Corey Delaney, freedom fighter (for the right to party)

Photograph of Corey Worthington from Channel 9

I’m pretty sure I know why my story about “protecting kids on the Internet” was bumped from Crikey today. How can I possibly compete with a newsmaker like Corey Worthington Delaney (pictured)? And how can I possibly compete with Crikey‘s comprehensive coverage of this new Australian success story?

It’s not so much about protecting kids from the Internet, but protecting the Internet (and us!) from Corey.

Any promoter would be pleased with a turnout of 500 for a simple house party with no outlays, just an invite sent out on MySpace. But then a helicopter arrived on the scene, some police cars got damaged, Mr and Mrs Delaney found out, the neighbours were p-ssed off and the Police Commissioner called a press conference.

It looked like Corey was set to be devoured by a salivating news pack. The sixteen-year-old came with shades, a naked friend running down the street, a pink doona doubling as sarong, and the quote “I can’t remember. I was just off my head”.

Crikey lists much of the good media coverage — including a talkback caller who somehow managed to blame John Howard. For me, though, the highlights are The 7.30 Report‘s serious piece (including child psychologist and police youth worker), and A Current Affair‘s Leila McKinnon doing the extended interview (where they get his name wrong).

The irony is, today the Victorian claim their tougher new powers to target rowdy behaviour around Melbourne nightspots have been a great success.

[Update 16 January 2005: I’ve changed Corey’s surname from “Delaney” to “Worthington”. Apparently Delaney is his parents’ surname but not his. Or something.]

7 Replies to “Corey Delaney, freedom fighter (for the right to party)”

  1. Forget about Corey (the star) — the real story here is the utter ignorance of the Victorian Police Commissioner and the local plods who seem ignorant of the law. Since when does a cop impose a “fine”? Uhh? Courts do that. All Corey did was have a party — a big party. The police aren’t legislated to charge citizens fees for their work. They should get back in their box and a lot of journalists should desist from repeating idiotic propaganda from cops as though it’s actually true.

  2. @Michael: Yes, and important point. There needs to be a legal process for extracting money from people. Either they’re charged with a crime, found guilty, and a court issues a fine. Or there’s a civil offence that the courts can enforce. I’m thinking of something like a parking fine here, where it’s issued administratively and you can challenge it, but if it’s upheld by a court then you do have to pay.

    I don’t know Victorian law on this point. I do know that if you plan to run a huge, disruptive event then you have to pay the policing costs — things like the Commonwealth Games. Could he become liable since the residential house wasn’t zoned for more than residential purposes, and a party of that size goes over the limit? I will ask A Friend Who May Know.

    Thanks for joining us — and we’ll have to figure out how to differentiate you from the other Michael who’s commenting on Internet filtering.

    As a side note, Corey has been offered a job in the promotions industry. And needless to say, the story has gone global.

  3. It’s like a good episode of Frontline. We need Brooke Vandenburg to ask Corey the hard questions (instead of useless Leila McKinnon, who is the female equivalent of Richard Wilkins).

    I also think Corey is being given too much credit for this. It’s more the power of modern communication networks than any great promotional ability.

  4. @Snarky Platypus: Indeed. There’s two great quotes from The 7.30 Report coverage making that latter point. Inspector Steve Soden from Victoria Police’s Youth Affairs division says:

    Young people are so well networked today and they can gather in a very quick period of time. We’ve had to restructure our crime department. We’ve had to look at our computer crime. We’ve had to look at how we respond to incidences where we experience, as I’ve said, a large amount of people in a short period of time.

    And child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says:

    In the UK last year, a 17-year-old girl actually issued an invitation on her MySpace profile to come and trash her house, and was astonished when 300 people turned up and trashed her house.

    It cost the family $47,000 to have it cleaned by a commercial cleaner, and the family actually had to move out of the house for a month. So as I say, this isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

    I think when I launch Skank Media I’ll make Corey one of our patron saints though.

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