Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Nobody’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and all of us have faults others can find, but when employed in public, there are some basic never-do(s) that local news anchor Jerry Giordano seemed to have forgotten last Friday afternoon, July 4. Living in the fish bowl of fame carries with it the responsibility to set a good example – but in this case, Giordano’s journey is an outstandingly good example of what NOT to do. A few lessons can be learned.
Adult beverages and automobiles don’t function well together. (Lesson #1: Don’t drink and drive.) According to the official City of Tulsa police report (#213741), Giordano drew attention when a homeowner heard Giordano’s white BMW crashing into cars parked on the street. The resident ran out and chased Giordano two blocks until he crashed in a yard. (Lesson #2: If you can’t keep it on the road, park it.)
Witness reports quote Giordano as saying he “had to leave” and “could not be caught because he worked for Channel 8.” (Lesson #3: No one is exempt from the law.) Then Giordano told the witness that “he could have what he wanted if he let him go.” (Lesson #4: Don’t try to bribe witnesses.) Then Giordano walked away.
Four blocks down the road, Tulsa Police Officers Espy and Johnson first made contact with Giordano and report he was unsteady on his feet, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and excreted an odor of alcoholic beverages. In total, Giordano showed six of six signs of intoxication. The officers stopped him from doing the one-legged stand and the nine-step walk because they were afraid he might injure himself.
Independent local legal defense counsel has suggested that when confronted by law enforcement, Giordano should have immediately requested an attorney and made no further comments. But alcohol has a bad habit of speaking up at the worst possible moment, and that seems to have happened in Giordano’s case.
As the officers were reading Giordano his rights, they report that he kept repeating, “Not going to happen.” (Lesson #5: Never argue the law with an arresting officer.)
Officers report Giordano said, “I have been drinking beer this afternoon,” and “I know I am drunk.” Then he said several times, “What would it take to make this go away?” (Lesson #6: Tulsa Police may be many things, but they have never been known to take bribes – and to question their honor in such a way does not create a positive impression.)
Giordano faces possible charges of driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Jail records indicate Giordano posted bond and was released the same night of his arrest.
Giordano has worked for KTUL-TV since 1996 after spending several years reporting for ABC NewsOne, including two years spent in Los Angeles reporting on the O.J. Simpson trial.
Giordano released the following statement after his arrest: "I would like to thank friends, loved ones and my KTUL family for an outpouring of support and encouragement during this difficult time in my personal life. I realize I have many blessings and am truly humbled and grateful.
“Those who know me understand that I am a strong man — with a strong will — and I promise to press on, no matter what. However, I also understand the seriousness and the gravity of the situation and realize there is a very long road ahead,” Giordano added.
Apparently, Giordano’s self-realization as a “strong man – with a strong will” is the issue here. Was he insistent that he was “fine” and demanding to “press on” when obviously impaired? Someone should have stopped him from driving before he got behind the wheel – by physical restraint if necessary.
Regardless of if he was drinking at a local restaurant or a private home – he could barely walk, and that is not something responsible sober people ignore. Apparently, no one with him that day cared much about him. (Lesson #7: Never drink alone.)
Regardless, all Tulsans should wish Giordano the best and fastest recovery possible. We expect the lessons noted will be taken to heart, because he does have friends – even when he is falling-down, stupid drunk. Call us, Jerry – we will drive you home any night, rather than have you on the road playing bumper pool with parked cars or, God forbid, killing our other friends behind the wheel unlucky enough to be in the path of a impaired “strong man – with a strong will.”
About the Author:
David Arnett began his career in professional journalism in 1985 and has published Tulsa Today since 1996 – before Al Gore invented the Internet. He has won two national awards as a First Amendment Publisher. Arnett is a Constitutional Republican, Public Information Specialist and Conservative Media Critic. This analysis may be reproduced without charge with proper attribution and links back to the original source. Arnett is available for interview by recognized media.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 July 2008 )