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The Masked Liberal: Sam Dastyari’s clickbait career and the misdirected Leftist grief

The Masked Liberal: Sam Dastyari’s clickbait career and the misdirected Leftist grief

Friday 9 September, 2016
The exit of Sam Dastyari and the subsequent sorrow from the Left has goosed the Masked Lib to ride into town once more – via a kebab shop, of course.
The story starts here...

I’m sitting in a kebab shop as I write this. Across from me, Labor Boy has his arms extended at an inhuman angle, trying to procure a suitable photo of his Halal Snack Pack, in order to add to the mournful Twitter hashtag #PutOutYourHSPS. He’s been in a strop ever since I returned home, informing me of the passing of Sam Dastyari. So here we sit, in memoriam of his time as a Labor frontbencher, honouring the end with a foodstuff that Labor Boy has never eaten before.

While he refused to let me use his picture for this article, this hashtag is an actual thing:


I originally thought LB’s rant en route to the kebabo was his and his entirely. He viewed Sam’s shenanigans – his “involvement in a ‘cash for comment’ deal” with Chinese donors, Top Education – as “disappointing” but said so in a glib tone that hinted at unfair treatment, as if he hadn’t done anything wrong. Yeah, nah. Sneaking onto LB’s Facebook (sorry, bro) before setting off on our journey here, I discovered the vast disappointment felt from the Left. A smattering of “Noooo” or “I bet X is laughing, #racism” was the flavour of the platitude passed over the counter, served with a side of emoji.

Why the outrage? All due respect, but Sam Dastyari hadn’t brought anything to the table as far as policy is concerned. He didn’t have a chance to, as he was kicked out of school for transgressions made during the holidays. His exit was confirmed before anyone got to know him. So, if it’s not that we’ve lost a politician for his political acumen, what then? Why was he viewed as the political Princess Diana, as we weep for the opportunities lost, and a man taken all too soon? Well, the foodstuff is key. He became a clickbait legend via the whole Pauline Hanson/Halal Snack Pack fiasco. He pressed Pauline, and Pauline refused, which, in borrowing a mafia term, “got him his button”.

Modern day politics is frequently measured in soundbites, as careers are summed up in the time it takes our devices to buffer, and for that Sam Dastyari is perfect. A career short enough to not be spoiled. He’ll always have that moment, beyond reproach, living on the Internet forever, to be rediscovered in the coming years. Dastyari could be seen as Craig Emerson 2.0, the baggage and merit erased, forever a source for the lolz:

What I’m contending is that what happened yesterday was not a shame, nor was it a tragedy. It was an absolute plus. As the nation’s confidence in the democratic system is at an all-time low, here was a man who broke the rules, went against the party line, and fell for his acts.

The system working to weed out corruption should be the issue, not the bruised feelings soothed by a meaty pun


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