Serial plagiarist Tanveer Ahmed looks like he’s been at it again, this time in The Spectator Australia. Ahmed, a psychiatrist, was dropped as a Fairfax columnist after the ABC’s Media Watch exposed multiple examples of plagiarism in 2012, and two years later was dropped from The Australian when it was revealed two paragraphs of a controversial piece about domestic violence had been copied from elsewhere.
But he hasn’t stopped writing or commentating, describing himself on Twitter as a contributor to Weekend Sunrise, Sky News and The Spectator.
And in the July 15 Australian edition of the latter, there are some parts of his piece on the “transgender movement” and identity politics that have distinct echoes of someone else’s work.
Where Ahmed says:
Carl Elliott’s December 2000 piece in The Atlantic says:
And where Ahmed says:
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The Spectator piece also rewrites a description of a BBC documentary, a University of Toronto study and echoes references to historical schools of medical thought from The Atlantic piece.
Crikey asked Spectator Australia editor Rowan Dean and Ahmed for comment, but they did not respond before deadline.
After Ahmed was caught out in 2012, he wrote a mea culpa for The Australian and spoke with ABC Radio National’s Richard Aedy on his Media Report program:
“I think it was literally a case of suddenly putting my research together, collating it through cut and paste and then having it all … having sort of two pages there, around which I’d write. And then often I’d still be attributing most of the time. It was literally this case that begun partly as complacency, partly with a straight out copy and paste and I think it was this … there was still a moral dimension.”
In his piece for the Oz, Ahmed said his plagiarism in The Sydney Morning Herald had been bred of a desire for greater efficiency after collating his research using cut and paste:
“It remained occasional, like a footballer fumbling the ball more often, but working in isolation I had no reason to doubt my performance. When the full extent of my plagiarism was laid bare, even I was shocked. How could it have come to this, entire paragraphs lifted word for word? … The seriousness of my transgression was suddenly much clearer. I was like an addict forced to look in the mirror and survey the wreckage, measured in reputational damage and a rising media career cut short prematurely.”
Ahmed then worked for The Australian as a columnist before he was, again, caught out by blogger Ketan Joshi lifting his work from other people again in 2014. The Australian cut his column.
The Spectator column was still online this morning, but an author’s note that had apparently been added to the online article after the similarities were pointed out has now been removed. The note did not appear in the print edition.