Monday, March 12, 2018

On Giordano

What on Earth has Al Giordano gotten himself into? It seems the former WNNZ radio star and Valley Advocate reporter is being accused of sexual harassment by a dozen or more women. You can read all about it here.

And here.

And here.

Oddly, Al himself has made no public remarks in response to the accusations, which is directly contrary to what is generally recommended in a public scandal, which is to get out in front of it with a statement as quickly as possible. Is he being forced into silence by legal concerns? The scandal has not only silenced the usually irrepressible Giordano, but appears to have shut down the journalism school he has run for many years. Their fundraising effort for next semester was suddenly cancelled shortly after it started, despite having gotten off to a promising start.

The scandal strikes following a puzzling period in which Al had been strangely cutting ties to old friends over seemingly minor political differences. It was behavior that doesn't sound at all like the broad minded attitude for which Al was once noted, especially in his Valley radio days when he loved mixing it up with critics and debating the issues. For example, former Springfield City Councilor Mitch Ogulewicz has said this about his sudden severing of ties:

After 35 years of associating with Al, he defriended me on facebook, because I said I wouldn't vote for Hillary. As he exited from our friendship, he went on a vulgar tirade, calling me every name in the book. Oh well.

Longtime Agawam activist Owen Broadhurst offered this testimonial:

I loved him, admired him, bestowed upon him (in my naive youth) a form of hero worship that I *know* he did not request - but I'm still deeply wounded, offended, and feel betrayed in what he turned out to be. When his journalistic career began, I was all of 18. Back then, I haunted storefronts on what I knew the weekly delivery date just to get a Springfield Advocate as soon as I could. Because *he* was in it. And it was a must read. It is a shame. Back then: Kraft, Giordano, Turner and Vannah all accommodated those of us who fought the Berkshire Power fight in Agawam beautifully. They reported on Michael Armitage, the Springfield establishment, Albano, Tennessee Gas and Dennis the Menace Murphy. It was beautiful. While it is admittedly peevish of me to think this way, I focus on Al because I really feel it as a betrayal.

Giordano has faced health issues, having successfully battled cancer in 2016, and some have speculated that the combined stress of the cancer scare and the rise of Donald Trump may have caused the left-leaning reporter to become unhinged. So is this #metoo moment the end of the fabled career of Al Giordano? Probably not. What are the accusations against him, really? That he was sometimes a boozy boor at the after class beer bashes? That he asked women to do clerical work without paying them? People, these are not Harvey Weinstein level offenses. He should mutter something resembling an apology, permanently drop the subject, and just go back to giving political commentary as usual. Indeed, others have made successful comebacks from far worse.

This update includes details that greatly lessen the chance of Giordano making a comeback. Interestingly, Al had been involved with The Huffington Post at one time.

Kinda hard to read the clock while waiting at the bus stop for the dawn express into Amherst.

Somebody brightened up Greg Stone's dismal Hope statue on the courthouse lawn.

Some people don't mind if their preferred presidential candidate is no longer alive.

Hometown boys Dinosaur Jr. playing the Amherst Common last fall.