul than it does about Peter” – which leads me back once again to Tim’s quote above: it tells me more about Laurie Oakes than about Kerry Packer or a “General”. Oakes demonstrates his disdain for senior military officers with his use of the emotive “army’s top brass” and perhaps, thereby, his opinion of himself and his readers. He is very loose in his use of the term “generals” since Australia did not have a serving officer of the rank of General at the time quoted by Laurie Oakes. If he was using the reference in the collective sense, I return to my perception of his disdain…

      Posted by Russell Street on 2005 12 30 at 10:05 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve always thought that the ‘bravery’ of al Qaeda is more of the sort shown by Charles Manson’s Family.

      Cheeky buggers.

      Posted by JDB on 2005 12 30 at 10:16 PM • permalink


    1. #14 Paul Keating cemented, for me, the homily (which I twist for effect ) “what Paul tells me about Peter, tells me more about Paul than it does about Peter”

      Which tells me exactly how to take your posts, and the readings from your finely-calibrated Bigotry Detector.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 30 at 10:20 PM • permalink


    1. #19 Russell Street (Melbourne’s thoroughfare of choice for heroin buyers and sellers):

      In 2001, we had a number of generals: Brigadiers, Major Generals, and at least one Lieutenant General.

      And no, I don’t see how referring to the “Army’s top brass” signifies any disdain for senior military officers.

      The fact is that the Dibb era of Defence policy, being all about the Defence of Australia, bred a large number of complacent senior military officers and Defence bureaucrats . . . the sort of tossers who could see some sort of misguided bravery or courage behind the actions of seizing civilian airliners, slitting flight attendants’ throats, then using said airliners as flying bombs.

      Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2005 12 30 at 10:37 PM • permalink


    1. Packer is certainly right- – there is nothing to admire in the courage of a Al Qaeda terrorist. Sounds more like the kind of comment from the AGE or SMH.
      However only a fool would claim the terrorists are NOT courageous.
      Why is it assumed that all forms of courage must be admired?
      I’m still waiting for the first courageous western suicide Bomber to blow himself up in the company of islamic jihadists.
      And I’ll be the first to applaud his (or her) courage when that happens.
      As for not interfering the editorials of the Bulletin- the Bulletin is the height of common sense and seems uninfiltrated by self hating leftist Journalism,so why interfere anyway?
      Long may it keep these journos at bay.
      The Same cannot be said for the Age and the SMH. So perhaps he should have heeded his old man’s appoach after all.We might have been spared some of the idiocies that have poured forth.

      Posted by davo on 2005 12 30 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. Frollickingmole: I always brand compassionately. Because I love. For instance, I can now brand Mr. “Street” as a snotty, piss-parsing, anal-retentive jerk.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 30 at 11:13 PM • permalink


    1. I say that with love. And compassion.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 30 at 11:13 PM • permalink


    1. So this guy had a little bit of money.  Bet he couldn’t run an empire and be batshit crazy at the same time.  Howard Hughes could do that standing on his head. Once somebody arranged his Indian fakir-like fingernails for him, of course.

      Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 30 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. Lets hope this general has long retired. he sounds like he comes from the British Army of 1915. Its obscene.

      He was expressing admiration for the courage of a terrorist who was planning to murder thousands of civilian men, women and children, while committing suicide as admission to a heavenly brothel.

      What I wonder is worthy of admiration? I’ll give the General the benefit of the doubt and assume it wasn’t the large casualty count – which leaves the fact that the Saudi Arabian terrorists committed suicide.

      That KP could react so quickly to this bullshit speaks volumes for the man’s instinct and basic decency.

      Posted by drbob on 2005 12 30 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. #23, Davo,

      Personally I wouldn’t admire or applaud, in any way, a western person who went out to blow themselves up to destroy islamists.  I would instead assume such a person was mentally “unhinged”, as are, indeed, the islamists who do the same.

      Only a rational person can really assume the mantle of courage, in my bood.  Sorry if I’m coming off like a Randian.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 12 31 at 02:05 AM • permalink


    1. bood => book.  Sorry.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 12 31 at 02:06 AM • permalink


    1. #26 Yes that’s true genious. Mad as a cut snake and obscenely successful to boot. Chicken soup stock plunged after HH’s demise.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 31 at 02:09 AM • permalink


    1. #19: Concreted over by Paul Keating? You wouldn’t be the first.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 31 at 02:11 AM • permalink


    1. Andrea -Love means never having to say you’re sorry…just tread heavily.

      Posted by crash on 2005 12 31 at 02:41 AM • permalink


    1. 28 Brett
      the Islamists suicide bombers that you call “unhinged” are indeed not. And to call them thus is to excuse them and islam from promoting self destruction to kill and maim the infidel.
      Indeed if an Australian court found such (unsuccesful) shaheeds “unhinged” they would be severly impaired in pronoucing due judgement.
      If a westerner faced with the inaction of his governments in dealing with those who seek to destroy us were to make the ultimate sacrifice out of the frustration, i would classify this as courage and bravery beyond the call of duty.
      Sometimes an eye for an eye is the correct way.

      Posted by davo on 2005 12 31 at 02:50 AM • permalink


    1. I was an apprentice at the Womens Weekly when Kerry came in to have a look at us tradespeople.
      I remember our union rep tried to engage him in conversation by offering an opinion on industrial relations.
      Kerry just turned on him and said in no uncertain terms to fuck off, I’m not interestesd in anything you’ve got to say.
      I hated the pompous union rep so I guess that was my earliest feelings of empathy with evil capitalists.

      Posted by gubbaboy on 2005 12 31 at 03:03 AM • permalink


    1. Re:#20, EXACTLY what I was thinking JDB!
      Packer’s unique brand of cut the crap will be truly missed!
      Who the hell was the General who thought these maniacs were brave???

      Posted by Brian on 2005 12 31 at 03:12 AM • permalink


    1. Street is wordy enough to be Heidelblurb appearing again.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 31 at 03:39 AM • permalink


    1. Pedro: appreciate your point regarding “She Who Must Be Obeyed”. I was prompted to ask if “she” was a White Witch type of “She Who Must Be Obeyed” or more a Black Witch type. “Her” subsequent posts don’t seem to leave much room for doubt.

      Posted by Russell Street on 2005 12 31 at 04:28 AM • permalink


    1. Yeah Brian, I agree, these folk are not unhinged, just homicidal maniacs. I cannot admire their courage, only abhor their inhumanity.

      If they appear in a court of law, I hope that they should be assessed as sane, and I hope that court is not in a place where the death penalty applies so that they can never achieve matrydom and the heavenly brothel they so keenly desire.

      Posted by drbob on 2005 12 31 at 04:35 AM • permalink


    1. #33 Davo, of course, with the courts we have today, if I were a prosecutor in a failed bomber’s case, I would downplay any idea that the accussed was crazy, for the reason you state.  But that doesn’t mean we have to adopt crazy-lawyer talk here.  Better to introduce more sanity into the courts.

      People generally become “unhinged” through their own choices, repeated over time.  I wouldn’t ever consider such a state to be any sort of excuse for evil behaviour.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 12 31 at 04:43 AM • permalink


    1. Don’t forget that Clyde, the friendly Packer, died at 66, having shared similar diseases to Kerry, and was 37 when he fell out with his father and ceased managing the empire.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2005 12 31 at 04:59 AM • permalink


    1. It appears the Packers could be short with their employees, but I think they made a few mistakes with the terminations of Lennie Lower and Graham Kennedy … arguably two of Australia’s greatest comics … comments?

      Posted by Stevo on 2005 12 31 at 06:47 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, Mr. Russell Street, a terrorist with fear in his eyes but crying Allah Akh!ab!ar blew up my darling children in the playground together with my gentle aunt, but all I can do is admire the courage to perform this act. You call such a person a “soldier”, and so you have completely changed my concept of “soldier” and “courage”. I always thought a soldier was one who fought for his country against military targets that could defend themselves, and that courage was expressed in engaging and countering targets that could kill you. I always thought that it was maniacs, who had no ability to exhibit normal emotion, that could go into a crowd of innocents and blow them to pieces. Thank you so much for the opportunity to search the sewer connections in your brain.

      Posted by stats on 2005 12 31 at 11:26 AM • permalink


    1. Are not sewers one finds under Streets?

      Posted by stats on 2005 12 31 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. Terrorists crazy and brave?  Only in the Mansonish sense of “crazy” and “brave”.  Manson wasn’t found “crazy” by the courts, and his jolly manner of killing, and teaching others to kill, innocent people (in spite of what lefty professors who were in the Weathermen believe) was not “brave.” It was vicious.  Evil, if you must.

      Mr. Street, I wonder what you meant by third-personning Andrea as “Her.” She is a chick, and always has been–never a tranny.  I hope you’re not bigoted about chicks in positions of power.

      Posted by ushie on 2005 12 31 at 03:05 PM • permalink


    1. Hey that Port Arthur guy sure was brave, too.

      I wonder how long Russell Street manages to stay in character.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 31 at 06:49 PM • permalink


    1. #6

      Well, he did pretty well for a fool – growing his father’s millions very productively. I’d not mind being a fool after his fashion!

      (I haven’t read past this post yet.)

      Posted by kae on 2006 01 01 at 06:43 AM • permalink


    1. #24

      Oooh Andrea, that’s a pain that’ll linger.

      and only one lash!

      Posted by kae on 2006 01 01 at 06:51 AM • permalink


  1. 6 Mr Street

    it has always been my experience that, whenever I look for the person praised with the expression “Not suffering fools… “, all I can see is an intolerant bigot. … I have often heard the expression used with regard to many of his fawning underlings and, in case, my sensing of bigotry and intolerance was confirmed.

    Ah, a bigot hunter are we?  Well you’ve certainly come to the right planet and chosen the right species.  I’m sure your bigot-sensing prowess will keep you quite quite busy.

    Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 01 03 at 01:26 PM • permalink