As heated as politics gets in the US, we sometimes forget that physical violence against reporters and commentators is far from rare in many parts of the world. This isn’t a case of a murder or even a severe injury from the Philippines, where some journalists have indeed been killed in recent months, but it is worth noting because it was all caught on video – and the attack came from a high-ranking elected official.
Kalinga province Governor Joel Baac didn’t like the criticism of him and his government by DZRK Radyo Ng Bayan-Tabuk host Jerome Tabanganay. As Tabanganay neared the end of his show on Tuesday (6/7) Governor Baac barged into the studio, grabbed the mic, hitting Tabanganay on the lip, and struggled with the broadcaster.
What the Governor didn’t know was that the radio program also had a live webcam streaming video, which can be seen below.
The Governor later denied that he intentionally injured the broadcaster, who sought medical attention to his injuries. Governor Baac was removed from the studio by security guards before the confrontation reached the point of any serious injury. The government-owned station did not broadcast the next day in protest of the Governor’s attempt to silence a critical broadcaster.
RBR-TVBR observation: Other than the 1970 bombing of KPFT-FM Houston by the KKK, US radio stations have to worry more about meeting budget than about any physical attack. For this station in the Philippines, though, this on-air attack came just a month after someone tried to burn down the studios.