Christchurch's 'Press' posts fabricated article on 'fur fetishists'
The Press, of Christchurch, New Zealand, today posted an article about furries - described by writer Vicki Anderson as "those who like to dress up in furry animal costumes and role play." A group of furs get together over coffee to discuss what they get up to in private.
Sounds simple enough, if a little misguided. But all is not as it seems . . .
Update: Editor Kamala Hayman responded in an email:
I have passed your concerns onto the reporter and will deal with the issues raised on Monday. We are certainly committed to accuracy and will correct errors of fact.
Update 3: Ms. Anderson has also responded, saying:
The couple in question are recent arrivals from the United States, they have only lived in Christchurch for a few months. They were kind enough to introduce me to their circle of friends. My interviews with them was genuine [..] I found it difficult to find people from the community who were willing to be named. Having seen the outcry after the story has been published, now I understand why they felt this way.
Update 4 (16 Apr): The Press published a new article filled with quotes from named furs.
The piece uses not real names, nor real fan names, but species identifiers such as "Mr. Wolf", "Rabbit", "Chicken", "Fox" and "Donkey"; the latter:
[...] 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.
The first reported action of "Mr Wolf" is to out himself as a 'furvert' and inappropriately touch the reporter.
Many small inconsistencies call the writer's credibility into question. Everyone arrives in costume. "Donkey" is a member of the Furry Writer's Guild – whose closest listed member is Australian Paul Kidd, over 1400 miles away.
Stereotypes about what goes on at furmeets abound, mixed in with copious quotes from WikiFur, and events apparently adapted from an interview [NSFW] with local fur Colin on Eating Media Lunch. The article also uses photos lifted from an article written a mere three months ago for Australian broadsheet The Age, where they were used with the photographers' permission. Both papers are owned by Fairfax Media.
Local members of the furry community have written in to denounce the article as a fraud in the comments:
Most of this article sounds fake. I was at the '06 meet and there was no dragon or donkey furries/suiters there. A few other things point to this being faked up, including the number of full/different types of full suits in Christchurch.
We're the organizers of FurcoNZ [...] We echo the comment made above, your article, while resonablly well constructed, seems to be taken from bits and pieces off the internet and from our official website, without giving proper credit or references. [...] we're a pretty tight-knit community, and we do not know of the people you named in your article. In fact, the Christchurch community has been diminishing in size since the earthquake.
Hi, local Christchurch furry reporting in. I have doubts about this article, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I've talked with the NZ furry community and the facts don't seem to add up.
I laughed when the article said Christchurch "boasts" a large number of furries. Most keep quiet, and there are only 5 or so active local furries. I don't recognize any of the furries names you've mentioned, nor the fursuits they are wearing. I didn't see any of them at the previous 2 conventions either.
We think you've made up most of the interview.
We have contacted the Age in Melbourne about this in an attempt to find out why the article was written with our photos involved, and have also indicated the obvious inconsistencies with the NZ article, and it's blatant made up nature. We will post any results to our lawyer's contact.