Raise your hand if you’re surprised with this charge? If the same thing happened in the US or UK, would you be surprised? The Guardian:
Australian police are investigating a former senator’s allegations that an executive from Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited offered him favourable newspaper coverage and “a special relationship” in return for voting against government legislation….
The newspapers reported that an unnamed executive of News Ltd asked O’Chee during a lunch on 13 June 1998 to vote against his conservative government’s legislation on the creation of digital TV in Australia. The news group stood to profit from the legislation failing.
Offering a senator a bribe or inducement to influence a vote is an offence punishable by up to six months in prison.
One wonders whether the opposite was implied as well – don’t vote our way and we’ll give you bad coverage. That would be worse than a bribe, it would be extortion.