$180,000 to tell the world that his girlfriend accidently “fell into” the glass of wine that he was in the process of throwing over her and that he did not “realise” that the glass had cut her face — well done Wayne Carey in conjunction with New Idea, and with bruised grid girlfriend in tow, for marking a new low in chequebook journalism, in what is already a very sordid and shallow pool of candidates.

Let’s mark this auspicious occasion with a look back on the Crikey list of chequebook stubs: the list includes payments to enterprising characters such as Bec and Lleyton and their million dollar baby, Bob and Blanche for the “love that wouldn’t die” and its $200,000 price tag, and of course, self-made millionaires Brant and Todd, who hold the record with their $2.6 million dollar payout courtesy of Ed.*

Wayne Carey and Kate Neilson: The woman whose face was cut by a glass thrown by her boyfriend this week graces the cover of New Idea, with Wayne by her side, to tell the world: “Wayne isn’t violent – not at all…That’s not to say our relationship hasn’t been volatile, but that’s (only) at times.” Price tag: reportedly $180,000.

Corey Worthington and his parents: A Current Affair shelled out for a follow up interview with new fame whore and monster of their own making Corey Worthington, while on the other side of dial, Channel Seven’s Today Tonight paid his parents to tell their side of story that wouldn’t go away. Price tag: undisclosed sums.

Mohamed Haneef: 60 Minutes paid Dr Haneef for his exclusive account of his detainment and deportation. Price tag: $150,000 to $200,000.

Lisa Robertson: The Qantas hostie pocketed a wad of cash from the ever generous 60 Minutes for her hot n heavy account of airplane toilet s-x with Ralph Fiennes. An exclusive interview about seducing a Hollywood star? Several thousand dollars. Quotes like “I was just on the sink — arms, legs everywhere, you know”? Priceless. Price tag: $50,000 – $60,000.

Jana Pittman: Pittman arrived to her wedding hiding under umbrellas as helicopters flew overhead — she’d sold the rights to New Idea on the condition that no one else could get a shot. Price tag: Undisclosed sum.

Jodi Power: Today Tonight paid the former best friend of Schapelle Corby to spill the beans on the Bali jailbird’s drug use. Price tag: between $50,000 and $100,000.

Simone Warne: A two-part tell all in New Idea on her serial philandering husband Shane. Price tag: more than $250,000

The Beaconsfield miners: An exclusive deal with Channel Nine and ACP magazines landed new head of Channel Nine Eddie McGuire his first big coup: a two-hour special and exclusive interview with Todd Russell and Brant Webb with ACA’s Tracy Grimshaw that included 24 minutes of commercials (for which Nine is believed to have generated $2 million in revenue) with companies paying up to $100,000 (50% more than the usual rate) for a 30-second ad. Add to that the “special Nine Network goodwill event”, a charity concert in Beaconsfield broadcast during The Footy Show and Packer’s magazine arm carve-up of the story over three titles: The Bulletin, Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly. Price tag: $2.6 million.

Lleyton & Bec:  Exclusive deal with Woman’s Day for the first year of baby Mia’s life. Price tag: close to $1 million from various outlets for wedding and baby stories and pictures.

Douglas Wood: The Ten Network paid for the rights to an exclusive interview with the 63-year-old engineer about his 47-day ordeal as a hostage in Iraq in May and June, 2005. Price tag: At least $250,000 – and possibly as much as $400,000. 

The Bali 9: Nine secured an exclusivity agreement with the Bali 9 and their families in May 2005, giving exclusive access to A Current Affair , 60 Minutes, the Today Show and Woman’s Day . Price tag: Amount unknown

Schapelle Corby: Nine secured Schapelle, sister Mercedes and mother Roz with a 60 Minutes exclusive interview in November 2004 after Schapelle was caught at Bail airport with marijuana in her baggage. Throughout the trial Schapelle’s family appeared on A Current Affair and spoke exclusive to Nine. Price tag: Amount unknown

Sarah Marbeck: A Current Affair paid for exclusive access to the Melbourne-based model alleged to be David Beckham’s mistress in April 2004. Price tag: Almost $60,000

Lindy Chamberlain: A Current Affair paid for an exclusive with Lindy in July 2004, to discuss the allegations that Azaria was buried in a Melbourne backyard. The story was shared with Woman’s Day. Price tag: Between $75,000 and $150,000

Michael Chamberlain: Today Tonight paid to speak to Azaria’s father about the Melbourne man’s calims about the fate of Arazia, July 2004. Price tag: Between $20,000 and $35,000

Sean Eadie – cyclist: Today Tonight paid the Olympic cyclist for an exclusive after beating doping allegations in July 2004. Price tag: Around $25,000

Karen Brown: Today Tonight paid the security guard for an exclusive account of her fatal shooting of an armed robber who bashed her in July 2004. Price tag: $100,000 (later declined)

Anita Ciancio: A Current Affair paid the mother of kidnapped baby Montana and defacto of Giuseppe “Joe” Barbaro for her story, in Aug 2004. Price tag: Up to $100,000

Tanya Flynn: Today Tonight paid the Canberra based fiancee of Joe Barbaro for her story of finding out Joe had another family in Melbourne when his baby Montana was kindnapped, in Aug 2004. Price tag: Amount unknown

Jennifer Hawkins: Channel Seven and New Idea paid to bring the Aussie Miss Universe winner to Australia in September for Fashion Week and during the 2004 Spring Racing Carnival, with Seven and New Idea claiming exclusive access to the pagent star. Price tag: $160,000

Sam Christie: Today Tonight did a deal with Sam for his story on investigating John Farnham for false advertising over his comeback concerts with Tom Jones in September 2004. Sam thought he had seen the last of Whispering Jack on the 02-03 farewell tour (TT denies payment). Price tag: Sam’s asking price was $25,000 

Kate Ceberano: Women’s Weekly paid for photos of Kate’s new baby girl Gypsy. Born 6 Jan 2004. Price tag: Around $50,000

Delta Goodrem: Reportedly signed a deal with Women’s Weekly to speak exclusively to the magazine about her battle with hodgkins disease, in exchange for a $200,000 donation to cancer research, 2004.
Price tag: $200,000 (donated to charity)

Tara Moss: Women’s Day paid for pictures of the model/author’s wedding day in March 2004. Price tag: $80,000 (donated to charity)

Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Cartwright: Seven’s Today Tonight and New Idea paid for exclusive access to the Home and Away starlet and her tennis playing fiancee in February 2005. Price tag: $200,000 (donated to set up a Cambodian orphanage for children suffering AIDs)

Mamdouh Habib: Nine’s 60 Minutes paid for an exclusive interview with the freed terrorist suspect and former Guantanamo Bay inmate in February 2005. Price tag: $200,000

Angela Gallagher: Today Tonight and New Idea paid the stripper to spill the beans on her alleged affair with cricketer Shane Warne in August 2003. Price tag: $130,000

“Karen” from Cockle Creek smelter near Newcastle: Today Tonight paid Karen, who was taking the NSW Housing Authority to court, to spoil ACA’s yarn. She was Paul Barry’s main talent on his debut story in February 2003. Price tag: $2500

Contraceptive story: A Current Affair paid for their story on Monday 10 Feb 2003 about a contraceptive procedure. Price tag: $2500

Natasha Ryan Queensland runaway: 60 Minutes paid Natasha for the story of her four years  hiding ina  cupboard while a serial killer was charged with her murder in April 2003. Price tag: $250,000

Ricky Ponting: New Idea put together a lucrative deal with the cricket star for photos of his Sydney wedding in June 2002. Price tag: “lucrative deal”

Belinda Emmett: Women’s Weekly and 60 Minutes paid for the actress and then girlfriend of Rove McManus to tell of her latest battle with Cancer in September 2002. Price tag: $250,000

Ron Verganza, confessed criminal: A Current Affair paid Verganza, the man accused of links to planting drugs on jailed Bali holiday-maker Schapelle Corby, to tell them he had been charged numerous times, been to jail and wasn’t a nice person. Price tag: $15,000

The Dole Army: Today Tonight paid the Army for their story of life in drainage tunnels under Melbourne, in Feb 2002. The story was later revealed to be hoax. Price tag: $1000

The Dole Army: A Current Affair offered the Army $2000 (refused) not to co-operate with Today Tonight. Price tag: $360 in digital videotapes

Ben Maloney: Today Tonight paid the survivor of 36 days lost in the Tasmanian wilderness for his story in April 2001. Price tag: Amount unknown

Geoff & Margaret Maloney: The parents of Ben had their fares to Tasmania and accommodation in Hobart paid for by News Limited in 2001  Price tag: Air fare and accommodation

Nat Young: Today Tonight paid the 60s surfing champion for his side of the story of getting bashed up after “dropping in” on another surfer’s wave, in March 2000. Price tag: $5000 (probably donated to one of Young’s pet projects – Safe Surfing plaques)

Siamese Twins: Parents of the Brisbane Siamese twins born in April 2000 sold their exclusive to Channel Seven. Price tag: More than $250,000

Lindy Chamberlain: Told 60 Minutes about her baby Azaria being taken by a dingo in central Australia in August 2000. Price tag: $250,000

Indira Naidoo & Mark Fitzgerald: “Vegas” wedding pix to a women’s mag Price tag: Quite a bit

Steve Bisley & Sally Burleigh: The aging actor and his publicist wife sold their wedding snaps to one of the weekly glossies.  Price tag: Amount unknown

Kim Kilbey & William Snow: New Idea paid the former host of Nine’s Funniest Home Videos for the photos of her wedding to William Snow to (a noticably non-Packer publication). Price tag: Amount unknown

Tony Lewandoski: Former WA detective admitted fabricating evidence against the Mickelberg brothers and lying in court in a interview with Channel 7 in 2002. Price tag: $50,000

Mystery woman: New Idea paid the mystery woman in the Ricky Ponting drunken clinch scandal for her story. Price tag: $10,000

One of Pauline Hanson’s husbands: New Idea paid one of Pauline Hanson’s husbands for his story. Price tag: approx $10,000

Said Morgan, former policeman: A Current Affair paid Morgan, who had shot a man charged with s-x offences against young girls, including two relatives of Morgan’s, for his story. Price tag: $50,000

Rhett Hutchence: Shared his grief over ths death of his father Kell with Woman’s Day, 2002. Price tag: Five figure sum

Convicted murderer Alistair (Sandy) McRae: A Current Affair paid for a two night expose on prostitution, police corruption, and stand over tatics (prior to his murder conviction). Price tag: $40,000

Sally Carey (former long suffering wife of Wayne): New Idea paid Sally for not saying much about her husband Wayne Carey’s affair with his AFL team mate’s wife in January 2003. Price tag: $150,000

Craig Stevens, swimmer: Channel Seven paid the swimmer $60,000 and promised him a job to announce his decision to allow Ian Thorpe to swim the 400m freestyle at Athens on Today Tonight in April 2004. $60,000 plus a job

Bob Hawke: Said to have negotiated an exclusive television interview on leaving politics with A Current Affair. Price tag: Amount unknown

Bob Hawke & Blanche d’Alpuget: “World exclusive” interview in Woman’s Day and on 60 Minutes – “The love that wouldn’t die”. Price tag: $200,000

Dean Jones: New Idea paid Jones and his family for the story on his retirement from cricket in 1998. $7000.

Julie Page. A Current Affair paid the former nanny of Richard Pratt and Shari-lea Hitchcock’s love child to spill the beans on Pratt’s affair, in March 2000. Price tag: Amount unknown.

Kell & Rhett Hutchence: The father and brother of dead INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence shared their grief with Channel Seven in 1997. Price tag: $87,500

Tony Bullimore: The English yachtsman spoke to Channel Seven after being rescued by the RAN and RAAF having survived four days with his up-turned yacht in the Southern Ocean in Jan 1997. Price tag: $10,000

Stuart Diver: Witness program on Channel Seven, and Women’s Weekly, July 1997. Seven employed Diver as a special reporter at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

Kim Wilson: The actress told Women’s Day about her involvement with Michael Hutchence on the night he died in 1997. Price tag: Reportedly $150,000

James Scott (the Iceman): In December 1992, James returned to the Himalayas with 60 Minutes to tell the story of his 40 days lost in the Himalayas. Price tag: $100,000 – $250,000

*We would also like to note that although some media outlets are quick to whip out the chequebook, not all scenarios are black and white. This list has already sparked some controversy over what exactly constitutes chequebook journalism and we have received emails in the past. 

Please send in any corrections or additions into [email protected] crikey.com.au.

Peter Fray

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