Since Trump’s Election, we have been deluged in reports about fake news in the media. As a Republican and a Fury, this is not new to me.
I believe are many factors. First media activism and press bias. Instead of reporting the facts as news, the report wraps the news report to fit around a narrative the press wants to project. Since Watergate the media turn from reporting to outright activism especially in this election pumping up Donald Trump in the primaries and then touting a Hillary Clinton Victory. The tactic backfired when it was clear the media gurus ignored data that Trump was a not the weaker candidate they wanted.
Second, the media gave up investigative and interviewing journalism for reporting on what is viral on the Internet without vetting the story. I run a blog about Hello Kitty, Sanrio and the fandoms. For getting content to blog about, I had set up a few news searches for Fury and Hello Kitty news and notice a distinct pattern: one reports the news, another cuts and pasts the news on their site. Here are few examples was fake news. First, Houston Chronicle ran a story that wrongly reported Sanrio was licensing firearms. The reporter used a picture from the internet of one person’s custom AR-15 he did for his wife a “proof”. Sanrio finally had to come out with a statement they do not license firearms, before the picture was retracted. Then there was the touching but unverifiable story of the five year old dying in Santa’s’ arms. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported it and the national and international news agencies repeated t he story, unvetted until it was uncritically reported as fact. Upon reexamining the story, Knoxville News-Sentinel had to disclaimer that they could not prove or disprove the facts of the story.
Bring this home closer to Furry fandom I feel the source of poor representation of the fandom, and our weariness of the media coverage is due to the news media fitting the story around a narrative, and repeating the story unvetted. The reports are based on the internet and web pages, and fictional TV shows. For example most news story the narrative is “people dress up in animal consumes”, or think they are animals. The press fits fandom around this narrative, even in attempt to scandalize or sensationalize the story, by ether not going to the fandom or using close up and crop shots of fursuits, but the media never does a simple headcount of fursuiters vs. attendees. Second, the sources of many stories are repeated by other news media about, the fandom comes from unvetted sources on the internet. I have read stories on furry fandom where the reporter’s sources were from parody sites like Lancaster Baptist Church or site trolling the fandom. Worst is the media manufactures and sensationalized story on the fandom using TV shows like CSI and Entourage, and even costume groups that have no connection at all to the Furry Fandom. It is a form of Faulty Comparison fallacy.
For us it the fandom it is important for vigilance when dealing with the media and fake news stories. That too often many stories do not accurately reflect the fandom