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Culture

Seattle Times Suspends Journalist Mike Rosenberg For Sexually Harassing Messages

The Seattle Times has suspended journalist Mike Rosenberg after a female freelancer posted screenshots to Twitter of a conversation in which he appeared to have made sexually explicit remarks.

The screenshots, which the freelancer, Talia Jane, posted as part of a thread the morning of May 5, began with Rosenberg encouraging Jane to seek out more reporting jobs, Crosscut reported.

Rosenberg, who was referred to by Jane as an “established married journalist” before being named later in the thread, then went on to make harassing and sexually-charged comments to Jane.

Jane responded to the messages by informing Rosenberg that his comments weren’t “appropriate or acceptable.” Rosenberg apologized profusely and claimed that the messages weren’t intended for her.

Jane called Rosenberg’s excuse “inadequate” and later told him to delete his Twitter so he couldn’t “engage in predatory behavior from the safety of a screen.”

Rosenberg agreed with her, but added, “I can’t just delete my twitter (sic) or else I will be fired and unemployed.”

He later did delete his Twitter, but Jane wrote to Rosenberg’s employers, attaching screenshots of their exchange. The result was Rosenberg’s suspension — though it does not appear that removing himself from Twitter was the cause.

“The Seattle Times has been made aware of allegations of sexual harassment earlier today against a newsroom employee,” Seattle Times president and CFO Alan Fisco said in a statement late Sunday obtained by The Wrap. “We take these kinds of allegations very seriously and have suspended the employee pending an investigation by our human resources group.”

Before his suspension, Rosenberg was well known in the Seattle area for his reporting on housing and the rising cost of living in the city.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at Grisar@Forward.com.

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