February 4th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Bushfires: the lessons of history

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Unanswered questions about oil-for-food scam

NATIONAL SECURITY: How prepared are our intelligence agencies?

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Australia left holding trade's $1-billion-dollar baby

TAXATION: Government's dilemma - "future fund" or tax cuts?

PRIMARY PRODUCTION: SA egg producers at breaking point

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Some like it hot / Thatcher the chemist / Turks in denial

AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY: Whatever has gone wrong with sex?

SCHOOLS: Subversive agenda of multicultural education

EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION: Cells, lies and Korea-gate

HEALTH: 4,000 submissions to RU-486 abortion pill inquiry

Civilisation's fragile fabric (letter)

So, who's to blame? (letter)

Packer 'dumbed down' Australia (letter)

CINEMA: Good Night, and Good Luck: Hollywood spin on the McCarthy era

BOOKS: The Pope Benedict Code, by Joanna Bogle

BOOKS: What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman

Books promotion page

Packer 'dumbed down' Australia (letter)

by Brian A Peachey

News Weekly, February 4, 2006

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,
Woodlands, WA

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