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Al Giordano

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Name  Al Giordano

Role  Journalist
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Books  Roland Barthes: literatura y poder

How to Stop Trump (Part 1): Guest Lecture by Al Giordano

Al Giordano (born December 31, 1959) is an American journalist, political commentator, and former anti-nuclear and environmental activist and organizer. Several news sources reported that Giordano discussed running in Vermont in 2018 for the US Senate seat currently held by Bernie Sanders. In 2017, however, Giordano stated that he has been battling cancer and will not run.


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Early life and activism

Giordano was born on December 31, 1959 in the Bronx, New York City and attended Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, New York.

He has been involved in the antinuclear movement in New York State and New England from the age of 16, engaging in protests and demonstrations with the Clamshell Alliance and other groups, and founding and organizing the Rowe Nuclear Conversion Campaign, a group protesting the continued of the Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts. The plant was shut down in 1992.

Giordano met Abbie Hoffman in April 1981; they worked together frequently until Hoffman's death in 1989, collaborating on a number of campaigns, including the ultimately unsuccessful effort of the Del-AWARE environmental group to prevent the building of the Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania, pumping station on the Delaware River, with Giordano running a petition campaign to demand the referendum which was placed on the May 1983 ballot. He also worked on two John Kerry election campaigns, for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and for the US Senate in 1984.


From 1989 to 1993, Giordano was a staff reporter on the Franklin County, MA, Valley Advocate, based in their Springfield, MA, office. From 1993 to 1996, he worked as a political reporter on the Boston Phoenix and The Nation. In 1997, Giordano spent four months in Chiapas, Mexico, intending to join the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The rebels, however, insisted that Giordano could serve them best as a journalist. As a result, Giordano started his own online periodical, The Narco News Bulletin, which he launched in spring of 2000. The Narco News Bulletin's coverage of the War on Drugs included a "string of scoops" and led to the resignation of the Associated Press's Bolivia correspondent. Giordano manages the site from Mexico, where he currently lives.

Giordano has been credited by James Wolcott as the first journalist to predict that the presidential campaign of Barack Obama would be successful.

Press privileges for online media

After having unsuccessfully filed a libel suit against Menéndez Rodríguez, Mexican journalist and founder and editor of the newspaper Por Esto!, in a Mexican court, Mexican bank Banco Nacional de México (Banamex) in 2000 filed a libel and slander suit in a New York court against Menéndez Rodríguez, Giordano and Narco News for having written articles claiming that the chief officer of Banamex was involved in drug trafficking and, specifically, the Colombian drug trade; that the bank had been created by drug money and that its officers were involved in money laundering. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) joined the case as Friends of the Court due to its importance for Internet-based media. The lawsuit "pitted the powerhouse New York firm Aiken Gump Hauer and Feld against Giordano's mostly volunteer lawyers", who included Martin Garbus and Tom Lesser, who had previously defended Hoffman and Amy Carter.

The case against Menéndez Rodríguez was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, but in the case of Giordano and Narco News the court found that Narco News is a "media defendant entitled to heightenend protection under the First Amendment" to the US Constitution, that "…Narco News, its website, and the writers who post information are entitled to all the first Amendment protections accorded a newspaper/magazine or journalist in defamation suits…", and that "online journalism is the same as print, radio and TV news when it comes to free-press protections against charges of libel", the first decision to extend the press protections laid out in New York Times v Sullivan to online media."

Giordano's "dogged defense of his online publication—a battle that the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined on his behalf—should have a long-lasting effect on bloggers and other online writers".

US Presidential Campaigns

In the 2008 Democratic primaries, Giordano was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama, and an opponent of Hillary Clinton.

In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Giordano was an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton, and an opponent of Bernie Sanders.

Potential 2018 Senatorial Campaign

According to journalists Joy-Ann Reid and Noah Berlatsky, Giordano planned to challenge Independent Senator Bernie Sanders for his United States Senate seat from Vermont if Sanders failed to endorse Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. However, Giordano later said that he was battling cancer and so would not challenge Sanders for his seat.

Boston Magazine notes that Giordano was an early supporter when Sanders ran for mayor of Burlington, and for some years thereafter, but lost enthusiasm in 1994 when Sanders refused to work with Barney Frank and other Democrats then working together to oppose House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


Al Giordano Wikipedia