Mike Rosenberg is a reporter for The Seattle Times. His alleged private Twitter conversation with another journalist, Talia Jane, has led to many calling for him to lose his job.
Jane posted her Twitter thread early on May 5, in which an initially anonymous Twitter user appeared to ask her about her job prospects and quickly devolved into a sexually promiscuous topic of conversation. Jane’s first tweet in her thread showed the beginning screenshots, and she wrote, “being a woman is totally normal and very cool.”
On Sunday evening, The Seattle Times released a statement on Twitter confirming Rosenberg had been suspended. The statement reads,
Earlier today, The Seattle Times was made aware of allegations of sexual harassment against a news employee. We have suspended the employee pending an investigation by our human resources group. As this is a personnel matter, we will have no further comment on this at this time.
Additionally, Rosenberg confirmed to Cross Cut that he did sent those messages, adding that “They weren’t supposed to go to her.” When he was asked who they were supposed to go to, he said, “I would rather not say.”
Here’s what you need to know about Rosenberg:
1. READ: Talia Jane’s Twitter Thread, & Alleged Conversation With Rosenberg
Early on Sunday, May 5, Jane posted to Twitter a lengthy thread detailing her apparent DM conversation with an anonymous reporter (she would eventually reveal that the man she was talking about was Rosenberg, though not all of her screenshots show his name). The alleged Twitter conversation began with the two discussing her challenge finding work, and rapidly progressed to the user messaging her multiple times without response, leading to the user writing, “there is so much cum on your face.”
In the early part of the thread, Jane wrote, “feeling supes chill that an established, married journalist is so comfortable using my lack of a job to get me to chat so he can tell me i have cum on my beautiful, hilarious face. laughing beautifully through buckets of cum that anyone thinks i, of all people, wouldn’t post this”
Following that, Jane told the user they were being inappropriate, and demanded that they come clean to their wife and deactivate their Twitter account; Jane also showed in her thread that she emailed the user’s place of work (which was revealed to be The Seattle Times), and they confirmed they were looking into the matter.
Specifically, the email she received read,
Thank you for the email and for bringing this to our attention. You’re right that his kind of behavior is not OK and I’m sorry you had to be subjected to this. We’ll definitely discuss this among the newsroom’s senior leadership and talk to [redacted] about it and deal with it appropriately.
Jane wrote at one point, “i was having a really lovely night and now my whole body is so tense that i’m shivering. i’ve done nothing to encourage this or signal in any capacity that this behavior would be welcome. all i did wrong was exist!”
Jane finally decided to “reveal” Rosenberg’s apparent involvement in this tweet: “he sent an email asking for empathy to not out him and promised a $1,000 donation to NOW. wrong move. women are not toys. we certainly should not be played with and efforts to manipulate us will not be tolerated. live with your choices.” That tweet included a screenshot that finally included Rosenberg’s Twitter account and photo.
You can read the thread in full here.
2. Rosenberg Is a Reporter for The Seattle Times, Specializing in Real Estate
Rosenberg is a real estate reporter for The Seattle Times. He’s been working at the newspaper since May 2016, according to his LinkedIn account.
You can read all of Rosenberg’s work for The Seattle Times here. Rosenberg has written such topics as Seattle being the “crane capitol of the world” and about Amazon’s various expansion projects in the city.
In a “Behind the Byline” profile of Rosenberg from The Seattle Times, he explained his interest in covering real estate in particular:
Housing has been a big deal for me because, coming from the Bay Area, it was just so unbelievably expensive. My wife and I were living there and sort of looked at each other and were like, “Do we really want to each work full-time and live in a studio apartment for the rest of our lives?” It was just like there was no future for us there. It was something that I thought about a lot and wrote about occasionally, but it was also a constant backdrop to everything.
I came here and I was interested in that beat because I could see a lot of the same things happening here that had already priced me and so many other people out of the Bay Area. It was almost like traveling back to the Bay Area five years ago or 10 years ago; you saw Seattle going through all the same problems. It was just interesting for me to see it from a different perspective, and I wanted to cover a beat that people cared about.
3. Rosenberg Has Worked at a Number of Newspapers Throughout His Career
According to his LinkedIn page, Rosenberg attended California State University in East Bay from 2004-2007 and got his degree in Journalism. He was the Editor in Chief of the student newspaper there.
Following his graduation, he’s since worked at the following newspapers: as a correspondent for The San Mateo Daily Journal, a reporter for The San Francisco Examiner, a reporter for The Bay Area News Group, a reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, and finally a reporter at The Seattle Times.
In the “Behind the Byline” interview with Rosenberg, he said that he first became interested in journalism in 2005, when he saw an ad for the student newspaper and said, “Oh whatever, I’ll give it a shot.”
Rosenberg continued, “At first I wasn’t really into it, but then the next quarter they had an opening for the campus editor [job] that I took. It got me doing stories on stuff going on around campus that students were interested in, gave me a lot more flexibility, and that’s sort of when I got hooked into it.”
4. Rosenberg Has Since Deleted or Deactivated His Twitter
Rosenberg has not given a public statement on the matter, but he has since deactivated or deleted his account, as his Twitter handle and page are no longer available.
As for Jane, you can still access her Twitter page, or check out her website. Jane writes across a number of topics. Some of her articles include “Most Money Advice Is Worthless When You’re Poor” for Vice, “Complaining About Low Pay Online ‘Destroyed My Life’,” for The New York Post, and “6 Reasons Online Dating Will Never Lead to Love,” for Cracked.
5. Many Users on Twitter Are Calling for Rosenberg to Lose His Job
Jane’s Twitter thread has slowly gained momentum on Twitter, with many users expressing their shock and anger that she had to endure the alleged harassment.
Kelly Ellis tweeted, “In 2019 how do men not know their gross DMs have a high likelihood of going public and being sent to their employers? Treating women like actual human beings is completely free. Did these sh*tbags learn nothing in the past year?”
Another person tweeted at the newspaper, “Women have endured this kind of behavior from ‘nice, decent, educated’ men like Mike Rosenberg for THOUSANDS of years, but the time is really up. If you keep him on staff it reflects on your entire institution. Not a small mistake, but a serious pathology.”
As for Jane, she has since tweeted her “exhaustion” in dealing with the apparent situation, writing in one tweet, “the emotional exhaustion that comes with calling out bad behavior from cis men in positions of relative power cannot be talked about enough.”