Tag Archives: Niagara Falls Reporter

Maziarz in the Niagara Falls Reporter

22 Jul
Down They Go, Horseshoe Falls in Winter, Niagara Falls, Canada (DTB_0134)

Photo by Daniel Novak via AV Photo Daily Flickr Group

The founder and Californian former editor of the now-gynophobic Niagara Falls Reporter, has only good things to say about his friend, Senator George Maziarz, who is retiring under a cloud of suspicion.  Maziarz is under federal investigation for allegedly converting campaign funds to personal use

No one doubts that Maziarz is a personable guy or that his office was excellent at constituent service. The question is whether he misappropriated campaign money. Lucky for Maziarz, he’s got $1 million in campaign funds that he can use to hire excellent criminal defense counsel

The Reporter‘s founder is very self-righteous about corrupt politicians, except the ones he likes. For instance, you’ll likely not find a less corrupt politician than Paul Dyster, yet he is savagely attacked on a weekly basis for the crime of trying to do right by a horribly troubled city. While the Reporter almost single-handedly led to former Mayor Aniello’s indictment and conviction on election fraud (accepting a $40,000 sweetheart “loan” from a Niagara County businessman), it has nothing at all negative to say about Maziarz and the allegations against him. Any other pol would be savagely pilloried. 

Either way, Mike Hudson moved 3,000 miles away, and although his byline occasionally appears in the Reporter, he’s divested himself from any Niagara or WNY worry. 

Oh, and there’s also this, from Maziarz’s latest campaign disclosure

You know, when I was writing nice things about Jon Powers, it was because I supported him and his platform. I gave money to him – not the other way around. 

The Niagara Falls Reporter and Gynophobia

19 Nov

Michael Calleri was, until recently, the film critic for the Niagara Falls Reporter. Last week, Roger Ebert published an eye-opening article that Calleri penned, explaining why his association with the Reporter had recently ended

As recently as five years ago, the Reporter was not just a well-respected paper, but one that outperformed the Niagara Gazette in exposing crime, graft, and scandal in the Niagara Frontier. The paper underwent a deep change in 2008 as it began becoming the story, rather than reporting stories. Its publisher was pushed out and at least one reporter – Dave Staba – left and the entire operation became clouded in accusations and countercharges of journalistic and financial irresponsibility.  That descent was further exacerbated by its founding editor’s alcoholism; he has since moved to California, gone to rehab, and rediscovered the joy of music.

The Reporter‘s transformation from a must-read into a trainwreck was completed when a new publisher acquired it a few years ago. Frank Parlato is no stranger to western New York political writing, nor to scandal. Former Buffalo-area columnist for the Buffalo Beat/Blue Dog and AltPress, Dick Kern, wrote numerous columns accusing Parlato of having run a massive house-flipping operation on Buffalo’s east side. Kern alleged that Parlato would buy dilapidated homes, make minor cosmetic improvements, engage in a bait-and-switch to a worse home, find lenders, and the new homeowners would be stuck with homes in need of serious repairs that they could ill afford.  

Parlato, Illuzzi, Tony Farina, and Glenn Gramigna were like the four nebbishy horsemen of paid advertorial phony journalism in the late 90s and early aughts, and they’re still at it. Illuzzi’s dead, but the other three are still, to this day, writing for each other’s various ventures. More often than not, they’re merely parroting others’ talking points, acting as useful idiots for different politicians’ agendas. Parlato, however, has become the story in Niagara Falls with his constant antagonism with the state, city, and Seneca Nation over his recent ownership and operation of the depressing “One Niagara” flashcube building near the Rainbow Bridge; Hooker/Oxy’s former local offices. He ran into trouble with taxes, and then complained that he was being treated differently than the tax-free Senecas. He wasn’t holding the tax money in escrow in order to make a legal point; he just paid them whenever he felt like it. 

Parlato’s opaque real estate experience aside, he now publishes and “edits” a weekly newspaper. In the short time Parlato has run the Niagara Falls Reporter, it has accelerated its descent into irrelevance; a shadow of its former muckracking self. For his part, Parlato holds archaic, shocking opinions about women in contemporary American society. To call it misogyny isn’t strong enough; it’s gynophobia. Calleri’s article highlights Parlato’s gynophobia, goes into some detail about Reporter founder Mike Hudson’s west coast whereabouts, and the paper’s slow devolution into an outlet for a group of people with money and hateful agendas. 

Back in July, the Reporter made national news by publishing what amounted to hate speech by its “sports columnist” Lenny Palumbo.

I wrote about that episode here, and explained that, “[t]he ways in which the passage above is offensive are many, but to suggest that gays are not manly, or are emasculated; and to contrast the desirability of fighting versus homosexuality are idiotic and ignorant. Chances are, there are plenty of gay guys who could beat the living crap out of the author, so I fail to see the validity of the argument.

Since that paper got a new publisher with a regressive attitude towards women and who expounds on “manliness”, this sort of thing is to be expected.

Expected, indeed. Calleri’s article details that Parlato began censoring his movie reviews; removing some, refusing to post new ones. Parlato explained why in a shocking email to Calleri (all [sic]). 

Michael; I know you are committed to writing your reviews, and put a lot of effort into them. it is important for you to have the right publisher. i may not be it. i have a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me. snow white and the huntsman is such a film. when my boys were young i would never have allowed them to go to such a film for i believe it would injure their developing manhood. if i would not let my own sons see it, why would i want to publish anything about it?

snow white and the huntsman is trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles. 

I don’t want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta.

where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females. 

i believe in manliness. 

not even on the web would i want to attach my name to snow white and the huntsman except to deconstruct its moral rot and its appeal to unmanly perfidious creeps. 

i’m not sure what headhunter has to offer either but of what I read about it it sounds kind of creepy and morally repugnant. 

with all the publications in the world who glorify what i find offensive, it should not be hard for you to publish your reviews with any number of these. 

they seem to like critiques from an artistic standpoint without a word about the moral turpitude seeping into the consciousness of young people who go to watch such things as snow white and get indoctrinated to the hollywood agenda of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena -like men, cum eunuchs. 

the male as lesser in courage strength and power than the female. 

it may be ok for some but it is not my kind of manliness. 

If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these. 

i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles. 

i don’t want to associate the Niagara Falls Reporter with the trash of Hollywood and their ilk. 

it is my opinion that hollywood has robbed america of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state. 

now i realize that you have a relationship with the studios etc. and i would have been glad to have discussed this in person with you to help you segue into another relationship with a publication but inasmuch as we spent 50 minutes on the phone from paris i did not want to take up more of your time. 

In short i don’t care to publish reviews of films that offend me. 

if you care to condemn the filmmakers as the pandering weasels that they are…. true hyenas.

i would be interested in that….

Frank

Weird. Weirder still is that it’s an email that a newspaper publisher in western New York wrote to his film critic. But all the talk of eunuchs, weasels, hyena-men – “manliness“. That’s the central theme. Do you spend a whole lot of time worrying about your “manliness” or anyone else’s “manliness”? I don’t much consider whether society is friendly or antagonistic to “manliness”, and I’m not at all threatened by females or feminism. 

Not so, Parlato. In fact, demanding that females be subservient to man is his very ethos. 

A few years ago, I first became aware of a Parlato-run site called “Manmaking.com“. It went away for a time, but it’s back online now, with a bizarre image:

Click to enlarge

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. 

But if you go into Archive.org’s waybackmachine, you can find what Parlato’s “Manmaking” site is really about. Parlato is a follower of a turn-of-the-last-century guru named Swami Vivekananda, who apparently wrote much about “manliness“, and who practiced a form of celibacy known as “brahmacharya“. This practice doesn’t just demand abstinence from sexual contact or activity; it more specifically prohibits any voluntary release of semen. Through mental discipline, the adherent is supposed to reach a state whereby he loses all sexual desire, and keeping his semen inside him is supposed to make him more spiritual or holy or some such nonsense. 

Like his hero Vivekananda, Parlato has a “condescending” “contempt” for contemporary women. Whereas the Swami was upset at Hindu women’s lack of independence, Parlato has more specifically adopted the “ideal of the de-eroticized woman as a mother figure and [condemns] the sexual female as an ogre and an exteriorizing and fettering element – an impediment to the realization of the divine.” 

 On the front page of the former Manmaking.com is the following introductory passage (all [sic]): 

Are you unmanly, cowardly, weak? This site may help you to be strong, to preserve the manly fire within, to look upward, to hold your breath, and gain strength, to go out into the world with absolute courage, to shut off that filthy television set which promotes effiminate behavior, to stop looking inordinately at the body of woman with greedy, weak and sickening lustful eyes and be a man, a giver of strength to one and all. Be chaste and come and rule nature, inner and outer.

Are you depressed, lacking in vigor, failing to succeed? Then stop your filthy habits at once. Stop groveling at the feet of woman. Banish this weakness of the knees. A brave man never bends the knees. Be celibate. Be chaste, and you’ll never be weak.

Parlato has a big problem with popular culture and the way in which it promotes “coward-dog” behavior over the “manly”. Here, Parlato compared song lyrics for their relative manliness. Some of the worst songs include “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones, James Brown’s “Sex Machine”, and especially the Kinks’ “Lola”. Parlato reprints some of the lyrics and then intersperses them with his own commentary. For instance, 

In 1996, he did a similar “analysis” of Green Day lyrics in the pages of the Buffalo News. By contrast, decent lyrics include “Jingle Jangle Jingle” (the protagonist likes being single), “I Love You” by Cole Porter, “Volare” by Domenico Modugno, and a few songs by the Beatles and Elton John.  The manliest man lyrics, however, include “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head”, and that’s it. B.J. Thomas’ 1970 hit is the manliest song in existence because the protagonist won’t cry or something

What is a man? The website merely contains two Schopenhauer quotes; one about women, one about fatherhood. On the issue of brahmacharya, Parlato explains why the voluntary release of seminal fluid is bad

Continence is the essence of spiritual life. ‘Of all austerities, the practice of continence is supreme. He who practices it is verily a god, not a man.’ The illumined knowledge of Brahman comes naturally to a person who practices continence for thirty-two years. He who wastes this energy falls from the spiritual path and becomes dissipated.

A walk through the anachronistic depravity of Parlato’s manmaking site reveals why he rejected Calleri’s review of “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Women are to be subservient and controlled by men. Parlato rejects any notion of a strong female who isn’t controlled and “beta” to her “alpha” male. Permitting women to exercise their rights, their brains, and their individuality isn’t “courageous” or “manly”. The “hyena” reference in Parlato’s email to Calleri? Manmaking.com explains what that means. Following this link, Parlato tried to use animals at the Buffalo Zoo to construct a metaphor for his thinking. Parlato was impressed by the lions’ patriarchy:

So little time has passed when men were pridefully compared to lions. But what the eviscerators failed to note as they came mincingly to our town, and to our nation and told how we are diminished, our manly strength of little purpose, our values: to be less of courage, than lust, the metro-sexual’s effeminate ideal: to trade dignity and freedom for safety and comfort – as they tried to tame the wild, there is a place beyond where it cannot be so. Where it is never so: There is a home for heroes.

In answer to the lioness’s last stupendous roar, he but looked it seemed to the tip of his nose.  This was after all a lion. Then he dropped his voice a full octave lower than her last and roared a lion’s roar that shook the night. Easily too it overwhelmed all the other roars before it and broke the stillness as if it was a bombshell exploding. The sound rustled through the trees, out into to the tame, and urban landscape — orderly, effete, dissipated — and called, “remember me? Remember?

At the Buffalo zoo at dusk, a lion roared lower and loudest, beyond what any lioness could have equaled. 
And if it were the silent night, in places where lions run free, it would have echoed across the windswept veldt, down the rushing river, to be carried to the sea where all things merge. It would have been known to the wild:  a lion is on the move tonight. 

Nothing complete until the king had spoken, the lioness seemed satisfied with his final roar. She was now silence, herself. There was no more roaring – as if he had given the final satisfactory answer.

But the Hyenas – they are ruled by the females:  

Earlier that day, I had seen hyenas in a pen where females rule. With final yelp they nip their weaker mates and bloody them. In the kingdom of the lion, there is no yelping. Nor does he tremble at noises. 

In the silence, below the clouds, obscured by darkness, obscuring the silver, lonely stars, and obscured in turn by leaves of trees, whether maple or the banyan, spreading branches blended into night, satisfied, I turned to go. 

Each is great unto himself, no doubt, yet to me, it is the lion. Never hyenas. Although gathering in packs around us, remember, it takes but one lion to stave them all off. 

I shall meditate on the lion’s heart tonight.

Pro forma: Parlato is free, of course, to believe whatever he wants. Absent physical or mental abuse, he is free to think whatever he wants of women and feminism, however archaic or offensive. Indeed, he is free to run his newspaper however he wants and to print whatever he wants in there. Certainly the Constitution prohibits the government from in any way interfering with what he prints, but the community in western New York should know who’s printing what “news” in the Niagara Falls ReporterHis conceit is so strong, he runs a website called “Journalism101”, consisting mostly of paid full-page advertisements he took out in the Reporter to advance his agendas before he bought the paper outright.

Parlato has completely taken over the Reporter, and has even begun printing certain Vivekananda writings each week. His latest issue prints some hateful non-sequitur about Lady Gaga, complete with made-up “quotes” from the singer, and the author’s fixation on semen. It should hardly come as a surprise that Parlato’s cover story last week included interviews with three crack-addicted prostitutes – women who are mentally and physically dependent on substances; on men. Women who are at the lowest societal rung where, as Parlato believes, they belong.

Within Ebert’s article’s comments section, Parlato (apparently) assails Calleri

I don’t know what any of this has to do with running a newspaper or journalism. It seems to me to be proselytization, using the Reporter‘s former good name and reputation as cover. Calleri’s revelations about Parlato and the Reporter may come as a shock to some. Unfortunately, Parlato’s gynophobia is nothing new, and deeply ingrained in his belief system. Now that he owns a newspaper, look forward to seeing him use it to proselytize against women, feminism, and “cowardly” “dog” men. He’s already begun.

The Real Mike Hudson

16 Nov

You might remember our friend Mike Hudson, Editor of The Niagara Falls Reporter, author and wannabe mafioso.  He was a frequent commenter here at WNYMedia until he became so incredibly abusive and hostile to other readers that we had to ban him from the website.  Mike is well-known for his love of the drink and his, umm, colorful language.

After being dealt with here and after persistent scandals regarding his involvement with Steve Pigeon and other unsavory local political characters, Hudson seemingly disappeared from our view.  Well, Mike resurfaced in all his drunken glory on something called the Niagara Broadcast Network, which appears to be some sort of horrible imitation of an online radio talk show.

Hudson showed up drunk (tall boy in hand) and proceeded to set a new low, even for himself.  He’s like a sad combination of Morris Buttermaker and Ben Sanderson.  During his appearance, he told Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster to blow him, claimed to be a vampire, threatened to shoot his co-host in the face, spit on the floor, called some guy a dago/guinea, and sought to ejaculate into a coffee cup.

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Good times.

Next time you read a “scoop” in Hudson’s weekly flyer, remember this video.

Changing Times Meet the Press on WNED-AM Radio

2 Apr

WNED‘s Mark Leitner interviewed me as part of his series on the media today. Here, you can listen to what Artvoice’s Jamie Moses, the Niagara Falls Reporter’s Mike Hudson, and I had to say about the state of newspapers in this day and age.

Pigeons with Tentacles

28 Oct

Given this silly hobby of mine, Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly is my hero. I only wish I had his patience, investigative, and reporting skills, but if I did, I still couldn’t look into and write about the Steve Pigeon / Responsible New York controversy like he has.

First, I want to point out this post he did, examining information provided about Pigeon and RNY by Hoyt ally Jeremy Toth to the relevant District Attorneys. It’s become a somewhat-regular series now, “Chasing Pigeon”.

Here, Kelly reports about the Republican BOE Commissioner’s entry into the Pigeon chase. The upshot of all of this seems to be that Pigeon plays really, really fast and loose with NYS Election Law, and some of his nonsense is now getting some strict scrutiny now because of the opponents it’s affecting, and the vast sums at play.

Now, I am a firm believer in the notion that karma is a bitch. We can all remember when Bob McCarthy wrote up Jack Davis’ half-truths about Jon Powers’ War Kids Relief. In his curious, inexplicable hatred of Powers, Niagara Falls Reporter editor Mike Hudson vouched for McCarthy as a “fine reporter“.

Hudson also said McCarthy was “legit news media“, and therefore accurate until some other “legit news” source somehow reported differently.

To date, I have yet to see any non-biased “legit news” source rebut the charges made in McCarthy’s article about Hudson’s Pigeon connection, so I am concluding – based on Hudson’s own criteria with War Kids Relief – that it must be true. Hudson also vouched for McCarthy’s accuracy here, and here, even going so far as to praise McCarthy’s “fine piece of journalism”.

Yet now, all of a sudden, Hudson has reserved a special ire for McCarthy, criticizing the News’ political reporter for not doing a story about Golisano’s big donation to Niagara U. Artvoice asks,

I wonder why Hudson thinks a political reporter like McCarthy should write about a donation to a university? What was wrong with Jay Rey’s front-page, above-the-fold Buffalo News story on October 8? Was that insufficient coverage of the gift?

Heh.

We all know that a recent Bob McCarthy article accused the Niagara Falls Reporter of being a new addition to Pigeon’s payroll. Specifically, the charge was made that Pigeon and RNY paid not just for ads, but for editorial content. It’s all very Illuzziesque indeed. Evidently, the story doesn’t end there, and Artvoice picks it up:

At the shareholders meeting in which Battaglia was fired, Hudson acknowledged that Pigeon had in fact paid for an extra press run and expanded distribution of an edition sporting a cover story about Hoyt’s affairs with interns. (At least, that was the cover in Buffalo—the papers distributed in Niagara Falls that week had a Mayor Paul Dyster on the cover. Hudson claimed Pigeon had not paid for the extra expense for printing separate covers.) Responsible New York, the committee funded by Golisano and directed by Pigeon, supports Mesi and opposed Hoyt in his primary against Barbra Kavanaugh. So Pigeon’s motive in picking up the tab is clear.

I’m no professional newsman, but is it normal for a political operative of an unauthorized committee to buy a customized, extra run of a periodical?

Leave aside whatever petty cash Pigeon has thrown Hudson’s way for advertisements, extra papers, and extended distribution. There’s no crime there except against journalistic sensibilities.

But that provision of the election law suggests that Responsible New York should itemize and reports payouts over $10,000 by limited liability corporations like Landen Associates (a consulting firm controlled by Pigeon), which spent $93,103 of Golisano’s money on print ads in the last month alone. And what about New York Media Strategies (controlled by Pigeon associate Jack O’Donnell), which has spent $1,286,000 of Golisano’s money in the last month on TV advertising? Certainly some of those expenditures exceeded $10,000.

The law allows Responsible New York to file itemized breakdowns of its consultants’ spending on behalf of candidates after the election, but don’t count on that happening: This section of New York election law is routinely ignored. (A source at the local board of elections said Eliot Spitzer was the only candidate to have complied in recent years.) And Responsible New York did not file such reports after the September’s primary election, as the law requires.

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.