A Response To The Anonymous Attacks…Truth & Fiction

Typically I do not respond to trolls. Engaging a troll can generally bring about no good, but an unconventional troll hiding behind anonymity has been following my every move and must be addressed.   I have addressed this on Twitter, via email and in conversation … but at this point I should just put it here, in a permanent public place.

If you follow me on Twitter you have probably seen the allegations pop up over the past few days. They have been rampant following many of my Tweets and showing up attached to many of the hash tags I use. If you have no idea what this post is about … then consider skipping it (or not).

While I will not address each and every allegation , misfact, half-fact or outright incorrect statement, because I don’t have the time … I’ll take on a few of these here for everyone to see.

1) I guess I’ll start with the most absurd allegation that I was not in the hospital on the evening of the 25th of November … awaiting discharge on the 26th … when I just walked out after waiting for around 5 hours for the Doctor to sign the discharge papers that the Nurse had already prepared.  I have an on going throat stricture problem, going back to childhood.  On the evening of the 25th of November something became lodged in my esophagus, I went to the NYU Medical Center’s ER in Manhattan. Upon the first round of endoscopy I became unstable, was woken up, moved to the Critical Care Unit, put back out and they went back to finish the job.

Below is a quick iPhone shot of my discharge paperwork (which was from the nurse, the doctor never signed what he had to, which is why I walked out).

2) The end of the KLM Blog …. Yes, in Dec 2009 to Jan 2010 I was the author of the KLM blog during its test pilot program. I was contracted for a three week period to handle the blog as well as work behind the scenes of KLM’s Twitter strategy during this time frame.  When my contract for this project was up, I ended it in a way that was agreed upon between myself and KLM. I have absolutely nothing to do with KLM’s internal issues and will not discuss the inner workings of KLM and its social media.

The KLM blog … if you look at it, is not me ‘kissing up to’ KLM, as is alleged, the blog is hosted by the airline, written for the airline and I have disclosed countless times that the project was specifically for the airline.

This is called ‘a job.’

3) Carry a knife on flights … yes that accusation is correct. I do in fact carry a knife on nearly every commercial flight, domestically and internationally. I have done so for some time, never been stopped. In fact I have written a blog post on it, discussed it on Twitter and people I have travelled with have seen how easily the knife is concealed in my bag.

The person attacking me asked “What kind of moron would try to bring a knife on a plane these days? What purpose does this serve and why does “a travel strategist” need a knife anyway?”   … well the answer is simple. The knife has a small screwdriver, which is useful, and small blades come in handy all the time in all sorts of situations.

4) I was chased out of wedding photography … well this is more like something I have admitted in public spaces quite a few times. The fact of the matter is this … I f$#ked up and I pissed a lot of people off.  This is entirely true. I ran my wedding photography business terribly. My work flow was terrible, my business skills were based on editorial and corporate photography, which was a huge mistake and I poorly allocated my time. I made massive mistakes and I made a lot of people upset.

Did I get sued? Yes I did.  The cases are a matter of public record. Am I proud of it? No.  Have I talked about it?  In fact I have because I’d rather others not make my mistakes and screw up as well. To I regret my errors? I sure do … and rather than perpetuate these mistakes, I chose to leave it behind and do something else. Some of the details being used are incorrect, but I am not going to quibble over these factual errors because I cannot change something I have already changed.

5) I was sued in small claims court by a credit and collections agency over a credit card debt and I settled it … this is also true. I have no idea why someone would use this as an attack on my credibility … its a personal financial matter.

Edited To Add – 6) The Huffington Post removed my quotes, this is true, but not because the validity of my sources has been called into question. The Huffington Post has an editorial policy to not use unnamed sources that they themselves cannot verify first hand.  The Huffington Post’s Travel Editor asked me earlier today if I would allow them to verify my sources first hand and I refused. I will not reveal my sources for a few reasons … the primary reason is I have told each and every source I will not reveal their identity, there is no wiggle room in this promise. Secondly, if I allow the Huffington Post to know who my sources are, what standing would I have to refuse to reveal my sources should I be subpoenaed?

The anonymous attackers blog states that the Huffington Post has removed the quotes I provided them from 17 TSA agents with this message “Editor’s Note: We have removed the quotes following questions about the veracity of the source who claims to have collected them.” … in fact the actual current wording on the Huffington Post regarding the removal of these quotes reads “Editor’s Note: Due to editorial consideration with respect to third party sourcing, we have removed this post.”

This person, who remains anonymous is attacking my credibility, but leaving out important pieces of their argument, especially with my coverage of the TSA.  Over the past year I have been proven correct repeatedly.  I have published information regarding the details of three “SSI” TSA documents in the past year … not an easy thing to do unless you have spend considerable time building contacts within the agency.

Last December I published a TSA Security Directive in its entirety, this made national headlines when the TSA sent two Special Agents to my house (three times in two days) to subpoena me. I never revealed the name of my source.

At the start of November I wrote in detail about Security Directive 1554-10-05, another SSI document, in detail three days before it was announced. I actually wrote about this security directive three days before most people in the TSA knew it existed.

Just before Thanksgiving I wrote about yet another SSI TSA issue, their internal policy on those who refuse pat downs and their removal from the airside of an airport terminal. I wrote about this policy a few hours before most TSA front line screeners would hear about this information from the TSA themselves.

…and outside of TSA issues … how about writing that Emirates would remove the Airbus A380 from their Dubai-New York route nearly three months before the airline would make headlines announcing they’d be pulling the A380 from the Dubai – New York route.

So, while I am far from perfect, I have made a lot of mistake in my life and I am certainly not a model to follow on many things … to attack my credibility in covering airlines and aviation security … well that is something I guess the readers will need to decide from themselves.

Have any questions? Ask me …but make sure you use your real name and e-mail address.

Attacks from those who remain hidden and use falsehoods in place of fact simply won’t be addressed from this point on.

Oh, and if you have no idea what this blog post is referring to … then forget you even read this post :0)

Happy Flying!

Comments

  1. Argh. Trolls. I have no time for people who don’t have the courage to tell us who they are when they are attacking someone else. This is the one reason that usually keeps me from reading comments after any story. Too many people who would rather attack someone else than to present a reasonable argument. Too often I end up reading someone’s highly suspect personal opinion trying to be passed off as fact. I’m sure the people who follow you on Twitter and read your blog recognize the effort you put into it. I may not always agree with you, but I certainly respect your work.

  2. OK I have no idea what you are talking about even after reading this post. Don’t care and don’t want to care….

    but please do what you do each and every day and please keep us up to date on all things about flying and how to get more miles, better seats etc etc etc. That is what I want to know.

    Keep blog’in most of us love you guys (ingy as my fav’flyer)

    😉

  3. stay strong my brotha…..i visit your blog everyday and love the work you do….i even respect you further for making me more informed on how much you have grown as a person…..a lot of us are learning from your mistakes and successes……KEEP IT UP!!!!

    wayward trolls will always be what they are……kindly dust ur shoulders and KEEP FLYING WITH FISH …..

  4. FWF:

    Everything I’ve read that you have posted has been correct, informative and usually hours-to-days ahead of others in the aviation field. Keep up the good work!

    @CravenTravels

  5. Even people in TSA read your blog because you do your homework and are fair and even. Stop letting yourself be terrorized by these trolls.

    We would be glad to pat them down for you as they wouldn’t have any junk to be worried about touching.

  6. I carry a pocket knife with me everywhere and it annoys me to no end that I can’t carry it on a plane anymore. I like that you found a way to do it.

  7. Fish – sometimes people have too much time on their hands and use it to tear down those who do not agree with them. Unfortunately this was one of those times.

    So wedding photography wasn’t your fote’. You are now in your niche and you do what you do very well.

    Even though we don’t always agree on some issues, you definitely have my respect. Keep up the good work!

    Tip of the hat…
    CAA/LSA

  8. This troll clearly has too much time on their hands, and would do much better to fix the problems in their own business rather than making up stuff about yours!

  9. Sadly, since you are in a “public” space daily, there are people whose pursuit of their own agendas is contrary to your journalistic integrity. Perhaps, I might suggest, intentionally so. I, too, am a regular reader, value your insights, marvel at your sources, and admire your depth of detail. Do I await evey keystroke? No. Is everything you write about of rapt interest to me. No, again. Do I still read you every day? Sure do. Keep it up, Fish!!

  10. I’ve been flying internationally (as a photographer) since ’77 and always find your posts interesting and informative. I can relate to the wedding disconnect. Done them for friends but try to avoid them because of all the things you’ve mentioned. Kudos to those who can make it work. As to credit cards, etc. Anyone who works for themselves is going to get jammed up now and then. If people don’t get the economic stress on folks like us, they must be living in the same cave as OBL! I think most of your comments regarding TSA are more than balanced and fair. I’ve suggested, on another site, that the TSA agents that are so critical of all of us should take a dozen flights a year (without badging) to get a bit more perspective. The irony about knives (I have 3 that are always packed in my checked bag for repairs and cutting French cheeses) is that if you can bring a leatherman on Air Force One if you are in the regular press pool but can’t flying commercially. I guess it’s all about risk assessment. Keep up the good work.

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