Who’s minding the movie store at the Star?
One has to wonder. Especially after reading exiled Kansas City Star movie critic Robert W. Butler’s story last week about the demise of the founder of the AMC Kansas City FilmFest. A report that came out a handful of days before the newspaper’s watered down version of the tale appeared on Sunday.
"Longtime KC film fest leader steps down," shouts the Star‘s headline. "Jubilee founder Fred Andrews cites health reasons; board promises to continue his mission."
Hold it right there!
I’ve seen some news coverups, but this baby takes the cake.
"Andrews announced his resignation earlier this month, citing uncertainties about his health after a cancer diagnosis two years ago," the Star‘s story says. "Now the organization can move forward ‘without having to possibly scramble if my health situation were to deteriorate,’ he said in an interview."
The Star‘s version of the story is a complete coverup for what it undoubtedly knew had happened.
Andrews was unceremoniously forced to walk the plank, as reported by Butler on butlercinemascene.com.
"Andrews said he recently was approached by a long-time associate of the Jubilee ‘who told me I needed to step down. I’d have preferred it to be handled differently, in a conversation rather than an ultimatum,’ " Butler reports. "A few hours after the meeting Andrews elaborated, saying that he was told ‘that I needed to step down or be voted out’ and that if not for his health he would have fought his ouster."
As recently as mid-late April KCTV 5 quoted Andrews as being excited about this year’s filmfest.
"Andrews is fighting cancer, but said he feels as healthy now as ever," reads KCTV’s report. " ‘I’ve still got cancer,’ he said. ‘It’s not going away. So this is one way of dealing with it.’ "
Butler may have fallen asleep during the dramatic battle scenes in Transformers 2 but he sure as heck didn’t doze off and miss the battle scene in this local movie biz soap.
As have readers of the Star’s vaunted Sunday A E Section.
Will the newspaper come cleanand run a correction or followup story to avoid getting off on the wrong foot with its spanking new publisher? We’ll see.