Leave her alone.

I’m talking about Channel 10 and Brianna DiPilato.

She’s a young woman just starting a broadcasting career, and it’s a big-money bully trying to crush her.

That’s how I read the lawsuit.

She is some cop’s daughter, grew up around here, went off to school to learn how to be a meteorologist and a broadcaster, and came back to a hometown station to work.

Everything was great. They liked her, they wanted her forever, they had her doing both news and weather, and she excelled at both. A daughter of this community making good, and making usproud.

And then she decided to quit.

To live her own life and make her own choice. Like everybody else. Maybe she wanted to do something different, maybe she got tired of the management culture, maybe she didn’t like the hours,maybe she wanted to make more money.

For her reason she made her choice.

Just like you and me.

Except they went nuclear. They went patriarchal. They went proprietary.

They decided to wheel out the lawyers and rain hell fire down on her. They decided to remind her who’s got the power and who doesn’t. 

So Channel 10 filed a breach-of-contract suit, claiming to own her and her time and demanding money for her departure and some legal order to keep her from working for another televisionstation. They said that they made her, and that consequently they could control her.

Personally, I thought Lincoln put an end to that.

And I thought common decency would leave a former employer wishing you the best as you walked out the door.

Apparently, common decency is in short supply at Channel 10, and the brass has decided to attack and destroy.

Because she’s young? Because she’s a she?

Which particular prejudice is it that makes them feel they can treat this human being like property?

Which particular arrogance is it that makes them feel they can screw someone’s life this way?

And what particular insanity is it that makes them believe that you won’t care?

I don’t really give a damn about the contracts they force on people who need to work, or the nonsense that you can’t market your skills to the highest bidder, or go to a shop where the boss respects you. I don’t care about any of that. What I care about is the fact this daughter of Rochester is being smashed by a company that needs public support and good will to survive.

And that ought to be what Channel 10 cares about, too.

Because while it may win this case in the court of law, it is going to lose it in the court of public opinion.

Who wants to watch a TV station that beats the hell out of somebody we like?

Good will is what draws viewers, and pursuing this suit against this broadcaster will hemorrhage good will for Channel 10.

And that would be too bad. It has a generally excellent news report. Its staff is second to none and better than most. People like it and its profile is growing.

But this nasty decision endangers all that. Somewhere off in an office, where they listen to lawyers instead of their better angels, they’ve decided to skewer this woman. It is not in keeping with the spirit of the Channel 10 newscast. It is not beneficial to the Channel 10 brand. It does not jibe with community expectations.

Brianna DiPilato worked hard and well for Channel 10. They paid her for her time. She has decided to move on. She should be allowed to.

Channel 10 should stop this attack on a daughter of Rochester.

It should drop its lawsuit.

Or risk turning the stomach of its viewers.