Interesting story in yesterday's WSJ on how Tiger Woods Protected His Image (sub req):
Mr. Woods had cut an unusual deal with American Media Inc., the owner of both Men's Fitness magazine and the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper. Mr. Woods agreed to the cover shot and photo spread in Men's Fitness, whose circulation of about 700,000 per issue is less than half of Golf Digest's nearly 1.7 million, in return for the National Enquirer squelching a story and photographs purportedly showing Mr. Woods in a liaison with a woman who wasn't his wife, according to people directly involved in the arrangement.
I imagine these "access for control" sort of deals are actually fairly common between celebrities and the media who cover them. You have to wonder how often this also occurs in the world of politics.