EXCLUSIVE - The Press Conference Q&A They Didn't Broadcast
Sam: Thank you, thank you all so much for being here. Thank you so very, very much. Thank you everyone. I want to assure you I will answer every question, no holds barred. I can’t thank you all enough for being here. Thank you again. Thank you, thank you…thank you….thank you….
Media throng: Sam, Sam..Sam…Sam…Sam…
Sam: I know, I know, I know…first question…Malcolm…Malcolm Farr.
Malcolm Farr: Maaaaate….mate…mate….mate…clearly - and thankfully - your integrity hasn’t been compromised. Could you explain to us the benefits of Japanese investment in our parliamentarians especially in regard to our national interest?
Sam: Thank you so much for your question, Malcolm. As hard-hitting as it is, I am not going to shy away from it. Let me be very clear, I stand by Labor Party policy in regard to the South China Sea. Any more questions before we wrap up?
Sam: Please, please…one at a time…Malcolm? Malcolm Farr.
Malcolm Farr: Thanks again, mate. Bearing in mind that your integrity has not been compromised, and I say that as an independently minded senior Canberra journalist with his finger on the pulse of community standards…
Andrew Clennell: Oh…FFS…get ya hand off it, Farr.
Malcolm Farr: Right, you’re blocked, Clennell. And that goes for anybody else who steps out of line.
Sam: Look…look…I appreciate what you’re saying, Malcolm…and let me be very clear, I stand by Labor Party policy in regard to the South China Sea.
Malcolm Farr: What are your thoughts on Pauline Hanson? She doesn’t like Asians, you know.
Sam: Thank you again, Malcolm. In regard to Pauline Hanson I’ve invited her to dine with me on a Chinese Snack Pack when we can discuss my complete support for Labor Party policy in regard to the South China Sea.
Andrew Clennell: What a load of horse shit. Could you two get a friggin’ room? Sam, why did you support China in contradiction of your party after you asked a Chinese businessman with direct links to the Chinese government to pay a personal bill if you do indeed support Labor policy?
Sam: I misspoke.
Clennell: Misspoke? WTF is that? Misspoke? What, did you trip over and wrong words just accidentally fell out…?
Sam: Malcolm? Malcolm….?
Malcolm Farr: Here I am, mate…here I am…
Sam: You were saying, Malcolm…
Malcolm Farr: As a junior Senator, still learning the ropes…(oh hang on, that’s what I gave to Bill…)…
Sam: I’m only 33 you know.
Malcolm Farr: I know, mate. Pretty unfair of everyone to expect you, at your tender age, to not have accepted payment from a Chinese businessman in return for support. These things can take a lifetime to get right.
Sam: I promise to work very hard to not get caught in future.
Malcolm Farr: Wouldn’t expect any less from you, mate.
Sam: Any other questions?
Malcolm Farr: Yes.
Malcolm Farr: Did you know Pauline Hanson doesn’t like Muslims? She wants to ban them from coming into the country.
Sam: Malcolm, if we cast ourselves back to the early 1980s when my Iranian parents applied for refugee status in Australia, a 5 year old Sam Dastyari with the word 'Muslim' next to his name would not have been allowed to come to Australia, and I would never have had the opportunity to use the Australian democratic process to get into a position to even ask a Chinese businessman over a Chinese Snack Pack to pay my personal bills. What a terrible tragedy would that have been - denying a 5 year old Sam Dastyari such an opportunity.
Malcolm Farr: Fair point, mate.
Leigh Sales: Sam…
Sam: Oh no, not you.
Leigh Sales: We did ask you to come on the program, but you haven’t replied.
Sam: I misspoke.
Leigh: No, you just didn’t reply.
Sam: That’s my answer.
Leigh: Answer to what?
Sam: Your question.
Leigh: I haven’t asked it yet.
Sam: But when you do…that’s the answer.
Leigh: I was going to ask you why you asked a Chinese businessman to pay a personal debt, and then support China while contradicting your party.
Sam: I support Labor policy in regard to the South China Sea.
Leigh: So you misspoke.
Sam: I misspoke.
Leigh: So in future how do we know when you misspeak and when you...err....un-misspeak...?
Sam: That’s for me to know and for you to find out.
Leigh: That’s a bit childish.
Sam: Well, I’m only 33.
Sam: Look, everyone, I think I’ve answered everyone’s questions. We're only going around in circles now. Thank you all for coming…thank you…and if anyone has any more questions I want to make it perfectly clear I support Labor policy in regard to the South China Sea. Thank you all again.
Reporter: That’s the problem with these Sam Dastyari press conferences…you have one presser and 10 minutes later you feel like another one.