How many false or misleading statements can you fit in a three-minute news item? Tracey Holmes shows us

On 24 March 2023, ABC TV News NSW reported on an announcement by World Athletics about its restoration of the women’s category in the sports it governs – a restoration that was greeted with joy and relief by female athletes and other fair-minded people all over the world. Not greeted with jubilation at the ABC, of course, where gender-identity ideology continues its oppressive reign. Still, Aunty could have – and should have – had a go at reporting the development accurately and fairly; instead, this is what we got: 

• Headline ‘Transgender Ban’: Inaccurate. Men-who-identify-as-women haven’t been banned from athletics, only from the women’s category. 

• ‘World Athletics is banning transgender women from competing in elite competition’ (Juanita Phillips’ introduction): Likewise inaccurate. See first dot point above. 

• ‘The ban will not affect any current transgender athletes, because there are none’ (Tracey Holmes, sarcastic tone): Oh yes there are. As Tracey could have found out via a quick google search, which would’ve brought up the names of CeCé Telfer, Andraya Yearwood, Terry Miller, June Eastwood, Tiffany NewellValentina Petrillo, and Aspen Hoffman. What World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said was that there are currently no transgender athletes competing internationally in the sport. That’s a bit different, huh? And even that needs something of a qualification, because without this ban, CeCé Telfer, for one, would certainly have been looking to the Olympics and other international comps; and para-athlete Valentina Petrillo has already competed internationally, representing Italy in the World Para Athletics European Championships in 2021. 

• ‘Critics say the move is a solution looking for a problem’ (Tracey Holmes): Oh yeah? We would like to hear who these ‘critics’ are. According to us, even Blind Freddie could see there’s been a problem here, since at least 2017, when the Connecticut high school comp allowed Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller into the girls’ category. (The court case arising from that decision is still ongoing.

• Ada Cheung featuring as a talking head, identified as ‘Assoc. Prof. Ada Cheung Endocrinologist’ with a Melbourne Uni logo in one corner: 

Well, that’s only telling us the half of it. Cheung’s the founder of the Trans Health Research Group and an ‘unwavering ally’ to the trans lobby. Hardly an independent or objective expert, but the ABC likes to trot her out when there’s some gaslighting to be done. At least Stan Grant on Q+A (25 August 2022) disclosed Cheung’s trans affiliation. Holmes should’ve done the same. 

• Athletes with a difference of sexual development (DSD) such as South Africa’s Caster Semenya ‘will now need to medically reduce their testosterone levels’ (Tracey Holmes): DSD athletes were already required to reduce their testosterone levels in order to be the women’s comp; the new rules just represent a further reduction (from 5 nanomoles per litre down to below 2.5). A small point, maybe, but somehow Holmes seems bent on making World Athletics look as though it’s turned mean against everybody all of a sudden.

• ‘A complex issue, involving fairness and inclusion’ (Tracey Holmes): Dead right, Trace, so maybe you should’ve done more research and put the item together more carefully.