Sunday, May 18, 2008

Who Bribed Bob Brown?

Greens senator Bob Brown says he was offered a $1 million bribe to support John Howard's media ownership laws in 2000. At the time, Brown and a handful of others held the balance of power in the Senate.
Senator Brown says he rejected the offer.

"I said no," he told ABC Radio National's Background Briefing.

"I just told the person putting the offer that I don't sleep too well - fortunately I sleep a lot better these days but I wasn't at the time - and if were to take up that offer I wouldn't sleep at all. I left it at that."
Of course it could just as easily have been The Goanna who offered Mr Brown the big bribe. But it's worth noting that the story is being reported in Fairfax but not a word of it in the Murdoch media.

Update: Brown's gone to the cops with details of three offers. I've offered a few thoughts to Tim Dunlop. For example:
Brown has now detailed to police not one, not two, but three bribe offers. If the leader of a minor party is getting this many offers, we can only imagine what happens to those with real power. And yet we never hear anything about this dark side of Canberra politics.

Tim says Brown's "reasons for not mentioning it until now were pretty unconvincing". But does anyone really wonder why?

We Aussies live with the comfortable illusion that our nation is somehow above such base chicanery. It's an illusion propagated by a tightly controlled (not by the government) media.

And so it's no coincidence that the bribe allegedly on offer to Brown came in the form of free media coverage for his much-maligned party, who are routinely ignored by the mainstream media.

No comments: