Texas reporter fired after shocking interview on transvaginal sonograms

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, March 23, 2012 12:08 EDT
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Reporter Scott Braddock (left) with author and former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. Courtesy photo. Credit: Jaxon Gallery.
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — A well-known journalist was fired this week by a radio station in Houston after he featured excerpts from a shocking interview with a woman who was forced to undergo several medically unnecessary transvaginal sonograms to obtain an abortion, leaving the reporter wondering if he was canned over abortion politics, rather than station policy.

For their part, the management of KROI News 92FM in Houston, owned by media company Radio One, claims reporter Scott Braddock (pictured, left) was fired on Tuesday because he appeared on KPFT 90.1FM, a community station run by Pacifica Radio, allegedly in violation of a non-compete agreement.

Braddock, however, told Raw Story on Friday he never signed that agreement, and that management had never taken issue with his other appearances in various related media. “I’m not an attorney, but that sounds like a stretch,” he said.

Braddock, who many activists have called a remarkably fair reporter when it comes to controversial issues like abortion, was filling in last Friday for reporter Geoff Berg, who hosts the “Partisan Gridlock” show on Houston’s KPFT.

Over the course of his hour on the air on the non-commercial station, Braddock played audio of an interview he’d conducted for KROI, featuring the galling account of Carolyn Jones, a Texas woman who was forced to undergo multiple transvaginal sonograms in her pursuit of an abortion. Her story was initially carried by The Texas Observer earlier this month.

And it’s not that Braddock was skewing the issue, either: “I’m a journalist, I cover all sides,” he said. “My thoughts on the sonogram law are simply that it’s something of great interest to Texans, and they want to hear different perspectives. I do my best to make sure people have all the facts and perspectives that they may not have considered.”

Turns out, people on the political left and right in Texas also agree that he should not have been fired.

Even Americans for Prosperity, a key organizing group behind the Republican tea party movement, sent an email asking for people to call KROI’s management and protest Braddock’s firing.

Also contacting the station on Braddock’s behalf: Melaney A. Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, along with Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life, according to emails turned over to Raw Story.

“I have had support, since I was fired, from big labor and the tea party,” Braddock said. “When does that ever happen? When in the world have you heard Planned Parenthood and groups like Texas for Life in total agreement on something? They agree that I’m a fair journalist and that I should be on the radio.”

Reached by telephone and email, KROI program director Ed Shane refused to comment. Station manager Doug Abernethy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Disclosure: Braddock and Raw Story Senior Editor Stephen C. Webster attended the same high school in Texas and share several mutual friends.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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