Carol Rosenberg

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Carol Rosenberg
Occupation Journalist
Language English
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
Relative(s) Joel Rosenberg (brother)

Carol Rosenberg is a senior journalist, currently with the McClatchy News Service. Rosenberg works at the Miami Herald, which has provided extensive coverage of the operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1][2] Her coverage of detention of captives at the Guantanamo By detention camp has been praised by her colleagues, and legal scholars.[3]


The middle sister of science fiction novelist Joel Rosenberg, Carol Rosenberg was raised in West Hartford, Connecticut before attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The New York Times interviewed her in 1980 when the campus was evacuated due to a water system breakdown.[4] By 1991 she was working for the Miami Herald, and covering international stories.[5] Clarence Page wrote that Rosenberg and a colleague Susan Sachs of Newsday were barred by Pentagon officials from reporting on the 1st Marine Division's activity during the 1991 Gulf War.[5] She has been a Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University[6] and has appeared on PBS's NewsHour and CBC Radio's international news program Dispatches.[7]

Coverage of Guantanamo Bay

A significant amount of Rosenberg's coverage focuses on the terrorism trials and suicides at Guantanamo. She has written about a prisoner so afraid of returning to his native Tajikistan that he asked to stay at the prison in Cuba.[8] She has written about how bottled water at Guantanamo is kept chilled in an almost two-ton shipping refrigerator meant for the dead. She has also written about one general attacking another general as "abusive, bullying, unprofessional" in a dispute over trial tactics at the war court.[6]

In The Least Worst Place Karen Greenberg described how Rosenberg diligently scanned the flagpoles, and asked about the arrival of new flags that she didn't recognize, at the press briefings, as new flags could mark the arrival of new military units.[9] According to Greenberg, on the day the first camp commander was to leave the base Rosenberg noticed a new flag, she didn't recognize, with heraldry that confused her. At his last briefing the retiring camp commander told her that he would delay answering her questions about the new flag until the end of the briefing. At the end of the briefing he presented Rosenberg with the flag, one he had ordered prepared specifically to honor her diligence. The heraldry that confused her represented her own personal history.

Rosenberg was one of the four journalists sent home from the camp early following camp authorities report three captives had committed suicide on June 10, 2006.[10] Carol J. Williams of the Los Angeles Times and Rosenberg had arrived early for a June 12 hearing. Following the reported deaths all hearings were cancelled, but Camp Commandant Harry Harris initially gave the two reporters permission to stay. Subsequently Commander Jeffrey D. Gordon, a DoD spokesman, announced that all the reporters were to be sent home. According to Gordon other organizations had threatened to sue if their reporters weren't also given access to the base. Rosenberg has since returned to Guantanamo and has written about constraints on the press at that facility, which she describes as "outside the rule of law."[7][11]

Attempt to discredit her work at Guantanamo

File:Jeffrey Gordon's sexual harrassment complaint -- Page 1.jpg
Commander Gordon's three page letter of July 22, 2009 was published on July 24, 2009 -- page 1 page 2, and page 3.

On July 22, 2009 she was named in a sexual harassment complaint by US Navy Commander Jeffrey D. Gordon.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] "Have you ever had a red hot poker shoved up your a—?" Gordon claims Rosenberg asked. "Have you ever had a broomstick shoved up your a—? ... Have you ever had anything in your a—? How would you know how it feels if it never happened to you? Admit it, you liked it."[21]

One friend, 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." Jamie McIntyre, a former CNN Pentagon correspondent, said of Rosenberg's interactions with Gordon: "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." He said Rosenberg "was always professional in her demeanor when I was around her."[6]

On August 3, 2009 the Miami Herald reported that it had concluded its internal inquiry.[22] The internal inquiry, after interviewing both reporters and other Guantanamo staff, who would have been present during the incidents "did not find corroboration" for Gordon's claims. Elissa Vanaver. the Miami Herald's Vice President of Human Resources, wrote to the Pentagon to inform the authorities of the conclusions reached by their inquiry.

The Miami Herald reported many of Rosenberg's colleagues and former interview subjects had contacted the Miami Herald to support her.[22] Those who contacted the Miami Herald to express their respect for Rosenberg included military officers, including flag officers.

The Miami Herald quoted an email from Gordon's superior, Colonel David Lapan, where he characterized Gordon's complaint as "a private matter"[22]:

"From the beginning, we have considered this a personnel matter, and it's unfortunate that it has become a news story."[22]

Commenting on the results of the Miami Herald's inquiry Howard Kurtz noted that the Miami Herald acknowledged that Rosenberg had used profanity[23]

"We do acknowledge, as does Ms. Rosenberg, that there were contentious exchanges and unnecessary profanity on her part. As she continues this assignment, she will place an emphasis on professionalism."[23]

Gordon returned to the issue in a column written for Fox News on August 9, 2010.[24] He called her "notorious for clashes" and claimed she used language "...that would make even Helen Thomas blush." By the fall of 2011 Gordon would assert he could no longer remember the details of his complaint.[25]

On October 31, 2011 The Atlantic Wire repeated Gordon's 2009 claim "I've been abused worse than the detainees have been abused." and compared it with his blithe dismissal of complaints about sexual harassment allegation against his boss, presidential candidate Herman Cain.[26]


In 2011 Rosenberg won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for her reporting from Guantánamo Bay.[27]

See also


  1. David Glenn (2010-11). "The Record Keeper: Carol Rosenberg owns the Guantánamo beat [Carol Rosenberg, awareness of Guantanamo]". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2012-09-27. "On January 11, 2002, the first twenty detainees landed at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. Their arrival was witnessed by a cluster of journalists who stood on a hill 400 yards from the runway. One of them was Carol Rosenberg, a military-affairs reporter for The Miami Herald." 
  2. David Schimke (2010-12-03). "Breaking Into Guantánamo Bay". Utne Reader. Retrieved 2012-09-27. "“Carol’s daily accounts are what you need to read to understand Guantánamo 101,” Karen Greenberg, executive director of New York University’s Center on Law and Security tells David Glenn, who wrote a profile about Rosenberg for Columbia Journalism Review that was published in November. “She’s still the only person who can contextualize what’s going on. Carol’s has been the consistent presence.”" 
  3. Carol Rosenberg (2010-07-26). "For reporters, the rules at Guantanamo change daily". McClatchy News Service. Retrieved 2012-09-27. "This article is adapted from a speech given to the National Press Club in Washington by Carol Rosenberg, a reporter for The Miami Herald, who was one of four reporters banned in May from covering future military commission hearings for publishing the already publicly known name of a witness that the Pentagon wanted kept secret." 
  4. "Amherst Water Crisis Was Born of Postwar Boom; Crack in the Foundation Pilot Conservation Project". New York Times. 1980-09-08. p. A17. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Clarence Page (1991-02-22). "Gulf between military, media is so wide that truth has been put in choke hold". Milwaukee Sentinel.,5167419&dq=carol-rosenberg+massachusets. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Washington Post: Military and Media Clash In Complaint
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fodden, S. (2011-09-01). "Constraints on the Press at Guantanamo". Slaw. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  8. Carol Rosenberg (2009-07-07). "Fearful Guantánamo captive wants to stay behind". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  9. Karen J. Greenberg (March 2009). The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-537188-8. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  10. "News blackout slated as Pentagon orders four journalists out of Guantanamo Bay". Reporters without borders. 2006-06=15. Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  11. Carol Rosenberg (October 14, 2010). "The trials of covering Guantanamo". CBC Radio Dispatches. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  12. "Man Bites Dog: U.S. Navy Commander Files Sex Complaint Against Female Miami Herald Journo". Daily Fish Bowl. 2009-07-24. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  13. "Navy officer complains about Miami Herald reporter". Miami Herald. 2009-07-27. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  14. Tim Elfrink (2009-07-27). "Gitmo Spokesman Cries Sexual Harassment, Tries to Bar Herald Reporter". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  15. Kyle Munzenrieder (2009-07-27). "Why the Carol Rosenberg Situation Shouldn't Be Dismissed So Easily: Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Media Bias". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  16. Bob Norman (2009-07-26). "Herald Reporter Accused of Harassing Naval Commander". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  17. Dean Graber (2009-07-27). "Navy spokesman accuses reporter of sexual harassment". Knight center for journalism in the Americas. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  18. "Navy Commander at Gitmo Thinks Verbal Abuse He Suffered is "Worse Than the Detainees"". Governmentality. 2009-07-27. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  19. "Crybaby Pansy Navy Commander, Hurt By Mean Reporter, Goes Mincing Off To Cry". The Awl. 2009-07-27. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  20. Hamilton Nolan (2009-07-27). "Guantanamo Commander 'Abused Worse Than the Detainees' By Reporter's Mouth". The Gawker. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  21. FoxNews: Naval Officer's Letter Accuses Newspaper Reporter of Sexual Harassment
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Jack Dolan (2009-08-03). "Review clears Herald reporter". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 Howard Kurtz (2009-08-04). "Miami Herald Finds No Evidence That Reporter Sexually Harassed Navy Spokesman". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  24. J.D. Gordon (2010-08-09). "Did the Pentagon cave on Four Banned Reporters at Gitmo". Fox News. Retrieved 2011-10-31. ""Once the 'big media' were brought in to the legal picture on the banning issue, it was all but over for the Pentagon.""  mirror
  25. Will Rahn (2011-10-13). "Senior Cain aide accused female Miami Herald reporter of sexual harassment". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2011-10-13. "“I don’t recall what it said,” Gordon told The Daily Caller when asked about the letter. “It was a couple years ago, but I just thought that the comments that she had been making had to stop, and so I talked to my office and sent the letter to her executive editor and they handled it in-house.”"  mirror
  26. Elspeth Reeve (2011-10-31). "The Time Cain's Spokesman Was Accusing Sexual Harassment". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2011-10-31. "Two years later, though, Gordon is the spokesman for Herman Cain's presidential campaign, and confronted with questions about whether his boss sexually harassed two women while he ran the National Restaurant Association, Gordon's tone can be a bit more dismissive about those who allege a hostile work environment: "Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain ... political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.'"  mirror
  27. Susan Keeping (2011-04-25). "Winners announced for the 43rd annual Robert F. Kennedy journalism award". Helium News. Archived from the original on 2012-12-31. 

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