Despite the Seven Network’s clear victories over Nine’s A Current Affair this year, there’s been little waving of the cheque books of “Big” or “Little Kerry”. But that all changed yesterday when ACA’s new executive producer, David Hurley, waved $15,000 in front of Ron Vugenser, the man accused of links to planting drugs on Schapelle Corby.

It will be an unworthy entry on Crikey’s long list of grubby examples of cheque book journalism (here).

Vugenser told a Seven Network producer that ACA had offered him $15,000. (Here’s an early story from The Sydney Morning Herald.) In a brief excerpt on ACA last night, Vugenser confirmed he had been charged numerous times, been to jail and wasn’t a nice person.

Hurley’s only defence for paying a criminal money for his story was that Seven had offered him money as well. The Seven Network says it didn’t offer any money to Mr Vigenser, despite Hurley’s assertion. And as a defence it’s pretty thin – he could have said no. But he has to revive the fortunes of ACA and waving the bucks is a tried and tested route. Nine stablemate 60 Minutes was reported to have paid a lot of money to Corby for her legal defence last year.

CRIKEY: We like nothing more than a good list. Cheque book journalism, lilly white hacks, the great political stunts list, Australia’s terrible foreign ownership record… the lists of lists is endless.

So to make it easier for you find the list you want, Crikey lists now have their own section on the home page halfway down the right hand side. The only problem is even we are having difficulty remembering all the good lists we’ve put together over the years. If your favourite list isn’t in our lists sections, just email [email protected] and we’ll add it to the list.

Check out the new lists here:

Peter Fray

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