In September last year, the ABC announced the appointment of Fiona Cameron to the newly-created position of ABC Ombudsman.

O frabjous day, we chortled in our joy. At last women’s endless complaints about the ABC’s obvious inaccuracies and bias might get some traction, so we thought. At last there’s somebody at the ABC who might free it from its bondage to ACON/AWEI, the gender-identity ideology lobby.

So how’s it going?

Let’s look at two cases.

1: The rapist

Somebody complained that Patricia Karvelas on RN Breakfast used the pronoun ‘she’ for a man-who-says-he’s-a-woman – a convicted rapist, at that. Here is the Ombudsman’s reply:

So Cameron not only backed Karvelas in the inaccuracy, she really rubbed salt in the complainant’s wound, by herself using the pronoun ‘her’ for the man three times in her reply, quite needlessly. And as for the reasoning that using ‘she’ for the man is ‘consistent with wider reporting’ about the case: Surely the relevant consideration is whether the content is consistent with accuracy, rather than with how anybody else is reporting it! However, Ms Cameron, if that’s the way you want to play it, please tell your ABC colleagues – eg Sarah Ferguson – to stop saying that Nazis ‘attended’ the Let Women Speak rally in Melbourne on 18 March, because ‘wider reporting’ in eg The Age is accurately describing the Nazis as gatecrashers, not attendees.

2: Puberty blockers

Six different complainants took to their computers or whatever to complain about puberty blockers being called ‘completely reversible’. This happened on 4 April, on radio morning current affairs program AM and in a corresponding ABC News Online story. The Ombudsman arranged for this statement to be added to AM’s audio digital webpage and the online news story, and to be posted on the ABC’s Corrections & Clarifications page:

This is hardly likely to satisfy anybody who’s been following the puberty-blockers story, and knows the seriousness of the possible consequences – in some cases, likely consequences – that lurk in that ‘unclear’, which include adverse effects on bone development, cognition, and sexual function. And note that this is a ‘clarification’, not a ‘correction’, and the complaints were ‘resolved’ rather than ‘upheld’. The Ombudsman’s 6-page booklet on ABC’s complaint handling process explains the difference:

So. Not too good, is it. Looks like the Ombudsman’s Office is more like another tentacle of the Jabberwock of gender-identity ideology than the ABC’s potential liberator from it. We’re watching. And reporting. Fighting on.