Misha Ketchell writes:

An interesting twist in the Lennon story as we go to press, with
the Tassie opposition leader Rene Hidding putting out this media
release asking whether Lennon paid for an upcoming soft lifestyle
spread in Woman’s Weekly:

Woman’s Weekly deal further evidence
that $19,000 worth of free hospitality is just the tip of the
iceberg

Opposition Leader Rene Hidding today demanded
the Premier Paul Lennon provide details of the deal stitched up with the
PBL-owned Woman’s Weekly for a warm and fuzzy feature of the beleaguered Premier
at the start of an election year.

Mr Hidding said questions needed to be
answered given that when NSW Premier Bob Carr received a similar glossy spread
in an election year, he paid a reported $90,000 for the privilege.

“Is
the Premier Paul Lennon or the Labor Party stumping up a similar figure for what
can only amount to a glossy advertorial in this major part of the PBL magazine
stable.

“If not, why not – given that NSW Premier Bob Carr paid a
reported $90,000 for a similar puff piece.

“How was it that the article
was even agreed to? Did Woman’s Weekly approach the Premier or was it the other
way around? When was this approach made? Was it before or after the decision was
made by Premier Lennon to grant PBL a $700 million betting license?”

It looks as though Hidding is in a win/win
position on this one. Paying for the story is a bad look, but not
paying might be worse. A perception that the soft coverage from the ACP
mag is payback for the Betfair decision is the last thing Lennon needs
right now.

As Tasmanian Times editor Lindsay Tuffin points out: “In a bid to soften
the rough edges Paul’s minders came up with the bright idea of seeing if the Australian Women’s Weekly
wanted to do a spread on Paul’s elegant
restored Georgian pile at Brighton near
Hobart. AWW leapt at it
and Paul
and Margaret
are to be pictured looking soft and cuddly in
the upcoming issue. Not a good idea now … further
evidence of the distance between the pampered lifestyle of the working class
boy and his poor
constituents.”