Crikey reporter Sophie Black writes:

Yesterday Women’s Weekly editorial director Deborah Thomas gave us
the impression

that poor Paul Lennon’s pictorial spread was bumped in
favour of the much bigger selling story of Rupert’s ranch. But since
then,
we’ve been informed that the apparently “exclusive” story about Rupert
at “home on the range” was actually published in a New Zealand magazine
four
months ago.

New magazine NZ Life and Leisure gained
exclusive access to Rupert back in November.
Owned by Rupert’s mate Ken Cowley and RM Williams Publishing (which
may explain why the tiny magazine was invited along to the ranch), the
magazine features the exact story and photos republished in this month’s WW.

So why would an originaland timely WW story about the Tasmanian premier, a man in the
news a lot ahead of a March election, be bumped for a timeless story on the Murdochs that’s already four months old?

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian
opposition has issued another media release that raises suspicions
about the dates of email correspondence between WW and the Premier’s press office which they say began only a few days after the
Betfair deal passed through Parliament. The
opposition is still asking who initiated the deal, when it was
initiated, and if it was linked
to the Premier’s decision to award
Betfair a licence in Tasmania.
“Why
is the Premier refusing to provide this information, and why was it excluded from the FOI documents that
we received?”

Was this Premier Lennon’s grand idea
which he put forcefully to PBL over
a glass of Moet in the PBL tent in the days before he decided to award the gaming licence to Betfair? Or
did it come to him while he was relaxing in the spa with his champagne in
the six-star penthouse suite provided to him by the PBL-owned Crown Casino during the Melbourne
Cup carnival?

Crikey called Lennon’s press office for the premier’s response, but they were unwilling to comment.

Peter Fray

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