Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Houston Pacifica station targeted in drive-by shooting

Somebody in Houston certainly has a problem with diversity of opinion on the radio. Or perhaps they just don't like Zydeco music.

At around 1AM Monday morning, a gunman in a white car fired a shot through a Plexiglas window at Pacifica-owned KPFT (90.1FM) in Houston before cowardly speeding off into the night. Thankfully, there were no injuries, though the bullet came within 18 inches of program host Mary Thomas' head.

Ironically, the station's motto is "Radio for Peace."

KPFT ruffles quite a few feathers in Houston, not surprising as a left-leaning Pacifica outlet in one of the reddest of the red states. The station airs a variety of programming, mostly non-controversial fare such as blues, folk, world music, punk rock and various other genres of music. They also carry a great deal of news and public affairs programming, covering topics such as gay and lesbian issues, the environment, the peace movement and other subversive liberal fare that could obviously deeply penetrate the thin skins of hardcore conservatives. How thin are their skins? Soon after the station went on the air in 1970, the Ku Klux Klan dynamited the transmitter. On two separate occasions (video). They obviously hated KPFT for their freedom.

Ironically, at the time of the shooting, Thomas was playing inoffensive Zydeco music.

"I think it was purposeful," station manager Duane Bradley said. "It's highly likely that, at some point, someone may have heard something that offended them and they decided to do something about it."

KPFT, which is a fully community-supported station, had just finished a weeklong $135,000 pledge campaign prior to the shooting.

No arrests have been made in the shooting, though an obscurely-shaped gun shell was retrieved at the scene. The attack is assumed by station staffers to be politically or ideologically motivated.

Read more on the station's blog here.


will in chicago said...

I find this story troubling, as it seems to be an effort to silence free speech. What a cowardly act.

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