Scott Braddock, a respected reporter who has been with the fledgling newsradio station KROI since November, has been fired.
We caught up with him as he was filling out unemployment forms, and he said station management did not say abortion politics was behind the move.
"It's interesting that that theory's being floated," he said. "But I tend to think people operate in good faith, and what they say is what they mean."
Braddock guest-hosted on Geoff Berg's Partisan Gridlock show on Pacifica station KPFT Friday. He discussed a Texas Observer first-person story on undergoing the mandated sonogram, and played tape of an interview he did for KROI with the author, Carolyn Jones.
While that could be construed by some media outlets as improper -- and Braddock says he didn't inform management of his plans to appear on KPFT and play the tape -- the reporter says the firing is an "overreaction." (If there's anything in the employment contract forbidding what he did, it's moot -- Braddock has not yet signed a contract.)
"The media landscape is changing," he says. "Reporters appear on rightwing talk shows, they appear on leftwing talk shows, they appear on CNN and MSNBC, Fox, everywhere and explain their stories. Anyone who understands what is going on in the world knows there's room for a reporter to be asked about his story by a rightwing talk-show host, by a left-wing talk-show host...There's a difference between spewing opinions and giving analysis."
KROI market manager Doug Abernethy told Hair Balls, "I am not at liberty to discuss [a] personnel decision."
Braddock says part of the problem might be that KROI's owners, Media One, are not used to dealing with news. The chain mostly operates music stations.
"They've never owned a news outlet," he says. "They've never had to deal with a reporter who covers controversies. In fairness to them, they don't know how to do it. So if the firing was an overreaction, maybe it's because they don't know how to deal with these things."
Braddock, 31, has been a reporter for KTRH, Dallas' KRLD, and the CBS Radio network. He's now looking for a new job.