… But can you take The Australian out of the girl?

Patricia Karvelas worked for The Australian for over a decade before joining the ABC, and has been described by Robert Manne as ‘a master of The Australian’s familiar false-inference, disguised-assumption, report-as-accusation house style’.

On 10 July the ABC unwisely decided to let her loose in Four Corners on the issue of kid-transing. Karvelas might have – arguably – changed her causes she barracks for, but not her journalistic style.

She already had form here at Women’s Cooee. She first came to our attention in April 2022, telling lies about Kath Deves on RN Breakfast. Then there was her preposterous reaction to Media Watch’s revelation of the influence of trans lobby group ACON on the ABC. This was followed by her so-called ‘examination’ of Kellie-Jay Keen and the Let Women Speak tour, in which – among other things – she claims that the description of ‘being a transgender woman as a fetish’ is ‘a position not supported by health experts who work with people transitioning’. Thereby revealing she’s never even heard of autogynephilia or the work of noted sexologist Ray Blanchard. And then there’s her use of ‘she’ to refer to a convicted rapist who-says-he’s-a-woman. And her would-be moonlighting for ACON. 

Of course the ABC itself has form with us too. For promoting kid-transing. All the way back to the 2014 Four Corners episode ‘Being Me’ and trailing through their astonishing infatuation with Michelle Telfer of the Melbourne Children’s Hospital gender service. 

So once we heard it on the grapevine that Karvelas was making her Four Corners debut with a program on kid-transing, we pretty much knew how it would go. We don’t need to add our own critique of ‘Blocked’ when others have already done such a good job of it in different ways. Here is a selection. (And just for the record, none of these critiques come from neo-Nazis, homophobes, or anti-abortionists.) They all found – quite independently – plenty of features that point to false inference, disguised assumption, and report as accusation. 

The media release by Australian Feminists for Women’s Rights:

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The complaints to the ABC by solicitors of the Feminist Legal Clinic:

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A second complaint from solicitor Bronwyn Williams is a bit too long to post here; this is an excerpt:

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The social media review:

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The participant’s opinion in mainstream media:

Child psychiatrist Dr Jillian Spencer, who was in the 56-minute program for a bit under three minutes, is quoted at length in The Daily Mail.

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The participant’s opinion in an 18-minute video

Psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Dianna Kenny, who was in the program for two and a half minutes, posted a video to tell us what Karvelas left out:

Another interview subject, Courtney Coulson, looks back in anger

With understandable rage in her voice, Courtney Coulson says “[Karvelas] spent weeks talking to me, saying they want a fair and balanced account”.

Every so often we think the ABC is getting wise to the con that is gender-identity ideology. 

Sadly we were more than disappointed this time. 

(Oh, and PS: We’re no fans of Murdoch media, but we mostly find The Australian to give quite fair and professional coverage – on gender-identity issues if nothing else. Particularly in articles by Bernard Lane and health editor Natasha Robinson.) 

Your turn:

The key to making a complaint to the ABC is to contact them within 6 weeks of the date of broadcast. For more tips – see our guide.