Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Steven Frischling Lies on LinkedIn

We were directed to Steven's fanciful resume on LinkedIn.com. Everything is puffed up with ridiculous jargon as expected, but there are also some exaggerations and outright lies! (No surprise.)

Steven Frischling on LinkedIn.com

- Steven Frischling was fired from KLM for outright illegal activity!
- His gig with Bombardier was described to us as a "disaster," and consisted of sending a few tweets and taking some photos at a show before they cut ties with him.
- He was never employed by Kenya Airways! We imagine he picked the most obscure airline he could, thinking this resume claim would never get back to them nor would anyone be able to find out to the contrary. Apparently, he's not aware of this thing called the Internet.

We're no longer disgusted by Steven Frischling, but we are disgusted with Randy Petersen at BoardingArea.com, who continues to employ him at the expense of his own credibility in the industry.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Did Frischling Rip Off TSA Directive from Fellow Blogger?

Steven Frischling's biggest claim to fame as a blogger is posting a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive on his blog on Dec. 27, 2009, before it the agency released it. The directive, drafted a few days after the "underwear bomber" incident, contained new security procedures and rules. It made the news when TSA agents showed up at Frischling's house two days later trying to ascertain where he got it.

While we believe Frischling is much more famous for other things, he loves this particular story. He repeatedly references posting the directive as evidence of his street cred, and brags to the world that he "was the lead on the national news at one point." But something about this whole thing is "fishy" to us.

If you recall the story, there were actually two bloggers who had TSA agents show up at their doors on Dec. 29, 2009: Frischling in Connecticut and Christopher Elliot in Florida. Both Elliot and Frischling posted the directive and both said they received the document from an anonymous source at TSA. Let's take a look at this story from what we were able to piece together:

On Dec. 29, agents show up at Elliot's place first, and when they are gone he promptly calls Frischling around 6:30 p.m. to warn him. Frischling, according to his blog, hangs up with Elliot and looks out his window to see agents pulling up in front of his house. They come in with a subpoena demanding to know who at TSA had leaked the document.

According to Frischling's blog, the agents were there for more than two hours. So we can assume they left probably before 9 p.m.

Frischling later posts this blog describing the whole incident. He describes it in great detail, and says that when the agents left, they told him they would probably return the next morning. He then goes on to discuss the entire situation.

We never would have thought much about it at all if we hadn't stumbled upon this blog post from Jan. 2 from a website called Tnooz - "Did TSA ghost-write @FlyingWithFish tweet? Twitter coercion?"

The key issue here is that on Dec. 29, Frischling sent the following bizarre Tweet:

It appears it was sent at 7:05 p.m., which means the agents were there when he sent it. However, according to Dennis Schaal who wrote that article, Frischling later said that his Blackberry was set to Pacific Standard Time, meaning it was sent at 10:05 p.m.

Then, the very day the blog post above showed up, Frischling puts on Twitter (according to Schaal):

"The TSA Special Agents arrived before 7:00pm [on Dec. 29], left around 9:00pm, returned around 10:00pm for a while."

Huh? This was not described at all in his very detailed blog post in the early hours of Dec. 30. While there is no timestamp on that post, we can gauge when this blog was posted by when the first comments showed up - which was at 1:30 a.m. CST (3:30 a.m. EST). Why would they leave at 9 p.m., tell him they were coming back the next morning and then show up again an hour later to stay "for awhile" - this seems strange even for a strange experience. Did they miss Frischling's enjoyable company? Did they want to make sure he was tucked in? That doesn't make sense.

And if it really happened, why did he not mention it in his blog post? That is a very significant detail, to have government agents show up at your house not once but twice in the same night, and as late as 10 p.m. when they said they would be back the next day! For sure you would mention that, don't you think? And how very coincidental that he would suddenly recall this second government visit after criticism of the bizarre tweet.

We don't know the identity of the anonymous source who told Schaal that the agents "coerced" Frischling into sending that Tweet, but this whole thing stinks like rotten fish.

The burning question and the whole reason we are writing this post: Why would Frischling need to go on Twitter ask his "anonymous source" to please contact him? He would have the person's email address since he or she sent him the document. (We assume it was sent via email and not via carrier pigeon.) Therefore, all he had to do is hit REPLY and ask the person whatever it was he needed to know. Even if it was sent anonymously from a Yahoo or Hotmail email address, the address is still there.

The only way Frischling could say he did not have the email address is if he purposely deleted the email containing the document. And that notion is literally unbelievable. There is not a credible journalist on this planet who would delete the email address of an anonymous, whistle-blowing government source who had sent them a security directive. Even if, and this is a big if, he had deleted the email out of fear the government might take his computer, a sane person would have written it down somewhere, so at least he still had the address for later. There is no conceivable reason he would need to ask the person to contact him, except this was a show for the TSA and for everyone.

But we'll get back to this, because let's continue with the next day. They show up the next day to ask or demand access to his computer, even though they had no search warrant. It's unsure if they also showed up again at Christopher Elliot's house, but if not, we will assume they made similar demands on him at some point.

The facts are this: Steven Frischling, evidently a giant coward, promptly handed over his laptop to the government agents, immediately jeopardizing the identity of his anonymous source. Christopher Elliot, evidently a standup guy protecting his anonymous source and his own constitutional rights, refused to give his computer or any privileged information to the TSA agents.

Frischling, when rightly criticized for voluntarily giving up his laptop, claimed he was intimidated by the big scary government guys because his children were there. However, Elliot's children were also in his own house at the time. Additionally, we don't understand how this weak argument justifies him potentially revealing an anonymous source to the government. Did the agents have guns to the children's heads? Did Mulder, Scully and the Smoking Man show up and threaten to abduct the children for alien cloning? Like everything else Frischling says, this makes no sense.

Frischling posted on his blog that the computer did not contain the email address of the person who sent it to him. However, even if he had deleted the email or the document, there could still be traces of it on his computer that forensic experts could extract. Experts can often restore deleted files, so long as the hard drive has not completely been rewritten.

However, we assert that the real reason that Frischling did not have the email of the person who sent him the document is because nobody sent it to him. He saw it on Christopher Elliot's blog, promptly copied and pasted it into his own blog, and acted as though he also had an inside source. Only the person who sent it to Elliot would know he or she did not also send it to Frischling, and that source is obviously not going to reveal his or herself and get fired in order to expose a hack like Steven Frischling.

Another giveaway: the time the blogs were posted. We asked around the industry, and were told that indeed Elliot posted the directive first. But how long before Frischling posted it? Let's look at the available evidence. Again, the timestamps do not show up, so we have to look at when the first comments showed up. We can assume, that in both instances, the first people to comment were among the first people to read the respective blogs.

Elliot's blog post, "TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 : The Fallout From NW253," received its first comment at 5:47 pm EST.

Frischling's post, "TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 : The Fallout From NW253," received its first comment at 6:34 pm EST/5:34 pm CST. That's 47 minutes after Elliot's first comment.

How do we know which blog is set to Central Time and which blog set to Eastern Time? We checked it, depositing similar phony comments on both blogs within minutes of each other. Check out our test comments from "Mark" left shortly after 2:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m.:

On Elliot's blog:

And on Frischling's blog (he apparently couldn't read our sarcasm, as he approved the comment):

Notice that the time stamp is different - Frischling's blog is set to CST, most likely because BoardingArea.com is run out of Colorado. Elliot's is set to EST, one hour earlier than CST, which again makes sense as it's probably hosted by someone near him on the East Coast. (Feel free to test this yourself.)

OK, so we have some circumstantial evidence that Frischling's post appeared around an hour or so after Elliot's post. Maybe Elliot posted his right away and Frischling didn't. Maybe Frischling was in a meeting or something and didn't see the email right away. Maybe he was flying to 47 countries in 47 minutes. Whatever the delay, on the surface it seems feasible that the TSA source sent it to both bloggers and that's why they published it nearly at the same time.

Except there's one large snag in that theory. Check out what Elliot wrote in that blog post, before the text of the directive:

"Since the government has been unresponsive to my requests to clarify its new security measures, I thought it would be best to publish the security directive in its entirety."

This would indicate Elliot had the document for some time before he released it. Notice he refers to "requests," plural. We would guess that, before he gave up and posted it, he allowed the government at least all day if not a full 24 hours to finally get back to him with a comment.

In contrast, in Frischling's "Feds at My Door" post, this is how he described his own three-step professional process:

"I received it, I read it, I posted it."

Received it, read it, posted it. No step there for checking its authenticity. No mention of contacting TSA or anyone for a response. Received, read, posted.

If that were really the case, and the same anonymous source sent both of them the document, why did Frischling's blog post on the directive show up only after Elliot posted it? That really doesn't make sense, if what Frischling says is true and what Elliot says is true. Either Frischling is lying or Elliot is lying. (Or it's possible they are both telling the truth but only if Elliot gave the government 29 seconds to respond to him, which we doubt.)

One of them is not telling the truth here. Who should we believe? Let us review their respective credibility:

Christopher Elliot has been blogging since 1996 (yes, 1996). According to his website, he holds a degree in humanities from the University of California at Irvine, and a masters in journalism from U.C. Berkeley. He was a Fulbright scholar and completed seven internships, including at the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and Reuters. He is a long-term contributor to many notable publications, and is the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler. Christopher Elliot is a fairly common name, but we are going to go out on a limb and assume he has not been the target of multiple lawsuits for fraud. As far as we know, he does not forge references from former coworkers nor has he been accused of fabricating quotes. He does not brag about himself at every opportunity, and he does not bash his clients online. (If you have evidence to the contrary, feel free to contact us.)

On the other hand, Steven Frischling may possibly have a high school diploma or GED. He has no education in journalism or aviation. He was such as a disaster as a wedding photographer that he has been sued for fraud in multiple states. He apparently was so awful as a sports photographer that he needed to forge a positive reference from a former coworker. He has no long-term work references, and was fired from a blogging gig at KLM after three weeks. He is suspected of fabricating quotes from non-existent sources. He brags about himself at every opportunity, and he bashes his clients online.

So what do we think happened? Shortly after Elliot posted the directive, Frischling saw it. Jealous that Elliot had this great scoop and seeing an opportunity to claim some of that glory for himself, he quickly wrote his own intro, copied the directive from Elliot's blog and pasted into his own blog post. That is the only scenario that makes sense.

Unfortunately there is no proof that Frischling ripped off the directive from Elliot, but there is no proof he received it from any source either. We wish Elliot had buried a copyright trap in the form of a superfluous comma hidden in the text, but we would guess he is too ethical to modify the directive even in such an insignificant way.

But given the circumstantial evidence, including Frischling's odd tweet indicating he did not have the person's email address, the coincidental timing of the posts, but most of all Frischling's complete and total lack of ethics, are strongly suggestive that he did rip it off from Elliot.

And we wonder if Elliot thinks the same.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Frischling Lies Again in Attack on Nursing Home!

This is just pathetic.

Steven Frischling has taken to bashing one of his "clients" online. For the past few days on Twitter, he has been ranting about some client who is screwing him over, saying the client claimed it ran out of money, etc. That is unprofessional enough from anyone, much less from a guy who sells himself as a "social media" consultant.

But check out what the nimrod put on Facebook today:

Not only does he accuse the CEO of lying to him and mismanaging funds, he includes a link to the site, publicly identifying the company! That's a slam-dunk case of libel.

It's not even some airline but is a local nursing home. Who knows what he was supposed to do for them, but maybe it involved some kind of web design or updating their web content.

We can guess that whatever he was supposed to do, he didn't do it, because of his prior commitment to reply to every message on Twitter. And guess what, now they don't want to pay him. Outrageous!

Not only he is bashing the client, he is lying AGAIN, spinning another preposterous tale. This is classic Steven.

Although he at first implies the company won't pay him because they ran out of money (possibly because of so many new company cars), then he claims the "real" reason is because they haven't "transferred" the domain name. He says the CEO's sister is listed as the administrative contact.

Well look what we discovered in two seconds - http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/carecoshoreline.com

The administrative contact for this site is a woman named Ingrid Krampe. Who is Ingrid Krampe? It took us another two seconds to find this article on Careco Shoreline from March:

"The Waterford-based company also announced that Ingrid S. Krampe was named its new marketing and advertising executive. Krampe is the former group editor-in-chief of Studio Photography & Design and Digital Imaging magazines. She also was senior editor of Professional Photography magazine and has extensive experience in the digital-imaging field."

Not only is Ingrid Krampe in charge of marketing for Careco Shoreline, she used to work at photography magazines! She, most likely, is Frischling's longtime contact who got him the job.

We're no longer surprised at Frischling's lies, but we do continue to be shocked at his publicly plastering the Internet with these fabrications to gain sympathy for himself. He is so arrogant/idiotic he does not believe anyone will bother to check what he says.

Possibly the most disgusting part of all is that he is trying to gain public sympathy by saying these people at Careco "stole the holiday spirit" from his poor children! (We wouldn't be shocked if this was thrown in as a ploy to get people to send him money.)

We don't know what else to say except that if anyone out there is a web specialist with some free time, we know of a company that needs professional help, stat.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Is BoardingArea.com losing its vision?

Randy Petersen owns BoardingArea.com, which hosts Steven Frischling's blog.

Many are confused as to why Randy allows Frischling to stay on BoardingArea after all this damning evidence has surfaced, in which Frischling has been accused of/exposed as a liar, a fraud and a fabricator of sources.

Randy seems like a nice enough fellow. His Twitter profile says he is, "Known as the frequent flyer guru: I can see for miles and miles and miles ..."

If Randy can see for miles and miles, why can't he see the dangers of being associated with Steven Frischling? More things are going to come out about him, and Randy's own credibility is going to be severely compromised. People are going to ask, "If Randy Petersen knew Frischling was of questionable character, why did he continue to showcase his blog on BoardingArea.com?"

We emailed Randy a couple times with the facts of what was going on. No answer. Finally we got a response on Twitter:

Really. BoardingArea.com has the same standards as Google's Blogspot? Nothing more he can think of? Let's list the strict criteria required to start our blog here: an email address and an Internet connection.

Is this the criteria to get a blog featured on BoardingArea? Well Randy, we absolutely would love to be one of your bloggers!

Here's our bio for BoardingArea.com: "FishFraud is a globe-hopping professional blogger who has racked up more than 500 billion miles since he started keeping track this morning. FishFraud's travel tends to be less than leisurely, including the time he flew to the moon and back in six minutes, or the time he pulled a jet filled with orphans and kittens across three states using only his teeth. FishFraud lives on Sesame Street, 102 yards from the Snuffleupagus Methadone Clinic."

We assume you won't ask for verification for any of our claims, considering you didn't factcheck or even spellcheck Frischling's bio (and ours is less ridiculous). At least ours has correct punctuation and no typos. (Please add that to the end of our bio as another one of our many accomplishments.)

However, contrary to Randy's assertion that anyone with a pulse can have a blog on BoardingArea, check this out:

The business travel blogs you will find on BoardingArea are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the cat's meow ... you get the idea. Each blog in the BoardingArea network has been hand selected by our team for its quality of content, its timeliness, and, last but not least, for its entertainment value.

Interesting. So, according to a paragraph above Randy's own signature, the BoardingArea blogs are "hand selected" very carefully. Clearly the BoardingArea "team" certainly has not done a good job vetting any of their bloggers for credibility. We don't know why they considered Steven Frischling to be a business blogger in the first place. He is a self-admitted utter failure in his own photography business. His work was apparently so poor as a contractor that he was forced to forge a letter of reference from a coworker, hilariously misspelling the poor guy's name.

Randy says he can't think of any other reason he hosts Flying with Fish outside of Frischling's impressive criteria of having an email address and Internet connection. Well, we can think of a reason.

Could it be that Randy makes money off of Steven Frischling?

From a 2008 New York Times article:

Mr. Petersen says he will pay the nine bloggers to "consistently blog news and information." He is also helping them sell what he calls sponsorships and is sharing revenue with the bloggers.

Hmm, the business model for BoardingArea is unclear. Some of the blogs don't appear to have any ads on or corporate sponsors. However, at least two of the blogs, PointsWizard and LoyaltyTraveler, are full of ads and promotional corporate content. The money he could be making off these likely is directly tied to the traffic to his site.

So when Steven's latest blog is full of, let's say, sexually salacious quotes he claims TSA agents told him, BoardingArea.com is going to get a huge spike in traffic from the general population, media and those with Google News searches for keyword "penis."

Could this increased traffic he brings be Randy's reason for not disassociating himself from Mr. Frischling? That is the only thing that makes sense.

The amount of damming material that we have uncovered in the past week alone suggests that Frischling is an extremely dishonest individual who cannot be trusted. But Randy Petersen is choosing to look away.

Miles and miles in the other direction.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Frischling Refuses Verification of 'Anonymous' Sources by Huff Post

Fraudulent blogger Steven Frischling wrote an entire blog post dedicated to us and just flushed his sorry career down the toilet! (He apparently wanted our traffic to spike as well - thanks for bringing us new readers!)

Before we get to the point by point we were writing, we need to discuss our astonishment at the update he just added. "The Huffington Post," which yanked the article reporting on his fabricated quotes from 17 TSA agents, asked to verify his sources. He refused:

This is essentially the smoking gun that he is lying. These people do not exist and he fabricated them all.

Do not fall for his supposed journalist credo that he will not reveal his sources because he swore he would protect their identities. Having an anonymous source's authenticity verified by a professional editor is not "revealing" anything. In journalism, it is standard practice to have an editor verify the existence of an anonymous source. Until we came along, Frischling didn't know that because he has no education and no real professional experience as a journalist. He thought he'd never get caught.

Further, when we first began challenging him on the suspicious quotes -- and informed him verification is standard journalistic practice -- look at how he responded!

"Perfectly fine journalistic thing to do?" Yet three days later, when someone actually wants to review the quotes and is ready to show up on his doorstep and take a look at them in his inbox, he hides behind "protecting" sources? What does that tell you?

He is not concerned about protecting anyone but himself. The only thing he would be revealing is that these 17 agents don't exist.

Smoking gun: Frischling kills his own "career"
Considering his track record of dishonesty in business, forgery when its suits him, that all the quotes sound oddly similar and do not seem authentic on their surface, the only way he could save himself was by getting those quotes independently authenticated. He could have shut us down by letting the editor review them (if they were real). And he refused, not because he has wonderful ethics, but because he had no choice in the matter. The emails and their authors don't exist, except in his head.

Well, after the way he just torpedoed his "career" and his last shred of credibility, it's not really necessary to continue tearing him apart. But since we already wrote it, here it is!

Re: dedicating an entire post to us: This is extremely unprofessional (so we're not surprised). No legitimate journalist would do such a stupid thing. Why not? A honest journalist, if faced with such an assault upon his or her credibility, immediately would attempt to take us to court for libel/defamation of character. But Steven has not even made a peep about threatening us with a libel suit, for three reasons: 1) He doesn't have two nickels to rub together to hire an attorney, get the warrants needed to track us down and take us to court 2) he knows that everything we've said is true, and truth is an absolute defense against libel and 3) we know a whole lot more than we're posting here. And he knows we know.

First, regarding our accusation that he invented his hospital heroics, he produced a blurry photo of two segments of a supposed discharge paper. First, the paper does not look particularly authentic, has no hospital logo and of course has no doctor's signature. Second, with all his supposed fantastic photo equipment, why couldn't he take a decent picture of it? Because it's forged? Third, who the hell cares? Even if he could prove that he was in the hospital, we call BS on his claim that he yanked his own IV and walked (a story he's been circulating for years).

And continuing point No. 3, if he really made up that story, that is hardly the worst thing we accused him of. Why did he not respond to our post reporting how he forged a personal reference from a former coworker? That is seriously damaging. Oh wait, he's too busy tweeting about donuts to respond to that one.

Then he briefly and vaguely explained why he stopped blogging for KLM after only three weeks, in response to our accusations that he did something wrong to warrant being fired from the gig. He writes, "When my contract for this project was up, I ended it in a way that was agreed upon between myself and KLM." What does that even mean?

Then he goes on to "admit" he was a bad wedding photographer, only because he's up against a wall here and there is no point in trying to deny this. There are court cases on the books, and complaints all over the web from dozens of pissed-off couples he defrauded. Yes, he defrauded them. He did not "do a bad job" by turning their photos in late. He took their money, never gave them their photos and tried to cut off contact with them. To this day! Why do you think they are so furious? Was it because his photos arrived a day late? They didn't like the lighting? No, it's because they never got their wedding prints and albums for which they paid him thousands of dollars. Put yourselves in their shoes for a moment. Now imagine how disgusted they were when he claimed he had cancer, only to discover from his own blog that he was really out shooting other weddings.

It is odd that Steven is doing a mea culpa now on his train wreck of a photography career and saying he has admitted this all over the place. In actuality, only a few days ago he was claiming these women were basically bridezillas, that there were only three of them and that they even stole another person's name and used it to post a false review (which is what he actually did with unsuspecting Seth Gerard!). He also claimed there were "real" reviews that we ignored (which as we pointed out, he wrote himself) and that he "proved" a review wrong:

Look at the date -

Yet now he's pleading that he was just a bad business man. Please read the following letter from one of those brides, who felt the need to publicly respond after seeing his "so what" blog post today. Notice that he even blocked her on Twitter recently so this poor woman could not contact him there to beg for her wedding photos: My comment to Steven Frischling @flyingwithfish

This behavior and dishonesty was not 10 or 20 years ago. It was not something he did as a kid before maturing. He continues to lie even today.

Frischling claims that his documented history of dishonesty, outright fraud and forgery has no bearing on his new role as an independent "journalist" who uses anonymous sources that he refuses to let anyone verify.

We disagree.

Furthermore, we wonder how the other bloggers at BoardingArea.com feel about having their blogs listed alongside his? Can any idiot get a blog on BoardingArea?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Frischling misspells name in forged reference

What an absolute moron. This guy's combination of stupidity and arrogance astonishes even us.

The back story: When dozens of pissed off (defrauded) brides and grooms began ripping Frischling apart on business review site Yelp, he responded by immediately spamming the site with fake, positive reviews of his own. Everyone knew he was creating them himself, but there was no proof. Even today he points to these references as valid, complaining that this blog compiles the negative reviews while "leaving out" the many good ones! (We're so mean.)

Well, we took a closer look at these and guess what? Not only did he invent fake people, he forged a review from a very real person he actually worked with.

Steven, if you are a legitimate, credible person with a solid work history, why would you need to do something so disgusting?

Check out this glowing review:

On the surface it seems legitimate, right? One very large problem. Seth's last name is Gerard, not Girard.

Seth Gerard left the University of Massachusetts in 2007 to become assistant sports information director at Georgia Tech. His email is listed in the university's directory - anyone can contact him and ask if he wrote this review and truly recommends Steven Frischling. (We are guessing he would not.)

We imagine that as soon as Gerard discovers this, he will quickly contact Yelp to get the review deleted. (To see it for yourself, click here and scroll down to "Filtered reviews," enter the CAPTCHA and then get to page 2 or 3. By the way, filtered reviews are there because most likely they are the person's first and only review and thus suspicious, although Frischling campaigned to Yelp to get dozens of legitimate reviews deleted/filtered.)

Other reviews are suspicious too. Simple Google searches tell us these people/companies don't exist.

Whirllie? This doesn't even seem like a real name. A people search reveals there are zero people named "Whirllie" in the United States. No luck with international searches either. The closest spelling we can think of would be Werle.

Another one that seems legitimate, right? Wow, an international reference! But we can't find any trace at all of a company, conglomerate, firm, etc called "OPRI." Can you?

Another one we can't locate. Perhaps "Renew Marketing" specializes in marketing Amish barn raisings and thus has no website or digital trace.

Not only are these people unverifiable, all the reviews are written in the same exact style - just like the comments from the supposed "17 TSA agents."

Steven Frischling has no problem lying and fabricating people when it suits him. And yet he feigns shock when we suggest he might be fabricating quotes from his "anonymous" sources. Steven Frischling is a person with zero creditability.

If you believe the "anonymous" quotes he compiles on his blog, we have a wonderful bridge to sell you!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The bullshit hospital story Frischling refuses to confirm

In addition to "reporting" on his travel blog, Frischling loves to blab bizarro stories to anyone who will listen! While nobody has time to wade through his nearly 36,000 inane Tweets (by the frequency of his tweets, he's not working or even traveling all that much), we only had to scroll back a few days to find this laughable series of updates that he claims he was sending from a hospital's "critical care unit" on Thanksgiving 2010.

As we've been informed, his bragging that he removed his own IV and left is an old story he's told many different people for years! He specifically uses the phrase, "remove my own IV and walk out," three separate times, which suggests he's fixated on that imagery. We suppose he's fascinated with the idea because he thinks it's something a George Clooney-esque action hero would pull on screen, while in real life, only a sociopath would do such a thing. (We can assume the hospital he was "stuck" in was not burning to the ground.)

Obviously this tale of intravenous bravery didn't bring him instant worldwide fame the first few times around, so he decided to rebroadcast it to get attention on Twitter during a slow day (possibly to offset the sad reality that he had nowhere to be that day).

Well, we immediately called bullshit on this pile of fish crap and asked him to tell us which hospital he was in. We informed him the whole world would be able to call and check on his condition and confirm he indeed was "treated and released." Naturally this freaked him out. He refuses to answer nor even acknowledge we've asked this question.

It's not that he's ignoring us on Twitter. For the past week he responds to us repeatedly and continues to make claims about his journalistic integrity and how he's the Scoop McGee of airline travel, etc. He insists he never made up a single quote and that all his supposed anonymous sources are real.

We're fairly surprised as we figured he would make up some kind of ridiculous excuse, like that he checked in under an alias so he could do a secret photo essay, or that the hospital was in Mali and can only communicate via the coconut telegraph, but he's too freaked out. You would think that with all the damage this blog is doing, he would take 5 seconds to discredit us in any way. The fact of the matter is he can't, because this whole thing never happened.

By the way we've also asked him to confirm where he was licensed or even trained as an Emergency Medical Technician as he's claimed, but he also refuses because, again, this is something that can be confirmed fairly easily. (Busted again).

But the hospital story is so ludicrous we felt we must capture it and post it here in all its absurdity. Keep in mind he also claimed his condition was so severe that he had to be in the "Critical Care Unit" and even intubated, yet was extremely vague about what exactly was wrong with him. Please note that we had to cut out the DOZENS of OTHER tweets he was sending out that had nothing to do with his fictional health crisis.

So Steven Frischling, please tell your audience in which hospital on which planet the following heroics happened on Nov. 26, 2010?

(Tweets cut and rearranged so they can be read in chronological order):

We're so confused. What exactly is an "ER issue?" What could be wrong that he was intubated and sent to "critical care," yet released basically immediately? Why would a rabbi have his discharge papers? Why wouldn't a nurse just take his stupid IV out so he could get dressed and ready to leave? Considering he refuses to tell anyone where this happened, what brand of idiot would ever believe this happened at all?

Argh!! I hate when I go to the hospital for a simple ER issue and they intubate me so I don't die and I have to stay all night and all the next day after two procedures and hooked up to an IV and on pain medication while the wifi kicks me out every 10 minutes, and I'm stuck there because the hospital lost my discharge papers until finally after five hours the rabbi who was searching for the foreign dignitary stumbles on my discharge papers but the doctor forgot to sign them!  Argh don't you hate that when that happens, especially on Thanksgiving?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Huffington Post Yanks Frischling Article!

Hooray Huff Post! An article using Steven Frischling as a source has been removed!

The article "TSA Agents Respond To Pat-Down Anger (PHOTOS, POLL)" originally appeared Nov. 22, 2010. Written by travel editor Kate Auletta, the article requoted 17 supposed TSA agents who Frischling claimed on his blog he had interviewed.

The article now reads: "Editor's Note: We have removed the quotes following questions about the veracity of the source who claims to have collected them." 

The Nov. 18 blog entry ("TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View") brought Steven a lot of attention because of the sensationalist comments from the supposed TSA agents, who are, conveniently, anonymous.

Frischling assumed he would get away with using anonymous sources forever. This is win-win for him. Not only can he make these sources say whatever he wants, it's impossible for anyone to verify their existence. But the dramatic quotes just scream "Steven wrote this" all over them. Not only are they ALL written in the same EXACT linguistic style, they just don't seem... authentic. Here are a few - what do you think?

"Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn't change in the next two weeks I don't know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country."

Idiot blogger Steven Frischling: U.S. soldier's feelings critically wounded by mean comments from airline passengers!
"I served a tour in Afghanistan followed by a tour in Iraq. I have been hardened by war and in the past week I am slowly being broken by the constant diatribe of hateful comments being lobbed at me. While many just see a uniform with gloves feeling them for concealed items I am a person, I am a person who has feelings. I am a person who has served this country. I am a person who wants to continue serving his country. The constant run of hateful comments while I perform my job will break me down faster and harder than anything I encountered while in combat in the Army."

"Do people know what a Nazi is? One can't describe me as a Nazi because I am following a security procedure of designed to find prohibited items on a passenger's body. A Nazi is someone with hatred and ignorance in their hearts, a person who carried out actions of execution and extermination of those based on their religion, origins or sexual preferences.  I work to make travel safer, even if I do not agree with the current security procedures. Further more, I am Jewish and a TSA Transportation Security Officer, an American Patriot and to call me a Nazi is an offense beyond all other offenses."

"Yesterday a passenger told me to keep my hands off his penis or he'd scream. Is this how a 40 year old man in business attire acts? He'll scream? My 3 year old can get away with saying he'll scream, but a 40 something business man? I am a professional doing my job, whether I agree with this current policy or not, I am doing my job.  I do not want to be here all day touching penises."

"Being a TSO means often being verbally abused, you let the comments roll off and check the next person, however when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her, that is beyond verbal abuse.  I asked the woman if she thought I like touching other women all day and she told me that I probably did or I wouldn't be with the TSA. I just want to tell these people that I feel disgusted feeling other peoples private parts, but I cannot because I am a professional."

"I was asked by some guy if I got excited touching scrotums at the airport and if it gave me a power thrill. I felt like vomiting when he asked that. This is not a turn on for me to touch me it is in fact a huge turn off. There is a big difference between how I pat passengers down and a molester molesting people."

It's unknown if The Huffington Post took down the article only temporarily while its editors try to verify any of these sources exist. This would easily be possible. Steven could share the emails with them, and they could verify the different IP addresses and that the email addresses were genuine (and not all from free mail services like Yahoo, Gmail, etc). Or, if he claims he interviewed them over the phone (which seems far-fetched, as the language reflects written English instead of spoken English), he could share his tapes with them. This would not be the same as "outing" a confidential source, but is standard journalistic practice. (If Steven worked for a legitimate publication and cited anonymous sources, he would have to do the same thing with his editor.)

More likely, the Huffington Post realized it been had and the article is gone for good. Thank you.

Dec. 7 Update: The Huffington Post travel editor contacted Steven Frischling to ask if she could independently verify the quotes, and he refused, despite an earlier statement he had no problem with anyone verifying them. Click for more info.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Frischling caught in another lie on Twitter.... when will it end?

Frischling caught in another lie! Oh what a tangled web we weave!

When we began posting about all the complaints and lawsuits against Steven Frischling, the failed wedding photographer turned phony travel blogger, he starting telling everyone he stopped shooting weddings in 2007. He claimed this at least three times:

However, that's another outright lie!

We knew 2007 didn't sound right after reading more recent complaints online. From his own old blog, here's one well into 2008!


We've taken a screenshot of this too in case he quickly deletes this. And anyway if so you should be able to find it in archive.org or Google cache.

Plus, this very wedding in March 2008 was what spawned the "open letter to Steven Frischling" plead from the crushed bride who never, probably to this day, received the photos she paid him for.

You would think that you would remember something as significant as the year you closed your own business. But as usual he is lying and doing a shitty job at it.

Funny today he accused of us of doing a poor job of fact checking. He should do a quick fact check on his own lies, though it's a lot to ask of him to keep all his stories straight....

UPDATE: Frischling responded to this entry on Twitter saying  basically oh yeah it was 2008 and he mixed up the date. Essentially, he could not keep denying he was shooting weddings in 2008 because we'd already proved he did. We call bullshit that he mixed up the date - how could you not remember the year you shut down your extremely troubled business, when it was only two years ago? And you recalled this wrong date on three separate occasions over two days?

Instead, he remembers, he was just trying to make it seem a lot longer ago than it was to distance himself from what he's done. He wants his Twitter audience to think it was a long time ago, so they buy his claim that it doesn't even matter now.

Why does he keep responding to us on Twitter on these minor things, but won't answer our simple "truth challenges" we posed repeatedly? He could totally discredit us if he just responded and confirmed these stories! But he won't because he's can't offer us any evidence that confirm these specific stories. This fish is caught in a net of his lies.

We've also challenged him to respond to Jeremy who left a comment below. No answer.

See our answer to Jeremy and our pop psychology analysis of what the F is wrong with Steven Frischling.

The weird, brief blog at KLM

We got an email suggesting we check out Steven's brief blog at blog.klm.com. We'd already found it in a Google search but didn't examine it closely because it seemed more of the same like his current blog - insipid and with obvious tips on the surface, full of bravado and extreme claims when you look closer, and truly bizarre when you stop to wonder what kind of person would write such weirdness.

But after going through the blogs, there were a few nuggets of hilarity that we can't help but highlight!

First, the entire blog lasted only three weeks. What happened? In his final post, he claims it was all a test run, but no other bloggers replaced him. And there was no mention of it being a trial when he first started blogging. It's like KLM just canceled any and all involvement with him and quickly dropped the idea of having a blog. Why they haven't deleted the whole thing, I'm not sure. Having a blogger for only three weeks is bizarre. After I started reading it though, I imagine KLM became uncomfortable with him or even suspicious of some of his stories. We're not surprised his one gig with a legitimate client lasted only not even a month.

Second, the whole stupid thing is a giant, immature suck up to KLM. There is not even a veiled attempt of pretending he's not kissing their ass. But yet he claims to have journalistic integrity! No true journalist would be associated with such a thing. In fact, the first few blogs were sheer, outright KLM promotion that probably they did not even ask of him. But Steven always lays the bullshit on thick.

- In his review of airline food, he says the donuts at KLM's lounge at their headquarters in Amsterdam are so amazing that he frequently flies out of his way to Amsterdam just to have them! Ask any business or professional traveler about this suggestion, and they would laugh you silly. While frequent travelers may enjoy being on the road, anyone with a life, family and friends, and real responsibilities is not going to needlessly lengthen their trip, at unnecessary cost to himself or his "employer," for some donuts. Only an unprofessional hack would try such a thing, but he claims he does it regularly!
- For Christmas he says he got what he had wanted all his life: a model KLM airplane!
- There was an entire post dedicated to KLM's luggage tags! This from a "travel analyst"?!
- One day he had nothing better to do than post this crap that even the shittiest advertising intern would laugh at:

"Traveling from Glasgow to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year? KLM can do that.

Flying from Cardiff to San Francisco to see the famous Fog over The Bay? KLM can do that.

Headed out from London to Rotterdam for a day out with the in-laws? KLM can do that."

Oh, the journalistic credibility!

As usual there were extreme stories and fantastic claims:

- "I was about to fly roughly 20,000 miles in less than 72hrs" are your eyes rolling too?
- "While packing my backpack up to catch my flight I did learn a few interesting things through this man’s loud mobile phone conversation.  I learned that this Englishman deals in foreign real-estate, I found out that this guy really hates his brother-in-law… and for some reason I managed to be informed that he has dermatologist appointment coming up for a growth of some sort on his right shoulder." Again, not really believable. Sounds like dialog a bad TV sitcom writer would dream up.
- "By checking in online airport thieves can have their boarding pass for a 9:00pm flight 24 hours before boarding the plane, and get through security when the security check point opens at 5:00am. The thieves spend their day people watching and using the underestimated art of observation. They are looking for body language, items out in the open, people who seem unfamiliar with security procedures and those who seem confused and easily distracted by dealing with all the procedures for crossing through security from the ‘public side’ to the ’sterile side’ of an airport. The “professional airport thief” has a subtle way of getting in line behind their target. You won’t know the thief is there until they are gone."

OK we're no expert fliers, but at every airport we've been to, we haven't been allowed through security if our flight is not within four hours.

"In the course of a day a skilled thief can go through security at an airport, such as Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) or  Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Int’l Airport (CDG), upwards of a dozen times."

WTF? Why would you need to be checking in and out of security if your big scheme was to get through it 16 hours before your flight? Wouldn't that make you more suspicious? What idiot besides Steven Frischling would think up such a scenario?

"If your bag is pulled for secondary screening (and mine are 90% of the time) be polite to the agent and NEVER act confused by this. If you act confused or become forgetful as a result of your bag being pulled for secondary screening you open yourself up to becoming a target again. This is a clear sign to the airport thieves that you are inexperienced and can easily be distracted."

This is so stupid it speaks for itself.
Oh and your bags are pulled 90 percent of the time? Unless you only fly Bogota-to-Miami or your first name is Osama, I can't imagine anybody's bags are pulled at that frequency.

Thirdly, if you've arrived 16 hours before your flight and have already one through security "upwards of a dozen times," what else can you do to pass the time? Why not sit in a corner like Steven Frischling, who brings professional drum sticks everywhere so he can pound on his bag to the voices in his head?

Steven never leaves home without it
"Drumming on my bag?  Just what it sounds like, I often pack a pair of drumsticks in my bag (I like Neil Peart Pro Mark 747s … no shock I use 747  sticks, eh?).   Drumsticks take up virtually no space, allow me to work off my energy and keep me entertained.   To prevent me from annoying those around me, I usually find a corner and use the back of my bag as my drum pad.   I find the back of most bags ideal because they are padded, the padding not only protects the contents of my bag throughout my stream of hits, flams, rudiments, fills and rim shots…but the padding also muffles the sounds of my drum sticks."

This is even stupider. What kind of moron over 8 years old would sit in the corner at the airport and drum on their bag without being high as a kite? I highly doubt he even owns drum sticks, yet this suits his vision of himself as some sort of rock star. But I doubt even Neal Peart himself would be caught doing something so idiotic.

(By the way, why is he still editing his stories on KLM? The latest story was edited on Friday, almost a year after it was written.)