Through nearly two decades of writing and talking about movies, I have always had complete freedom of content. I could say and write what I wanted. It was a permanent hallmark. No publisher, no editor, no news director, no show host, no anchorperson ever dictated the terms of my stories to me. They were confident in my knowledge of the subject matter, and they respected my professionalism and expertise. I was always grateful for the experience and their hands-off attitude.
From the flush years of hundreds of screenings and junkets and interviews and a general sense that the world of film was a wonderfully creative realm and that reviewing movies is one of the great gigs, to the present-day with a little less access, fewer screenings (more and more markets are being denied press preview screenings), and a sense that movies are a commodity, I had never once–not once–been told what to write, or about whom to write. Not at the television station where I worked for most of the go-go 1990s, not through 15 years of reviewing on radio, which I still do; not at the local Buffalo weeklies for which I covered the motion picture industry and reviewed films, and not for the quirky website to which I contribute an occasional piece. Never has anyone dictated the terms of the content of my columns to me. Until now.
My relationship with the Niagara Falls Reporter, which was slowly limping into oblivion, ended. It didn’t end because I didn’t do my job. It didn’t end because I missed the weekly deadline, which never happened once over seven years. It ended because a guy who has no professional journalistic experience, and a warped view of humanity, does not like strong women.