Kerry Packer – reputably Australia’s richest man with a fortune estimated at $7 billion – died on Boxing Day 2005. His death generated a mass of copy in the print and electronic media, much of which he owned.
Even those papers that he did not own gave him generous praise.
The truth is that, although he made millions from his media empire, he was guilty of using it for the dumbing-down of Australia. But, worse, he contributed to damaging the cultural tastes and moral values of several generations.
He deliberately secularised all of his powerful media outlets and lavishly promoted greed and hedonism that damaged families and undermined the standards of behaviour that were once generally accepted by the majority of Australians.
As chairman of Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), Mr Packer controlled a number of influential publications, their content influencing millions. Among them are the Australian Women’s Weekly, The Bulletin, Australian Business, Woman’s Day, Mode, Harpers Bazaar and the soft porn Cleo and Dolly. The latter two were aimed at teenage girls.
Michael Henderson, in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, was right when he wrote: “In his eagerness to bump up television audiences and attract younger viewers, Packer’s tastes pandered to the lowest common denominator. Few people did more than Packer to live up to Wilde’s definition of the cynic: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Brian A. Peachey,