When a fan becomes abusive

About a week ago, I received a comment posted here on FlyingColors that was both rude and offensive.  That post came from a long time Braniff fan located here in Dallas.

Sadly, Brooke Watts isn’t a nice man.

I have found his website (The Braniff Pages) and associated Facebook page to contain a wide array biased comments on Braniff over the years with a vitriol marked for former Braniff CEO Harding Lawrence that borders on rabid.  Frankly, the things said about the Harding era are bizarre and don’t actually reflect many facts.  Hey, that’s my opinion and you’re free to ignore it.

But I don’t think that Brooke is one to really rely upon facts to support arguments.

The bias tends to change the story of the airline, particularly in the Harding years, but I’ve tended to maintain an attitude that it’s his website and his opinions and he’s free to shout them out as he wants.

I regret to inform all of you that Brooke doesn’t really extend the same courtesy to anyone. else.

That’s a shame because he does have quite the collection of items and he could be a great advocate for the airline’s history.

Instead, Brooke tends to threaten and abuse people and does it with such regularity that I cannot ignore it anymore.

About a year ago, Brooke decided that he would attempt to bully me away from a comment on his Facebook page by posting my name and address publicly and demanding to know if I was that person.  Only after he did this did I find out that he’s done it to others several times.   Unfortunately, Brooke has the habit of deleting anything that disagrees with him on his Facebook page.

Fortunately, I kept a screenshot of his bullying for posterity before he deleted it since I had noticed that he had that habit some time earlier.

Still, I tend to look at people acting like that and just leave it be.  After I replied firmly to Brooke suggesting he acted inappropriately in taking that action, he banned me from his Facebook page.

This had the effect of . . . nothing.

I’ve ignored Brooke since then and I’ve counseled a number of other people that he’s attacked both privately and publicly to do the same.  Specifically, I’ve suggested that there is no arguing with someone who spews hate and its best to leave it be.

I’ll admit that the cumulative effect of his actions has upset me at several points for he seems to have a flair for attacking people who actually have nothing to do with him.

And then his latest remark came in the form of a comment made to the FlyingColors blog.  Specifically, he wrote:

“Yes, and you have NO airline experience. You are a tool and an idiot.”

I approved the comment because I’ve generally had a policy of approving all comments that didn’t include blatantly foul language.  This one was borderline but it seemed more right to approve it than not.

I’ve let this be for a period of time because I wanted some clarity before responding, if I did at all.

I think the bullying and insults needs to stop, frankly.  So I’m making it public.  As many pointed out to me when I was growing up, how you act in public really is a direct reflection on upon yourself and what you stand for.

Brooke is free to comment all he wants on his forums.  He’s free to ban people from his websites and forums.  He can send private emails and insult anyone he wishes to.  Including me.  Brooke can shout and denigrate a wide variety of people from the Braniff era if he so wishes.

But I won’t tolerate someone like him being like a low-brow and a cretin.   So his comment gets published here and any other insults he cares to push onto my site will be published as well provided they meet the guideline that I don’t care to have intentionally foul language.  However, there is one caveat:

From here on out, I shall be giving them a place of prominence so that those associating with Brooke can see his behavior clearly.

And for those of you wondering if that could have been Brooke, the IP number of the person who made the post traces back to his home address which, coincidentally, I had available due to a purchase I made on Ebay.  So, it was Brooke, his wife or his dog, I would imagine.


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