Behold: human. (img: Uproxx)Behold: human. (img: Uproxx)

You know, I’ve never been a fan of MSNBC, but their latest gaffe isn’t going to win me over, well, ever.  Seriously, this is a low for a “news” network, and the anchor in question should be ashamed of herself.

What am I talking about?

I think I’ll let blogger, comic artist and convention runner (and friend) Oni Hartstein say it for me, since she already verbalized it so eloquently (reposted with her permission, after the break):

Dear MSNBC:

I am a New York-based fan convention chair who runs 2 conventions. I have been active in fan subcultures since 1988 when my older brother took me to my first Sci-Fi con and encouraged me to pursue Math and Science.

Our goal with our fan events is to empower the community with low cost educational opportunities underneath the guise of family fun. I’ve been featured on CNN, Wired, New York’s FIOS1 News, The Washington Post, Talk 910 San Francisco and many other places for my work in the community. It’s been well-documented that we’ve raised large sums of money for charity, inspired people to go to college, and had an impact on the community that truly makes a difference.

I am very passionate about families and giving back to the community. I believe that positive events like these can truly save lives. I know it does, because I hear the stories directly from my attendees. And honestly – when I was a little girl conventions saved my life, too.

On Monday’s “Morning Joe,” you had some coverage of the chlorine gas attack at a Chicago hotel where children and others were taking part at a Furry fan convention. I was APPALLED at how you handled it.

Chlorine gas can be fatal. 19 people were sent to the hospital. They weren’t sent to the Starbucks. They weren’t sent to the local supermarket – they were HOSPITALIZED and could have died. This was a terrorist attack on American soil aimed at young people, children, and their families. Any other interpretation of this incident is irresponsible and sociopathic.

How do you reconcile that Mika Brzezinski appeared to almost endorse the use of terrorism toward children and others by her unprofessional, dismissive, and shameful actions on this news segment? I actually felt sick watching her conduct.

Would Ms. Brzezinski still feel this way if her child were at a football game and this happened?

I don’t care if you think that their art or their costumes were funny. I can think that your pants are ugly and still respect you as a human being and not want you to be assaulted or killed. These people are human beings with families, hopes, dreams, and frankly they are a hell of a lot more positive and inspiring than the content that I saw on your channel this past Monday.

I am willing to bet that Ms. Brzezinski is capable of talking about the KKK in a more professional manner than she exhibited last Monday toward good people who had only come together to have a good time for the right reasons.

Furry Conventions have helped countless people through their charity and humanitarian work. And as a reward for that – MSNBC seems to think that it’s OK to terrorize and attempt to kill American children and families just as long as you don’t like or don’t understand them. Am I correct?

If that’s not the message you intended to send, if for some reason Ms. Brzezinski is not a bigoted, hypocritical, and unprofessional individual, I welcome a positive and polite conversation with MSNBC on this topic. I am a mere 45 minute commute from your studio and would welcome the chance for a cordial conversation.

I can guarantee you that in the process you’ll learn something wonderful and understand a perspective that you may not have considered – but really should.

And you know what?  She’s right.  I might not like furries myself – I think they’re kind of weird, personally – but you know what?  At the end of the day, those are human beings under the costumes.  Fans.  People.

People that could just as easily have gone to anime cons.  Or a Star Wars convention.  Or (because we’re talking fans here) a sports event.  Think Mika Brzezinski would be laughing her ass off if we were talking about people gassed at an LA Dodgers, NY Knicks or Dallas Cowboys game?

Journalism is all about reporting the facts.  Fandom is about celebrating culture.

Ms. Brzezinski, what was your laughter about?  A tacit approval of violence against the unpopular?

Thankfully, there are avenues to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  And if you believe in fandom, I urge you to do so.