Thursday, May 6, 2010

Journalist Carol Rosenberg, Banned from Guantanamo, Previously Attacked Gitmo Navy Spokesman With Homophobic, Sexualized Slurs

You know, when Spencer Ackerman vouches for someone it's worth looking into. The background is here, "Pentagon Bans Four of The Most Knowledgeable Reporters on GTMO From GTMO." (At Washington Independent as well, via Memeorandum). And at the tweet:


Ackerman's especially gushing on the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg, and knowing that Attackerman's one to root for the other side, I had my doubts about Rosenberg's integrity. So no surprise here, as it turns out: "Military and Media Clash In Complaint: Navy Spokesman Alleges Abuse by Miami Reporter":
Tensions between journalists and military officials are nothing new. But a bitter series of clashes between a top Navy spokesman and a Miami Herald military reporter reached a new, eye-opening level this week.

In a letter to the paper's editor, Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon accused Carol Rosenberg of "multiple incidents of abusive and degrading comments of an explicitly sexual nature." Gordon, who deals primarily with the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison, said in the letter that this was a "formal sexual harassment complaint" and asked the Herald for a "thorough investigation."

"Her behavior has been so atrocious over the years," Gordon said in an interview. "I've been abused worse than the detainees have been abused."

Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal said Friday that "obviously we're trying to sort this out. We're not going to talk about a personnel matter like this until we figure out what it's all about." Rosenberg, who declined to comment Friday, is described by other journalists as a seasoned reporter who pushes hard for access and answers.

The extraordinary complaint shines a light on the sometimes bruising battles between journalists, who sometimes must scratch and claw for information, and government officials, who attempt just as tenaciously to control information provided to news organizations. This cultural clash can be especially stark on military matters.

Gordon, 41, detailed a number of "vile and repulsive comments" he attributed to Rosenberg, stretching back to last summer. In the July 22 letter, Gordon alleges that:

While watching Sept. 11, 2001, co-defendant Mustafa al-Hawsawi seated on a pillow in court last year, Rosenberg told Gordon: "Have you ever had a red hot poker shoved up your [butt]? Have you ever had a broomstick shoved up your [butt]? . . . How would you know how it feels if it never happened to you? Admit it, you liked it."

When Gordon emerged from a shower facility in shorts and a towel last year, Rosenberg said to him and more than a dozen journalists and soldiers nearby: "Seeing him topless in tent city was the most repulsive sight I've ever seen in my life. I wanted to vomit."

After dealing with a Gordon intern whom she described as "your little chick with the hot pants," Rosenberg told Gordon, earlier this month, in the presence of others: "I know you're hot for your interns and bring them down as your 'companions,' but seriously, if I'm going to do their work anyway, what purpose do they serve? (Carol knows my intern last year was a male, therefore another inference that I was gay.)"

In addition, the letter alleged, Rosenberg "routinely labeled my colleagues in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Justice Department, as well as her peers in the press, as 'bitches,' 'stupid,' 'lazy,' 'incompetent,' 'Nazis,' 'Saddam Hussein-like,' etc." Gordon works for Defense Secretary Robert Gates and said he consulted department lawyers in drafting the letter ....

Jerry Markon, a Washington Post reporter who spent a month at Guantanamo last year, said he saw "some fairly heated arguments" between Rosenberg and Gordon: "The tension between them was palpable. Carol is a very good reporter and she's very aggressive. She's constantly pushing the envelope, pushing the military to get as much access as possible. . . . Gordon seemed very frustrated by her approach, thought she was obstinate, thought she was difficult."
Yeah. That's some professionalism.

See also, "Man Bites Dog: U.S. Navy Commander Files Sex Complaint Against Female Miami Herald Journo.