Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Texas Radio Station Fires Reporter After He Reported On State’s Extreme Ultrasound Law

Fatima Najiy/guest blogger for Think Progress

Scott Braddock, a well-known Texas radio reporter, lost his job last week after airing excerpts from an interview with Carolyn Jones, who was “forced to undergo several medically unnecessary transvaginal sonograms to obtain an abortion” due to Texas’ new sonogram law, and whosepersonal account of the entire ordeal was chronicled in the Texas Observer.
According to Braddock’s former employer, KROI News 92 FM, an all-news radio station based in Houston, Braddock was fired because he filled in for a fellow reporter on KPFT 90.1FM for one hour, thus violating a “non-compete agreement,” which Braddock claims to have never signed. “The contract is on my desk, unsigned,” he said. “It’s a real stretch. I have been looking through it and there is nothing I did that would be a violation.”
As Braddock told ThinkProgress, “The reason for firing me doesn’t add up…I’m a journalist, I don’t take a position on public policy. My job is to put the facts out there…to explore them all and get as many perspectives as possible.” Braddock maintains that although he feels his personal opinions on the sonogram law are irrelevant, he does believe that a serious discussion take place seeing as the law “affects the reproductive rights of every woman in the state.” Braddock said he is “very disappointed” by the radio station’s decision, and referred to his abrupt dismissal as “heartbreaking.”
He also noted that his firing was one of few issues agreed upon by Texans on both end of the political spectrum. The president of the anti-abortion group, Texans for Life, Kyleen Wright voiced her outrage in an email addressed to the station’s market manager Doug Abernathy, noting that Braddock “does his own homework and works very hard to be fair to both sides, a rare commodity in broadcasting today…As it stands, you have lost a treasure.” And Melaney A. Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, also demanded that Abernathy “Bring Scott back”:
“I was impressed with Scott’s professionalism in cutting through the politics, sticking to the facts, and focusing on the impact these policies would have on Texans. That is what a great journalist does. He cuts through the fat and delivers the meat of the issue to listeners. We need more people like Scott on the airwaves. Bring Scott back!”
And a Facebook page has been created in protest of KROI’s decision called “We Stand With Scott Braddock.”
Some supporters of Braddock are asking people to target KROI’s advertisers, asking them to pull their ads until Braddock is reinstated. And a Facebook page has been created in protest of KROI’s decision called “We Stand With Scott Braddock.”
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