A Miami Herald reporter offended a top U.S. Navy Commander by making degrading remarks about his sexual orientation - as well as asking him if he had ever had a red hot poker inserted into his anus - according to a sexual harassment complaint.
Carol Rosenberg, the Herald’s Guantanamo correspondent, also asked Jeffrey D. Gordon if he had ever had the pleasure of having a broomstick shoved into his anus, the complaint states.
Rosenberg also insulted CNN’s Jamie McIntyre in front of about 15 other journalists, the complaint states, by making the following anal references.
"Aren't you in the BOQ (Bachelor Officers Quarters)? I didn't think you were in tent city because these people (military public affairs escorts) are so far up your ass that I figured you must be in the BOQ."
(Then referring to Gordon) "Why isn't he in the BOQ? You're kissing his ass so much that I can't believe that you're letting him stay with the rest of us. Do you love him?"
Gordon, the Pentagon spokesman for the Western Hemisphere and Guantanamo issues, addressed his complaint to Miami Herald Senior VP and Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal in a letter dated July 22, 2009.
Apparently, this is the second complaint he has filed against Rosenberg.
“Though I appreciate your efforts of July 2008 to correct Carol Rosenberg’s patently offensive conduct, I am disappointed that the results were merely temporary,” the complaint states.
The Herald apparently defended Rosenberg the first time around by telling Gordon that she was merely being “aggressive” in her reporting.
But Gordon isn’t buying that explanation.
“Aggressive reporting does not legitimize sexual harassment or a pattern of sustained abuse,” he stated in his complaint.
Gordon claims that he has endured Rosenberg’s abuses for four years, ever since he was promoted to that position.
Rosenberg was also mean to the other journalists, he claims, including reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and Fox News.
“These confrontations appeared to result from Carol’s apparent attempts to bully other reporters and establish dominance as the premier Guantanamo correspondent, for reasons of which I’m still uncertain.”
However, at least two reporters have defended Rosenberg, including McIntyre, who told The Washington Post that Gordon is overreacting and ensured that Rosenberg was "always professional in her demeanor."
"I didn't think there was any sort of sexual abuse, unless you're telling me a naval officer, a sailor, isn't used to hearing anatomical references in anger. It sounds like an overreaction on everybody's part," McYntire said.
Los Angeles Times reporter Carol Williams dismissed the letter saying, "This is an attempt to discredit a journalist who has managed to transcend incredible odds to cover a story of tremendous significance to the American public."
Gordon claims he was abused worse than the Guantanamo detainees, whom the Bush Administration claimed were not protected under the Geneva Conventions.
"I've been abused worse than the detainees have been abused," Gordon told the Post.
Part of this abuse included Rosenberg mocking his physique after stepping out of the shower in long shorts and a towel draped around his shoulders, he claims.
“Seeing him topless in tent city was the most repulsive sight I’ve ever seen in my life. I wanted to vomit,” she allegedly told a group of other journalists.
She also obstructed an Associated Press photographer for taking photos of him “through childish physical movements and gestures” – including using her fingers to make rabbit ears behind his head.
“Well, I know you like to have your picture taken to show people you are actually working down here, but guess what, not today,” she allegedly told him.
Gordon also says he had to endure her relentless reporting, pursuits of accuracy and constant requests for information by “sending a dozen or more queries a day on topics which we have already exhausted after two or three email and telephone exchanges.”
Obviously he didn't appreciate being forced to do his job.
According to an interview she gave to On The Media last year, Rosenberg was peeved that they were forcing her and the other journalists to sleep in tents while the inmates had been upgraded to “air-conditioned steel and cement boxes.”
The lawyers apparently complained about the tents so they were upgraded to trailers and the judge and jurors were placed in townhouses within proximity of a church, mini golf course and even a McDonald’s.
But most of all, she appeared to be furious at how the U.S. Government was censoring journalists during the trial of the 911 suspects.
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald has been mum on the complaint.
Update: Random Pixels reports that the Herald did mention this on page B3 of its local printed section on Saturday. But considering hardly anybody reads that anymore, then it might as well have said nothing.
Also, Bob Norman of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times is calling Gordon a pansy because he's allowed a woman to pick on him.