Navy Commander Accuses Miami Herald Reporter of Sexual Harassment
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 25, 2009
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."
Hmm I'm not sure what to think of this if it's true I hope they(Miami Herald) does the correct thing by firing this reporter and placing a full page apology to the Commander.