Anthrocon 2011 media coverage roundup
Local stations WTAE (video, slides) and WPXI (video) gave mostly superficial coverage, while the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (photos) went into a little more depth. [Higgs Raccoon, baracudaboy, Wild`Bill`TX]
The convention was also picked up by Reuters, who posted a short piece based on organizers' statements.
In a story likely to be repeated in 2012, furries were blamed for booking out local hotels. Conversely, Anthrocon's CEO complained of a lack of hotels, telling the Post-Gazette that "when downtown hotels became fully booked in mid-May, [registration] dropped off dramatically." This helps explain this year's growth rate of 3.8%, compared to double-digit increases in prior years. (Somehow the parade count rose over 19% to 854.)
Meanwhile, 10th St. sub mogul Cory Robinson reported two months of business in five days:
We love furries. They're just people having fun, and they don't hurt anybody.
Early-rising furs got the chance to wave at the President of the United States, in town to speak about high-tech manufacturing grants. [Chilly] Naturally, conspiracy theorists suggested that the President was secretly a furry.
Pittsburgh's Kiss 96.1 also dropped by and mentioned Anthrocon during its 'Morning Freak Show'. [EagleBeagle] Their coverage was relatively positive, despite bringing up a supposed 'litter box' (possibly triggering comedian Joe Rogan, who had little nice to say [dwylfin]):
There is a sexual angle, but what we've learned over the years is that not every furry participates in the weird sexual aspect of it.
Perhaps the most controversial coverage came from the Howard Stern Show, which sent "Wolfie" down to interview anyone who wouldn't walk away when the topics of furry porn, bestiality and cleaning semen off of fursuits were broached (part one and two). [Kindrift]
Cartoonist Rob Rogers used the con's presence in Brewed on Grant to joke about local sports and Pittsburgh's love of spandex. [AnthroCoon] Of course, Rob happens to be board president of the ToonSeum, which raised $11,522 at Anthrocon through an auction and comedy show.
Given the weekend's sports schedule, it was inevitable that furs would be compared to Red Sox fans. They were found to be "pretty harmless", although one blogger suggested that the fursuiters were actually Red Sox fans in disguise. [lupine52]
Boomer the Dog got air time with KDKA, who had one question: "Why?" [dwylfin] While the coverage was good-humoured, KDKA's selection appeared to disappoint Dr. Conway, who noted that Boomer had never been a registered member – perhaps explaining his focus on room parties.