They're At It Again

by Simo

Just when you get to thinking the worst is over, shit like this happens: Fur Fetishists 'just nature lovers'. The tone of this whole article reminds me of this fiasco: Battalion Article on Furry. There's just one difference here: that Battalion article was written by immature college boys. This article appeared in what's supposed to be a reputable journal.

I don't know what in the hell they're teaching in what passes for journalism classes these days, but you'd figure that the first day of the first class they would go over the case of Dan Rather. He got caught using faked documents in an attempt to smear George W. Bush. He got caught because that document got posted to the whole wide world, and someone happened to see something that was fishy. It doesn't matter that this article was published in some obscure journal from some country half way 'round the world that 90% of the PaL couldn't find on a map to save their lives. Doesn't matter that New Zealand has a miniscule Furry community, not when you upload it for the whole world to see. Getting away with sloppy reporting is a thing of the past.

The underground subculture phenomenon of furries - those who like to dress up in furry animal costumes and role play - has gone global, entering at least the fringes of mainstream consciousness with an appearance on an episode of the American TV series Entourage and, more recently, a popular episode of CSI.

No: The "Fur and Loathing" episode of CSI aired at the end of October, 2003 -- that is not "recent"!

"Somewhat bemused, I find myself at a typical Christchurch suburban home on a Tuesday night interviewing a husband and wife who just happen to be clad in a wolf and a rabbit costume, respectively"...

There's a knock at the door and we are joined for the interview by a donkey, a chicken and a fox. Bewildered as to the niceties required in this situation, I attempt to shake paws. Awkward.

Nobody wants to use real names and all are in costumes.

Furries always wear fursuits all the time. "Sexy Kitty" didn't want to take off the costume even when hauled to the police station. There's just one problem here: we don't do that! It was a TV show, not a documentary. Most Furries don't have fursuits, and those who do don't wear them to every con event, and certainly not while at home, just in case some reporter happens to drop by for an interview. This looks suspiciously like taking CSI way too seriously.

Mr Wolf, as he insists on being called, puts a paw across my knee and says he is happy to label himself a "furvert".

I remove his paw firmly while mentally adding it to the list of reasons I need a pay rise.

His wife, who is known to family and friends affectionately as "Bunny", dislikes the kinky assumptions about their animal wear.

She dislikes kinky assumptions, but has no problem with her husband's coming on to some strange female? OK, whatever.

"Online, there are many chatroom threads devoted to the subject of "fursecution" - many furries have lost their jobs after talking to the media".

Yeah, may be it happened, but they had only themselves to blame for that, based on some of the stuff that some Furs have said in front of cameras and reporters, I'm surprised more haven't lost jobs and a whole lot more. This is not a common problem, nor is "fursecution" a hot topic on Furry forums.

The donkey admits to being caught "in flagrante delicto" with a dragon and being questioned by police before being allowed to drive home, in full costume, after a fur party in 2006.

"It was a party where the drinking got out of hand," Donkey explains.

In New Zealand you can apparently throw parties so wild that the police come, but let everyone go their way, and drive home while wearing a fursuit that severely compromises vision. It would also appear that DWI is legal there too. I can see how you might have been confused, but here in the 'States we drive on the right side of the road. Rocky Raccoon was the passenger, not the driver, and Furries don't drive while wearing their costumes, nor would that be legal.

As we are saying our farewells in the driveway - and I have finally escaped the leery octopus-like paws of Mr Wolf - Chicken confesses, "It's hard enough to find love, let alone trying to find love when you're a furry. I'm just a little chicken in a big, big world."

I felt rather sorry for this lonely chicken as he got into his car and drove off.

And another one drives off while still in costume.

The material for this article looks like it was taken from the infamous CSI episode, plagarized from that Vanity Fair article, and probably from Loaded as well. It's all there: furry is a "fetish", the confusion of therianthropy with Furry, the misfit, social loser Furry. The supposed Furries here seem as genuine as those documents Dan Rather presented. It hardly seems credible, and looks very suspicious. And some reporters actually wonder why Furs don't want to talk to them, or why cons refuse to let them in.

Happy (Sort of) Ending

The retraction: Not a Furry Figment of My Imagination. Hopefully, this will teach this reporter a lesson -- one that she should have learned before ever leaving journalism school. Simple things like knowing your sources and cross checking your facts. Those little things that would have made the first article like the second, and made damage control and embarrassing retractions unnecessary. Hopefully, it's not too little, too late to undo the damage that first article did.

Since the publication of the article, she has gotten a lot of... "hate" mail regarding the alledged interview, and therefore been in contact with various people over the matter to gain a fairer representation. Pete and "Dragon", Ant (I am sure most of us knows him), and finally myself. Seeing as I was in the area, she really wanted to have an actual person that's local to do the interview for the follow up article.

Now everyone knows talking to the press is a bad idea, especially when the topic is furry and "sex and orgies" but seeing as we have crossed that bridge and "Pandora's Box" have been opened, claiming it doesn't exist as a rebuttal but refusing to actually let them conduct a "fairer" interview would just make things well, go nowhere.

Anyhow, I met up with Vicki at their makeshift offices by Christchurch Airport (since the earthquake) earlier this evening to "set things straight" as she calls it.

-- Flayrah

There's a lesson in there for you: you don't have to take it. See an article like the one that appeared in The Press, complain about it! If you don't come across as a whacko, if you handle yourself in a professional manner, who knows? You just might get satisfaction.

Now would be a good time to review this article: Media Relations for the Furry. Even though Furdom has gotten a lot of good press these past few years, you never know if/when they'll revert to form. It is always a good idea to consider very carefully getting involved with reporters, either print or visual. Know who you're dealing with, and for fuck's sake, watch what you say.

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