Let's review the evidence and then take a look at his tales.
|The RAF sometimes goes on patrol when they are not drinking in front of Steven Frischling.|
Steven Frischling made his first (and evidently only) trip to Iraq in May 2003. He was not embedded with any unit. It was a public relations trip with Richard Branson (founder of Virgin) to drop off humanitarian aid at the airport in Basra. As Frischling brags repeatedly at every point, the total time on the ground was six hours. He never left the airport. The British provided security at the airport and Frischling has a picture of one of their armored vehicles in front of a sign at the airport.
His second trip to "Iraq" was in February 2004 as an embedded photographer for five days on a Coast Guard boat patrolling the Gulf, miles off the coast of Iraq. He claims to have been sent on assignment by Bloomberg News, but that is likely false. It would appear he paid his own way there and made arrangements to sell his photos to multiple agencies.
"All of my ventures into Iraq were for Bloomberg News. Bloomberg is a Financial News Service." Digital Wedding Forum, 5/22/07
However, the same photos from his boat trip appear on WorldPicturesNews (search for Frischling Iraq") and Getty tagged as Bloomberg. Bloomberg, according to our research, would not send a photographer on assignment and then allow him or her to resell the same images to some web agency. Outtakes, yes, but not the same images it paid for.
There are no other discussions, photographs or message board threads that would support Steven Frischling's claim of going to Iraq any other time.
However, as you will see, Steven Frischlings claims to have been to Iraq multiple times, has been shot at, has had "things exploding" near him, has been embedded with the Royal Air Force, spent "weeks" shooting in 120 degrees in Basra, had cameras fail in Iraq due to excessive dirt, has spent two weeks with the Coast Guard in Iraq, has won awards for his coverage of the Iraq war, and has hung out with drunken British soldiers in Basra!
It's all quite literally unbelievable.
Let's start with clarifying just how long he was on that Coast Guard ship...
"I recently received an e-mail from someone while I was overseas. I was unable to get online, or get any e-mail for five days, as I was in the middle of the Arabian Gulf on a Coast Guard Cutter." SportsShooter, 2/17/04But that time suddenly grew from five days into two weeks!
"On an assignment in Iraq I had two 1D bodies and a 10D. One 1D's CCD became filthy and I switched to a 1D/10D combo. While I was extremely impressed with the performance of the 10D for the two weeks it was attached to me" Digital Wedding Forum 2/28/07
"While out with the US Coast Guard in Iraq one of my 1D CCDs got so dirty I switched to the 10D (my backup). The EOS 10D did almost 2 weeks with me in Iraq, out in some really nasty conditions and it performed flawlessly." Digital Wedding Forum, 7/30/06
He claims he has been to Iraq "multiple times" as well as other "areas of conflict" (WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS?)
"I have been to Iraq multiple times as a photographer, as well as other areas of conflict. When I have gone into an area of conflict I have to weigh my safety and security vs the subject I am shooting." Digital Wedding Forum, 11/08
His photos from Iraq were so fantastic, they won awards... (WHICH ONES?!)
"I have won awards for photos I have shot in the US, Canada the UK and Iraq. Does that make me international award winning? The awards are all US awards though (and I don't list them anywhere on my resume or profile because really, I don't put alot of stock in awards)" Digital Wedding Forum, 7/7/06Remember his photo of the Royal Air Force at the Basra airport? Now he's been embedded with them!
"I was also an embedded journalist with both the British Military and the United States Military in Iraq." Digital Wedding Forum, 11/24/07
"I have been to Iraq with both the USGC and the RAF." Digital Wedding Forum, 5/22/07Not only was he embedded with the Royal Air Force, he claims the British soldiers were drunk! Our photographer sources, who have photos to prove they actually have been to war zones, are adamant that alcohol is strictly prohibited in a combat zone and on bases and they never witnessed drunken American or British soldiers.
"Your wedding sounds scarier than my trips to Iraq in the past few years!.........although I was with some drunken heavily armed members of the RAF at one point in Basrah. Luckily a wedding didn't break out!" Digital Wedding Forum, 12/12/05He claims to have suffered through extreme heat for weeks in Basra, with temperatures up to 120 Farenheit. Average temperature in May is 95 degrees Farenheit. Had he been there in the summer when it actually gets that hot (in the summer instead of in May), he would have surely mentioned the extreme humidity that they experience in Basra due to its proximity to the Gulf.
"I spent two weeks out shooting in weather than would go from around 120F in the day time to a cool 90F in the evenings while out in Basrah, Iraq." Digital Wedding Forum, 7/8/07Not only was it hot, but he's been under attack! (NO PHOTOS TO BACK THIS UP)
"no more trips to a hot desert with things being fired at me or items exploding near me." Digital Wedding Forum, 2/8/07He claims he's captured "scenes of war" (NO PHOTOS TO BACK THIS UP)
"I have documented the psychological struggle of first responders, the problems officers face when working in drug infested housing projects, the aftermath of hurricanes and floods, the scenes and emotions and two terrorist attacks (1993 and 2001) in NYC, been in the morgue following plane crashes and the scenes of war, as well as other life shaping events" Digital Wedding Forum, 5/22/07He brags he was in "an active combat zone" (NO PHOTOS TO BACK THIS UP)
"I have worked in some close quarters, under some very intense situations. Walking into a house with paramedics to watch them tell a woman her father is dead and they need to call the coroner; working 1-on-1 with a presidential candidate ; getting into nasty situations while documenting law enforcement; being in the field in an active combat zone with the military, etc......these are things that have all taught how to be a fly on the wall." Digital Wedding Forum, 7/19/07It gets better. He claims to have nearly been "detained" for mouthing off to a "state trooper" in front of the state trooper's "supervisor" at a TSA checkpoint on his way to Basra for having a bulletproof vest. This is absurd considering he was only going to the heavily fortified airport. (Why would a TSA agent be seeking advice and assistance from a state trooper at an airport security checkpoint?)
"A few months ago my wise @$$ mouth almost got me detained before an international flight. I had my bullet proof vest in my carry on (I only had carry on) when security pulled it from my bag and handed it to a State Trooper at Logan airport. The Trooper asked "What is this?" My response was "You should know, you're wearing one." He asked why I had it and I told him I was off to Basrah, he responded with "I've heared it is pretty safe in the southern region of Iraq ." my response was "There were four shooting homocides in the Yukon Territory last year and a few hundred dead in Southern Iraq yesterday, I'll be sure to leave my vesy home when I go to Canada."His cameras have seen it all and have "survived" (as they should) so many important "assignments"
The Trooper was not amussed, luckily his supervisor was there and actully was ammused and prevented the Statie from taking my stuff to another area to have a little chat with me.....whew." Sports Shooter, 10/4/03
"All the bodies have 1,000,000+ frames shot. Two of the bodies have survived multiple assignments in Iraq, all have enjoyed stints at the Final Four, World Series, Presidential pool gigs, etc........." Digital Wedding Forum, 9/16/07
"My bodies have not only done weddings, but have also been to war with me, riots with me, blown thousands of cycles covering NFL seasons MLB seasons, NCAA football, basketball and hockey seasons along with the daily assignments that don't require as much abuse." Digital Wedding Forum, 8/17/06He claims that his camera got so dirty it was unusable. Keep in mind he was on the water at the time, where dirt should not be an issue.
"My 1D bodies have been to hell and back, literally and been just fine. While out with the US Coast Guard in Iraq one of my 1D CCDs got so dirty I switched to the 10D (my backup). The EOS 10D did almost 2 weeks with me in Iraq, out in some really nasty conditions and it performed flawlessly" Digital Wedding Forum, 7/30/06
"My lenses have survived riots, floods, hurricanes, war zones, blizzards, disaster sites and yes even a few weddings" Digital Wedding Forum, 3/9/07He claims he was going to be embedded with US Air Force 439 AeroMed Evac Squadron but his adoring girlfriend Susannah Seefeldt refused to let him go. (Was the 439, which appears to be a reservist unit, even involved in Iraq at this time?)
"She nixed me going to cover the 439 AeroMed Evac Squadron as a short term "embed" photog. I really wanted to shoot it, but she was certain she did not want me to go, so I stayed home." Sports Shooter, 4/25/03To add an even more absurd angle to this, he tries to give advice and directions about how to make arrangements to work in Iraq, even though he has never been outside the airport! He is immediately corrected by photographers who have actually been to Iraq and point out how dangerous it is for him to be spreading his bullshit.
The fact that he continues to call himself a "journalist," and that Randy Petersen continues to host his blog on BoardingArea.com, is nothing if not disgusting.