Some fallout from our story from Friday about BuzzFeed‘s Mark Di Stefano’s claim that he had been offered cocaine at the Walkleys by someone from a union after getting a recruitment pitch. We soon heard that the story has been doing the rounds for some time. Crikey hears Di Stefano’s conduct that night was infamous, mostly because, the rumour goes, after accepting the cocaine, he didn’t join the union. This is an unsubstantiated rumour, and Di Stefano would neither confirm nor deny it this morning.
Most took the whole thing as a massive joke, and we saw plenty of people profess a sudden desire to join the union on Friday afternoon. For its part, though, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance promptly put out a statement shortly after we published calling the account “disturbing and distressing”. The journalists’ union wasn’t mentioned in our story (and Di Stefano’s book doesn’t say which union the official belonged to). MEAA’s statement reads:
“MEAA seeks to uphold high ethical standards in every aspect of our work, and expects that of all employees and officers at all times. Our rules provide for strict sanctions, including expulsion, for anyone found guilty of serious misconduct. If information comes to light which identifies the individual(s) involved, MEAA will take appropriate steps under our rules to deal with them.”
It’s not the only cocaine anecdote in Di Stefano’s book. An extract from the same book about the Liberal election party published over the weekend contains another tale of the white stuff:
“One group had a small bag of coke stored in the back of their room’s TV. It was then racked up using, appropriately, a Medicare card to split the white powder and then hoovered down by young women, clutching at their nostrils.”