Psychiatrist and serial plagiarist Tanveer Ahmed has been ramping up his status as a media expert again, including on Nine’s flagship current affairs program 60 Minutes last night.
In a story about video game addiction and the popular game Fortnite (which has itself been subject to some very questionable tabloid journalism of late), Ahmed appeared on the program as an expert to talk about one of his clients, and about video game addiction more generally.
Not mentioned, though, was Ahmed’s questionable history as a media commentator. In 2012, he was dumped as a Sydney Morning Herald columnist after the ABC’s Media Watch found that about a third of his writing had been plagiarised from other people’s work.
He was picked up by The Australian as a columnist and then dumped two years later for, again, plagiarising. And, we noted last year, a piece Ahmed wrote for The Spectator Australia was very similar to work about the “transgender movement” from other articles and sources — an author’s note was later added to the online piece.
But committing one of journalism’s gravest sins hasn’t been enough to turn panel bookers and opinion editors off Ahmed. As well as appearing on programs such as last night’s 60 Minutes, Ahmed has been appearing regularly as a panellist on Sky News, on News Corp columnist Miranda Devine’s online radio program, and as a columnist for usually-respected outlets including the ABC and the Australian Financial Review.
In response to tweets criticising his appearance on the show last night, Ahmed said: “Not sure how being a psychiatrist taking about the treatment of my patients has much to do with journalistic errors from a non professional journo, but of course petty snipers on Twitter are to be expected.”
He also repeated his previous reasoning for plagiarising, that he was not a professional journalist: “I’d argue my journo errors had much more to do with not being a professional in that arena and then making amateur errors, unlike as a psychiatrist where I have years of training and competence is unquestioned.”
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Nine would not comment on using Ahmed as a source when contacted by Crikey.