Al Giordano

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Al Giordano (born December 31, 1959) is an American[1] journalist, political commentator, and former anti-nuclear and environmental activist and organizer. Several news sources report that Giordano plans to run in Vermont in 2018 for the US Senate seat currently held by Bernie Sanders.[2][3][4]

Early life and activism[edit]

Giordano was born on December 31, 1959 in the Bronx, New York City[5] and attended Mamaroneck High School[6] in Mamaroneck, New York.

He has been involved in the antinuclear movement in New York State and New England from the age of 16,[6] engaging in protests and demonstrations with the Clamshell Alliance[7] and other groups, and founding and organizing the Rowe Nuclear Conversion Campaign,[6][8][9] a group protesting the continued of the Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts. The plant was shut down in 1992.[10]

Giordano met Abbie Hoffman in April 1981;[11] they worked together frequently until Hoffman's death in 1989,[6] collaborating on a number of campaigns, including the ultimately unsuccessful effort of the Del-AWARE environmental group[12] 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.[13][14][15][16] He also worked on two John Kerry election campaigns, for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and for the US Senate in 1984.[6]



From 1989 to 1993, Giordano was a staff reporter on the Franklin County, MA, Valley Advocate, based in their Springfield, MA, office.[17] From 1993 to 1996, he worked as a political reporter on the Boston Phoenix[18] and The Nation.[19][20] In 1997, Giordano spent four months in Chiapas, Mexico, intending to join the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.[21][22] The rebels, however, insisted that Giordano could serve them best as a journalist.[21] As a result, Giordano started his own online periodical, The Narco News Bulletin,[21] which he launched in spring of 2000.[23] The Narco News Bulletin's coverage of the War on Drugs included a "string of scoops"[24] and led to the resignation of the Associated Press's Bolivia correspondent.[24] Giordano manages the site from Mexico, where he currently lives.[25]

Giordano has been credited by James Wolcott as the first journalist to predict that the presidential campaign of Barack Obama would be successful.[26]

Extending freedom of speech and of the press privileges to online media[edit]

After having unsuccessfully filed a libel suit against Menéndez Rodríguez,[27] 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[28] 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 Columbian 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",[29] who included Martin Garbus and Tom Lesser, who had previously defended Hoffman and Amy Carter.[24]

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",[30] the first decision to extend the press protections laid out in New York Times v Sullivan to online media."[29][31][32]

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".[33]

Potential 2018 Senatorial Campaign[edit]

According to journalists Joy-Ann Reid and Noah Berlatsky, Giordano plans to challenge Independent Senator Bernie Sanders for his United States Senate seat from Vermont.[3][4]

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. [2]


  1. ^ Giordano, Al. ""There are some jobs we Mexicans won't do"". Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Clauss, Kyle Scott (June 8, 2016). "Former Boston Phoenix Reporter Wants to Take Bernie Sanders' Senate Seat". Boston Magazine. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Joy-Ann Reid (June 6, 2016). "Meet Al Giordano, the Man Who Wants to Take Bernie Down". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Noah Berlatsky (June 9, 2016). "Could this political gadfly steal Bernie Sanders' Senate seat?". TheWeek. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ Giordano, Al (May 16, 2016). "At Our 16th Anniversary Celebration We'll Watch Our Old Rival Donald Trump from the Other Side of His Wall". The Field. Narco News. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Udovitch, Mim (August 30, 2001). "Al Giordano" (876). Rolling Stone. p. 92. 
  7. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. p. 283. ISBN 9780813520179. 
  8. ^ Article "Nuclear Hearing Ends in Debate". Nashua Telegraph, Nashua, New Hampshire, Thursday, May 21, 1981, retrieved from,4800912&hl=en
  9. ^ Nuclear Power Plant Turns 20. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida,Nov 11, 1980. Retrieved from,5488352&hl=en
  10. ^ Diana B. Henriques, Nuclear Shutdown Funds Are Questioned, June 3, 1992, The New York Times, retrieved at
  11. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. p. 284. ISBN 9780813520179. 
  12. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. pp. 282–283. ISBN 9780813520179. 
  13. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. p. 286. ISBN 9780813520179. 
  14. ^ Bucks Told To Complete Pump Project Judge Overrules Environmentalists. Hal Marcovitz, The Morning Call, January 4, 1985. Retrieved from
  15. ^ "Bucks Plans To Sell Point Pleasant Pump". Kay Lazar and Larry King, June 16, 1995. Retrieved from
  16. ^ "20 years later, protesters still think 'Dump the Pump'". Hal Marcovitz, The Morning Call, January 10, 2003. Retrieved from
  17. ^ Paul Shoul, Sep 22, 2008, retrieved from
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c Cheshes, Jay (November–December 2002). "A Drug Reporter's Strange Brew". Columbia Journalism Review. 41 (4): 62. 
  22. ^ McKinley, Jesse (January 18, 1998). "La Causa: Zapatistas To the Forefront". The New York Times. New York City, New York. p. 5. 
  23. ^ Cheshes, Jay (November–December 2002). "A Drug Reporter's Strange Brew". Columbia Journalism Review. 41 (4): 63. 
  24. ^ a b c Dodson, Sean (June 25, 2001). "Hacks Hit in Drug War". The Guardian. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  25. ^ AlGiordano (2 June 2016). "@DunxMuro In Mexico for the past 19 years reporting for human rights & running the School of - but I'm coming home!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  26. ^ Wolcott, James (December 31, 2008). "The Good, the Bad, and Joe Lieberman". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  27. ^ Mark Shapiro, Drug War on Trial, September 6, 2001,
  28. ^ Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn, Gary Webb: a Great Reporter. December 13, 2004, with reprint of Gary Webb's Counterpunch article, March 21, 2001, "Silencing the Messenger", retrieved at
  29. ^ a b Cheshes, Jay (November–December 2002). "A Drug Reporter's Strange Brew". Columbia Journalism Review. 41 (4): 64. 
  30. ^ Decision Supreme Court of the State of New York, Index No. 603429/00, Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A, Plaintiff, against Mario Renato Menéndez Rodriguez, Al Giordano and the Narco News Bulletin, retrieved at
  31. ^ Mark K. Anderson, Court: Online Scribes Protected, 12.11.01, retrieved from
  32. ^ Martin Samson, Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. v. Menrendez-Rodgriguez, et al., retrieved from Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions
  33. ^ Bret A. Fausett, Legal Tools for the New Journalists, April 2002, retrieved from New Architect

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