A confession: if a bribe is something offered to influence judgment or conduct, then I have given and taken bribes.
I have enjoyed sporting, musical and theatrical events at companies’ expense. I have literally rubbed shoulders with Silvio Berlusconi in the tribuna d’onore at Milan’s San Siro stadium (at someone else’s invitation). I have flown in Robert Maxwell’s jet to Robert Maxwell’s yacht, to hear the corrupt media magnate extol his latest acquisition on the deck off which he later tumbled. I have, in my turn, wined and dined diplomats, civil servants, bankers and chief executives. And I will again because it helps me fulfill my half of journalists’ odd business bargain, in which human contact yields news and improves insight.