Content Posted on FlyerTalk by Congressman to Be Used Against Him in Light of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

f you ever wanted proof that you should always be careful about what you post on FlyerTalk — or any Internet bulletin board web site — because you never know if and when it could come back to haunt you, this is it…

Blake Farenthold — a Republican congressman of the House of Representatives of the United States who represents his constituents in the 27th district of Texas and has done so since 2011 — is currently being sued by a former aide who alleges that he committed sexual harassment against her, resulting in the creation of a hostile work environment.

The following paragraph has been extracted from this article written by Sam Levine for The Huffington Post:

Lauren Greene, Farenthold’s former communications director, claimed in a complaint filed last week that the congressman made inappropriate, sexually related comments to her. Greene says that when she told Farenthold’s executive assistant in January that she thought her boss was awkward around her, the executive assistant said Farenthold had confessed he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene.

Comments Posted by Blake Farenthold on FlyerTalk

Now the content posted by Farenthold on FlyerTalk between 2006 and 2010 is reportedly being used against him, according to this article written by Samantha Lachman for The Huffington Post. Unfortunately, Ms. Lachman did not use precise links to the exact content; so I will take the liberty to do so in paraphrasing her article.

Farenthold — who is also known as FlyerTalk member farenthold, as demonstrated by his profile with his occupation listed as US Congressman — has posted comments such as the following in chronological order about drinking and hitting on women to which you can access by clicking on the bold subheads, as extracted from the aforementioned article:

May 31, 2007

Pregnant wife in BF with me in Y = waste of 9 hours of free booze.

Pregnant wife in Y with me in BF = waste of 9 MONTHS of my happiness.

November 15, 2007

General Rules:

The Only meal to eat at a hotel is breakfast.

Just say no to chains.

The concierge is your friend and always deserves at least a $10 tip for a good restaurant recommendation

When someone comes to your office from out of town, always invite them to dinner so they don’t spend the evening alone at their hotel.

Never room service.

Hotel bars are for cocktails only …unless you are single and looking (or are in Las Vegas where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas  )

Exceptions

No PF Changs in my hometown so it’s not a “chain” and their “bar” is more like a counter for food than drinking bar.

Hooters

5 star hotels, especially in Europe

Room service when hungover

$10 is not nearly enough for a concierge at a hotel you visit more than 3 times a year.

November 20, 2008

Best:

Late 70’s BA crew on Concord: They were as excited and enthusiastic as I was.

Late 80’s AA DFW-GDL & back several flights FA gave us extra bottle of champagne to take with us, great parties, one time i was only one in F until 4 AA gate agents boarded for shopping day in DFW.. flew back with ’em the next day too.

About 2 years ago, CO IAH-GDL mainline flight: FA was from my home town (CRP) and went to school with my sister. Besides my family (3 of us) there were only 2 other people in F. She spent her spare time catching up on the dozens of common friends we had.

Worst:

Mid 80’s, AA flight attendant spilled tray of boarding champagne on me.

’92 LHR-ORD AA in F (After a week in SVO) FA thought after 4 vodka shots (they were serving caviar) I’d had enough and cut me off for the rest of the flight. She said she’d get in trouble if I appeared over served at customs. At 250 lbs and a week in Russia, 4 vodkas wasn’t even a good start on being over served..

Pre Do III CHQ flights CRP-IAH (and back) almost never offered any beverage service. A comment to Larry at the DO had that fixed the next day.

March 6, 2009

I get upgraded. It’s my seat. I can give it to my wife if I like, or if I’m traveling alone the hot redhead in 12B in hopes of……

Kurt Bardella — a spokesman for Farenthold — reportedly sent an e-mail message to The Huffington Post which contained the following statement:

As anyone can see, this entire platform is designed to host an open and relaxed conversational environment — at one point a representative from United Airlines even provides a post requesting feedback about their expanded drink offerings. These postings are talking about traveling experiences that millions of Americans experience every day — utilizing the concierge for a restaurant recommendation, inviting out-of-town guests to dinner so they don’t spend the evening alone in a hotel room, and yes, like many normal people who will be traveling during the holiday season — enjoying some in-flight drinks. Quite frankly, it’s a bit of a reach to try and selectively pull out postings from before he was even elected to Congress, before he was in public life and draw the line that this provides validity to something that’s going on more than five years later.

FlyerTalk members have already started posting comments in reaction to the latest developments. “I’ve been getting emails from folk saying they thought FT was legit”, posted FlyerTalk member SkiAdcock. “I tell them it is & this guy is a doofus.”

The remarks posted on FlyerTalk by Farenthold — reportedly brought to the attention of The Huffington Post by a source from the Democratic party in an apparent effort to disparage him and further tarnish his reputation — might seem to be tasteless and classless to some people; but I have not seen FlyerTalk used to this degree in order to help incriminate someone on some serious charges and allegations.

It is unfortunate that FlyerTalk had been involuntarily thrusted in a negative manner into the political spotlight in a way which has apparently already been discrediting it — but I suppose that comes with the territory of becoming the largest Internet bulletin board web site for the discussion of frequent travel loyalty program miles, points and travel with greater than 576,000 members. I can assure you that this is not what Randy Petersen had in mind when he launched this version of FlyerTalk back in May of 1998.

Again, the lesson to be learned is to not post anything on an Internet bulletin board web site which can come back to haunt you…

13 thoughts on “Content Posted on FlyerTalk by Congressman to Be Used Against Him in Light of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit”

  1. Greg says:

    HIs dad was murdered when he was 10 years old. A lot going on here.

    Remember meeting him at a Continental Do event. Was good company there, but can’t speak for anything else.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am sorry to learn about his father being murdered when he was a boy, Greg. That is indeed sad.

      I am sure that he would be good company to some people. He sounds like someone who likes to have fun — and there is nothing wrong with that — but as I said, I can see why some people would find his comments posted on FlyerTalk tasteless…

  2. DaveS says:

    All that stuff is irrelevant. The issue is whether he has created a hostile work environment, not whether he had a few drinks and even the occasional fling years in the past. Voters can take the latter into account if they wish; the legal system should only be interested in the former.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree, DaveS. His comments posted on FlyerTalk may be considered tasteless by some people; but that should not automatically correlate with the assumption of the creation of a hostile work environment, which may or may not be a separate issue.

  3. pavel says:

    i don’t see anything from the examples above (besides maybe garden variety boorishness) that concern me in the least. a couple of stray references to attractive women or a tired cliche endorsed by the city of las vegas? how shocking. this puritan culture needs to evolve already. as for the harassment allegations, i don’t know about you but i’d hope for more compelling evidence than my internet commenting history.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Opposing political parties constantly “dig up dirt” on politicians, pavel — no matter how trivial the “dirt” might be, unfortunately…

      …and there are times where entities such as FlyerTalk — or even innocent people — are involuntarily caught up in it…

      …so I agree with you.

  4. KUL says:

    Another lesson is not to use your real name on FT… or anywhere online, especially if you’re a politician.

  5. wow says:

    ugh, the guy is a pig and I HATE guys that think they are God’s gift to women and think with their penis. I side against the politician. If he confessed to his assistant that he had wet dreams, seriously, that is NEVER appropriate and should remain information known only to him. What a pig and having to work with someone that thinks he is doing you a favor by admitting he has had wet dreams and fantasies about you is really disgusting. There are things you just don’t say and that is a good example of what you NEVER say. Once you open your mouth, you cannot unsay what you have said and you forever change the relationship for the negative. Of course, after looking up where that d-bag is from, it makes sense seeing as that Texas politicians tend to be misogynist d-bags, and maybe that is what Texas likes to elect. Throw the book at him. He brought about his own undoing and should have kept his mouth shut and acted only respectfully and said only respectful things about his employee, if he had to say anything at all.

  6. Digger says:

    What more could you do to him than what he has to look at in the mirror every day? And that’s what has taken over this country since the tea-party know-nothings started spinning up their outlandish lies they pose as political issues. The man is the very icon of that national bowel movement of know-nothings.
    After Bush the modern nations felt they could no longer look the other way at the damage American know-nothing rednecks inflict on the world, from lunacy that took down financial and corporate regulations resulting in our economic collapse and near world financial collapse, to social issues that match the positions of the Taliban. The fact that this 1/3 was belched up from America is what scares the world, so they now teach it in their schools so that the average high schooler coming out of Germany, UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand now is much better informed on what has shipwrecked US politics than almost any Americans are.

  7. Gary Leff says:

    Brian,

    Here’s Farenthold’s legal response to the suit. Interesting reading to say the least!

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/255680706/2-12-15-Office-of-Rep-Blake-Farenthold-Response

    Gary

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Due to traveling, I have not had a chance to read the entire document, Gary Leff — but thank you for following up on this story and sending the information to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *