Sheer brilliance. Patterico, one of our favorite bloggers, is set to interview Greg Packer, the most ubiquitous "man on the street" in the history of journalism. According to Packer's Wikipedia biography (yes, this average "man on the street" has a Wikipedia entry):
Gregory F. Packer (born December 18, 1963), an American highway maintenance worker from Huntington, New York and a 1983 graduate of Huntington High School located on Long Island's North Shore. He has been quoted in more than 100 articles and television broadcasts as a member of the public (that is, a "man on the street" rather than a newsmaker or expert). According to the Nexis database from 1994 through 2004, Packer has been quoted or photographed at least 16 separate times by the Associated Press, 14 times by Newsday, 13 times by the New York Daily News, and 12 times by the New York Post. His strategy is to appear at a likely news event and offer short statements to reporters. Although he always gives his real name, he has admitted to making things up to get into the paper.
And Packer has been interviewed many times since 2004. Among bloggers who scorn lazy journalism, spotting and ridiculing a Packer interview is almost a sport. Have reporters never heard of Google, Yahoo, or even Nexis?
What would you ask Greg Packer, given the opportunity?