I am no friend for hire

For someone who considers themselves a closeted anti-social, I must applaud myself for fooling people believing the contrary.
I may have roughly 300 Facebook friends, a couple hundred Twitter followers and less than a 100 Instagram followers, but I can confidently say only 5 of them are my close friends.
I take in pride in keep as few friends as possible, because that means the fewer problems for me. I won’t have to intervene because one doesn’t like the other or one feels neglected or one feels like the pariah of my group.
All my closest friends are close friends to one another, and they are the most frank emotional terrorists I have ever had the displeasure of being associated with.
When you need someone to caress your ego over some ludicrous situation where you are evidently the one at fault, you will do well to find a homeless bum to confide in, they offer no nonsensical refuge.
Still, I adore them, and could not imagine my life without any of them. I only bring this up because as a journalist I have come to find that the people I encounter in my line of work seem to misconstrue the nature of our relationship.
I am cordial, and sometimes I indulge their infuriating antics for the sole purpose of completing the task at hand at the best of my abilities.
However, they think this means that we are the best of friends, rendering me indefinitely indebted to them and have no right to refuse their requests.
On many occasions, I have been approached by people who were dismayed at the thought that I had written a negative story on them because “friends” and such I can only say nice things about them.
Take note, they are only your friends when they want something from you, flattering you from here to Timbuktu in hopes of getting their way.
Musicians, painters, photographers and artists of all genres would shamelessly ask you to “spice up” a review and use your magic touch to give them a blowjob on work that they know would make cow dung look like a Michelangelo masterpiece.
Have you ever considered that if it was not for my line of work our paths would never have crossed, and if they did, chances are we would never be friends?
A friend would never ask me to betray my ethics and compromise my work just to make them look like something they are not.
My first and only interest, were my work is concerned, is to be honest to the public, to give them information they would otherwise have no access to, not to lead them astray like sheep to the slaughter, we have politicians for that.
I know there are some journalists who are more taken with the romanticism that comes with being friends with “celebrities” and by default socialites.
I, my dearest acquaintance (for lack of a better word), am not one of those people. I have my eye on the prize, and that prize does not include winning the favour of every Tom, Dick and Maria, who thinks they have talent.
A word to the wise, if you work is that good, it will speak for itself and you will have no reason to ask me to make you look good.