The Media’s Rehabilitation of Treasonous Senator Sam Dastayari Has Begun

“I don’t want pity. I don’t want forgiveness. But I would love to stop hating myself.”

Sam Dastayari literally committed treasonous acts against Australia and its people during his time in parliament. Now, just 8 months after his resignation, the country’s Mainstream Media have initiated the rehabilitation of his image using soft profiles and a sob story straight out of an emo teenager’s diary. I would love to stop hating myself, is the media’s sympathetic quote of choice. What the hell does that even mean?

“I’ve done every drug under the sun”, reads another Daily Telegraph headline about Dastyari, whom they proclaim is “opening up for the first time”. Six days… I didn’t leave my bedroom, Dastyari said about the days immediately after resigning. Speaking to Newscorp’s Joe Hildebrand, Dastyari even revealed a “secret plan” to become the Premier of New South Wales.

Pushed on why even as a party official he had cultivated such questionable relationships, Dastyari said it was simply a fact of political life.
You’d be naive to think party machines aren’t (run like that),” he said.
“They just are. And I think that’s the fundamental thing. The question I have to ask myself is how do you not stop and see these things, these red lights, how do you just run through them?
“Maybe, part of it was probably the culture I was brought up in, part of it was inexperience, part of it was naivety.

If I sound uncaring it’s because I am. As a millennial who Dastyari primarily seeks to appeal to with his shallow and cringeworthy infusion of personal politics into organic millennial memes such as the Halal Snack Pack phenomenon, I have never understood why the media saw him as the future of the Labor party. He always seemed to me like the awkward childless uncle trying desperately to cling to some cultural totem he can use to relate to the kids at Christmas.

You can see this perception of Sam by the Media Elites as a bridge between them and the common people quite plainly. It was on full display when this Media Rehabilitation was first focus-tested in a spot on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, one of Australia’s most popular radio programs. Dastyari came along to enlighten the audience with his revelation about how the government is collecting absurd levels of taxes from consumers on alcohol (I’m aware taxes are too high Sam, that’s why I would never vote for the Labor Party.)

There should be no sympathy afforded to politicians rightfully ejected from Parliament for political corruption, much less when they are using a supposed mental illness as a crutch to soften their fall for the promotion of their new show. I’m sure Harvey Weinstein is very depressed about having his name sullied too, and in a much more global fashion, but he can rot for all I care. We should reject absolutely the top-down imposition of sympathy for a traitor to our country.

Dastyari describes his new show, Disgrace!, premiering next Sunday on Channel Ten, as his “therapy” aiming to discover if and how a publicly disgraced person can live a normal life”.

You know how Sam might have been able to find the answer to that question, if that really was his aim?

By remaining out of the media spotlight where people actually live normal lives. Unfortunately, to slink away into the humble obscurity he would have found had he let a little more time go by would have been just too much for the perpetual class clown that is Shanghai Sam.


Pop and Locke is a libertarian-traditionalist popular culture and politics blog bringing you news, opinions, analysis and reviews that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for Western political and philosophical tradition and a fascination with our increasingly wacky popular culture.

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