Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Another media outlet goes fishing...

Looks like someone from Inside Edition is looking for furries to talk to… Yeah, I’m sure that’ll turn out well. ::slight_smile:

The warning posted by Tenza (@hyoufox on Twitter):

grabs her umbrella in preperation of another shiz-storm

Hmmm. I think it’s tacky to exploit any subgroup for cheap entertainment value. However, if the best representatives of furry refuse to talk to the media, then doesn’t that just increase the chance of furry being misrepresented?

By the way, the San Jose Mercury News did an article about FurCon 2015. It was a really positive article, but it focused almost exclusively on fursuiters: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_27347785/furries-turn-downtown-san-jose-into-wild-kingdom

Point taken, but all media outlets aren’t equal. There’s a big difference between a major (or even minor) newspaper and a tabloid newsmagazine show, and I think furries should carefully consider who they’re choosing to talk to, what that outlet’s reputation is, and what their agenda might be.

Agreed 110%. To be perfectly honest, I’d trust The Stranger (the local free paper here in Seattle) to be more honest in a furry exposé than I ever would Inside Edition. Most media will only use news that sells, and sadly for most that means only looking at the extremists to draw that much more attention to the story proper.

While I certainly agree about “Inside Edition” – they’re not exactly a bastion of thoughtful reporting – Daniel’s point is also well-taken; it’s one I’ve worried about a little with respect to the never talk to the media ever all media is bad rawr line I often hear. Yes, a lot of media is bad; yes, a lot of reporting on furry, particularly in the early 2000s, was terrible. But the practical effect of this is not a reduction in media stories on furries – it’s a reduction in the pool of furries media are going to talk to when they want a story. Our media aversion has, I suspect, made it far more likely that reporters are going to talk to one of the same handful of self-appointed “spokesfurs” we always see – or talk to someone young, inexperienced, and brash who tells them the sort of thing that leads to never talk to the media ever all media is bad rawr.

I agree with this. And I’m a person who has been filmed for documentary on furries. You do want to look out for who’s trying to find the truth and who’s really just wanting some crazy story for kicks. But I find that just trying to freak out and avoid media isn’t helping these days. They’ll either find the fanatics that don’t represent the whole or make up what they can by sneaking around.

There’s already a good base of good media for furries these days and I can point to more than one article, video or tv show. It still seems most people don’t understand what furries are, but it’s improved over the years.

When Nat Geo filmed furries for their Taboo show about “Secret Lives” they filmed for two days straight and ended up only having 5 minutes of footage for the episode. They had beliefs that all furries had suits and that furries acted like animals all the time. They left disappointed.

I do find that the general drama llama of freaking out because yet another media source wants to know about furries is getting a bit tiresome though.

I think I remember that episode. Didn’t they also interview a woman who used a dog bowl for her food, or something like that? Although they didn’t get the extreme behavior they were looking for, they still only showed the most extreme they could get. If I’m remembering the same program, of course.

I think in this case the freaking out is due to the outlet in question, not just the aspect of it being a media source that wants to interview furries. I should probably also note that in this particular case, I know Tenza personally, and he’s not prone to that kind of drama without there being some decent reason for it. :slight_smile:

I was present when a very damaging and negative furry media event was filmed early in the fandom’s history, and I’ll never either forget it or cease reminding others of the danger. People are hurt by these things, sometimes in unexpected and profound ways. As long as I live, after that, I’ll do as much as I can to prevent further damage. It’s called “learning from mistakes”.

I recognize that positive media contact is possible. But… Even then I think the benefits are highly overrated.

Would you care to elaborate on what said event was, Rabbit?

To avoid hurting feelings and dredging up ancient history… No, it’s better not to.

My issue is if all we do is holler and sound the alarm every time a media outlet comes looking to find out more about the fandom, in the long run we’re not helping anyone. People have misrepresentations about the fandom because they aren’t able to find the facts. People should be cautious but they shouldn’t be afraid. If we just become a holed off society who bars enter (when any one can enter), we’re just letting them tell whatever stories they want about us.

What we need is to educate people about being cautious about media, what to watch out for if they do ask questions, what is safe to say, and when someone’s just fishing for a smear campaign. But if all we do is sound the alarm, shut our doors and windows and hide from the ‘monster’ that everyone declares the media is… well we have enough stories already about townsfolk who feel the only action is to avoid the monster that keeps knocking on their door, and it never ends well for them.

Well… I see this specific example as intelligent alarm-sounding. I (and others like me, many of whom have learned the same hard lessons) don’t complain every time a con chair talks to the local media, etc. If this were the case, then I think your point might well be in order. But here, one specific media-related item is in question, and to the best of my knowledge the media people involved have an unsavory and untrustworthy reputation. The fandom has unquestionably been victimized by unscrupulous media types many times. So what’s wrong with Poetigress-- or anyone else-- posting a warning about the situation? I mean… Should we not sound the alarm when it appears to us that “someone is just fishing for a smear campaign?”

For what it’s worth, I’ve also had a positive media experience. This is no way makes me any less eager to avoid the negative ones.

I think that’s the biggest thing though. Consider the one doing the interviewing/editing. Even if a thousand of us good ol’e boys talked to them, telling them of all the benefits of the fandom, all the money we’ve raised to help our furry friends, point out that most of us are just regular folks with an interest that- for most- isn’t even sexual, even if we shined the brightest light on the most outstanding (in a good way) members of our community, the editors are still going to be the ones to pick and choose what stories make the news. If there’s even just one percent extremists in that thousand good ol’e boys, for a group like this, chances are the ONLY stories they’ll show are the extremists, if not find a way to take out of context and twist the words of the non-extremists. The latter can completely destroy a person’s life. I’ve heard of folks getting fired because their company thought (no evidence provided) they were a ‘beastial freak’. Let’s not even get into the relationships with friends and family.

If this was the Stranger, or some group that could be counted on to look at the stories non-biasedly, than yes, let’s jump on that. When it’s a group that can’t be trusted, and is so unreliable, sometimes the best thing to do is duck and cover and wait for them to pass.

Apparently Inside Edition went to FC, was denied permission to film, and then filmed undercover anyway:

I haven’t bothered to watch it, but there’s the link in case anyone’s that curious.

At least it’s 1:45 minutes long.
Just watched it. They found their furry, and all in all, she barely said anything and to a practiced eye it’s clear they’re trying to fish for negative things to comment on.
The thing I had to laugh at was “A hot new craze, the dance off!”
Wait, NEW craze?

Ignorance of something they never bothered to actually research before, so to them it’s ‘new’, so must be new all around >.< Hate that assumption.

Screwed up they still filmed undercover, but glad they didn’t get much of anything from it.

FC’s official statement regarding the unauthorized filming:


Dear god. Yannarra linked an article that I guess goes with the video. It’s just a tad atrocious. http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/9697-what-really-goes-on-at-a-furries-convention