Thursday, February 10, 2011

Frischling's Changing Stories on 9/11

We've been contacted by a professional news photographer who stumbled across our humble blog and tipped us off the incredible stories Steven Frischling has been posting for years on, a message board for professional sports photographers.

This person shared with us a gold mine of information on Steven Frischling's total lack of credibility in the industry, which goes back a very long time. An email from this photographer was so great we'll just post this entire segment about Frischling's ridiculous stories from 9/11, a tragic day he exploited to bring attention to himself. Links included:
Here is a good example of how Frischling takes a simple story and turns it into a more self serving account of an event that makes him appear to be a hero. But, in typical fish fashion, the story continues to evolve over time to include acts of bravery and personal anguish. From these stories, you would think that he was the hero of the day, snapping prize winning photos of the most intense moments of 9/11, dodging falling debris. Most professional photographers would have photo evidence of things like people running away from falling debris, dead bodies on the ground and the overall pain of the situation. Not Frischling. The set of photos that he took on that day don't really jive with his over exaggerated tales, they are pretty much (bad) photos of record. A receipt, if you will, to prove he was there. But in no way do they capture the essence and horror of that day. Even his photo captions were designed to sound far more dramatic than what is really going on in the photo - like "a fire truck moves quickly away from a fast moving cloud (otherwise known as smoke in the distance). here are some of his pictures from that day -

Here is the first story from late in 2001- he talks about how he heard about it on the radio and raced to NY. He mentions a leg and a child's backpack amidst rubble and dust, but a photo has never been seen anywhere. (
In the story above, he says he arrived by 11:59 a.m.

Here is the second variation of the story from 2003- this time an editor in Germany called him and he was hit by falling debris that knocked a camera off his shoulder, never to be found. (
"I was dropping my daughter off at day care in Northampton, MA, 200 miles from ground zero, when the first plane hit. An editor I had worked with in Germany was calling somewhat frantically, this is still only the first plane, so I went home got my stuff and started south. When I heard the 2nd plane hit I put my foot on the gas and took off.
I got down into the city in record time hitting downtown Manhattan a little after 10:AM, and finding a parking space littererly on the sidewalk next to city hall a little before noon. 
Wow, now he's there a little after 10 a.m.! He drove 200 miles in under an hour! To downtown New York on 9/11, no less! Perhaps his pal Superman picked him up and flew him there?
I came and went from the scene to dump images into my laptop, and when #7 came down a chunk of debris took a camera off my shoulder, with a 17-35f2.8 with it. I never found the camera, but was glad I had an NC2000c in the car as a spare.

In 2004, he's still talking about losing the camera. In this thread he also talks about several other injuries and surgeries that he has had over the years, including the removal of 80% of one of his kidneys. (
"Ummmm, 1991, lost my 80% of my kidney = $42,000 (100% covered)
1991, had another part of kidney removed = $5,600 (100% covered)
1992 through 1993 , three more surgeries, around $14,00 = 100% covered

Various concusions, lost teeth, broken fingers, leg, rebuilt shoulder,11 procedures on my throat since 1999 all 100% covered, hospital stay, surgery, ER, doc, nurses, drugs, all 100% covered (except down time, excluding the shoulder, I was paid for my down time) camera gear repair is a minimum of $500 out of pocket, so it is cheaper to break me than the gear :0)
By the way, Frischling should have still been in high school from 1991-1993, yet these injury claims are more consistent with someone who has been in a war zone! And this thread was not simply asking complete medical history, but what injuries occurred while as a photographer.
"In certain situation, such as violent situations, or an extreme example would be having been near #7 World Trade Center when it collapsed on Sept 11, 2001, my gear was the last thing on my mind. I lost a camera body that day and didn't even go back and look for it."

2004 - Still talking about his harrowing run to safety when tower 7 came down. Still no pictures , like the ones hundreds of photographers took of towers one and two collapsing, ever emerged from Frischling. Oh yeah, for the record, building 7 of the world trade center was 47 stories, not 50+ as stated.

"I was in New York on Sept 11. I was a little more than a block when 7 World Trade Center, a 50+ floor building. I ran for my life when that building came down. I stood on ground zero on Sept 11. I looked up at a black I fully understand what happened on Sept 11 in New York City."
But the Incredible Adventures of the Photographer Steven Frischling continue! He's been threatened with treason!
MOVING ON to a story about being detained while shooting oil tanks. This one was a classic and the best thing about it was that he wrote a whole story about it on Sports Shooter as if he was holding a seminar on how to deal with the police. It is also highly unlikely that police would demand to search a car for more cameras without a warrant or probable cause.

The first story emerged in 2003
"I found my two shooting positions, and went to work. About five minutes into my working from my second position I notice my car is now surrounded by four patrol cars, and about six officers, two more are rapidly advancing on me as I shot from the pier.

The officers demanded Susannah's licenses and wanted to search the car for any cameras. Susannah informed them I was a news photographer, and any of the cameras from the car were with me (I was hard to miss with a 300f2.8 and 400f2.8 alone at the end of a pier). As the officers approached me they had their hands on their unflapped holsters, and ordered me to stop. I identified myself, and again was ordered to stop, so I did. As the officers allowed me to put my gear down and get my credentials out I noticed a live truck, and TV station Explorer pulling in behind the four cruisers surrounding my car.
The second story popped up in 2004 and he added a little color to it to make it a little more dramatic. (
In the past few years I have had friends face changes of treason, then face the charge myself for shooting that person in the place they were facing the charges.
A third story came to light in 2008 and now it is even more dramatic, the cops now have their guns drawn. (

"A few years ago in New Haven, CT, while photographing the huge oil storage farms for a business story (a company was sold in a multi-billion dollar deal) I was out on the end of a public pier shooting. I was wearing tan board shorts, a bright Hawaiian shirt had three bodies with a 17-35f2.8, 70-200f2.8, 400f2.8, all wrapped in bright orange & purple tape.

Prior to shoot there I had called the USCG First District Public Affairs desk and the New Haven PIO. I didn't need to, but I didn't want a problem.

At some point I noticed my wife's '83 bright yellow Volvo surrounded by cops demanding to know where there camera were. She pointed to me and cops from the NHPD, State Police and DOD Police came at me. One office, an NHPD Lt., had his weapon out of the holster screaming at me demanding to know why I was trying to hide. if I was hiding would I be in plain site, on a public pier, in a Hawiian shirt with a 400f2.8 wrapped in bright purpleand orange tape?

This yutz would not accept my press credentials from the US Senate Press Photogs Gallery, the United Nations, NYPD, Mass State Police or other easily verifiable organizations. He demanded my Connecticut press credentials......Conn issues no press cards and this guy didn't seem to know that."

I have plenty more for you and will get them to you when I have time. Keep up the site, I have already sent the link to at least a dozen Frischling haters and everyone LOVES it.
Thank you for the links!


  1. Fishfraud is crowdsourced! Its great that you have so many fans.

  2. I love it how in his first account at Digital Journalist it took him from 9:10a - 11:59am to make what he admits is a 200 mile drive from Northampton, Massachusetts to Manhattan, (a reasonable account time wise) and by 2003 he is arriving "a little after 10:AM." This is so typical of his fantastical imaginary accounts of his own activities that he has been putting forward for years. This guy seriously needs psychiatric help and has for a very very long time.

  3. In 1991 he would've been in high school on Long Island. There is no way he could have been in the 1991 US Open Super G for snowboarding. The last time I checked, Long Island doesn't have too many hills that would allow such a young person to develop into a world class snowboarding phenom. He is an odd person.

  4. Didn't you know that the Flying with Fish mobile is in actual fact the time traveling car from Back to the Future, which Fish bought from the movie studio and then made ACTUALLY WORK, using nothing but a pair of discarded fingernail clippers as a tool and a box of miscellaneous wires that he found in a trash pile?

    When you look up the word FRAUD in the dictionary there really should be a little head shot of Stephen Frischling.

  5. It's enough to make you tear the IV from your arm and run screaming from the hospital. Again and Again.

  6. I am not sure "Despised in News Photography Industry" fully conveys the feelings of his news business "colleagues" well enough. Maybe reviled by? Vilified by? Inspires waves of disgust in?

  7. I'm a bit curious now, too. By lunchtime on 9/11, most, if not all, bridges and tunnels into Manhattan would have been closed or severely restricted. If I remember correctly, people were walking home by then. So how did he just waltz right in?

  8. Yes, how did he cruise right into Manhattan and park on the sidewalk right next to City Hall, two blocks from the 9/11 devastation and well within the cordoned off area? It is also interesting that he says he got there at either 10am or Noon, yet the collapse of Building 7 that he claims hit him with debris and dramatically snatched one of his cameras from his grasp never to be seen again did not happen until 5:20PM. Where are all his pictures from the course of the day? In fact where are any pictures from him that are even in the ballpark with the award winning work of dozens of other news photographers who were there at the same time that he supposedly was. Frischling has to win the award for most pathetic coverage produced by any news photographer actually present in Lower Manhattan on 9/11.

  9. judging by the light in the photos, it is probably safe to say that he got there in the late afternoon after having to walk miles across the bridge and not just driving up to city hall, a few blocks away from ground zero. it is also probably safe to assume that he wasn't that close to tower 7 when it came down as access at 5:20 in the afternoon was heavily restricted.

  10. Personally, I especially liked the video link you posted. The wedding photos were horrid. What exactly was he thinking having the garish over-saturated color work then BAM!!! A black & white? And the packing for flying video was nothing short of hilarious and showed how truly troubled this poor soul is. If you watch that video it has nothing to do with packing for a trip. He had ALL the gear he owns on the table. None of that made any sense except for him to show everyone he MUST be a professional photographer because "look at all that stuff". Very, very sad.