Fox 26 Fires Reporter After Release of ‘Censorship’ Clips via Project Veritas

June 16, 2021 Updated: June 16, 2021

A Fox affiliate station has fired a reporter after she went off-script during a weather segment on Monday saying she is being allegedly muzzled by Fox News, and later shared with Project Veritas recordings she says show the network’s censorship and corruption.

Ivory Hecker, 32, who formerly worked for Fox 26 in Houston, has been let go by the station, a representative confirmed in a statement to several news outlets Tuesday.

Hecker during the live segment claimed that Fox Corporation has been “muzzling” her to “keep certain information from you, the viewer.”

“And from what I am gathering I am not the only reporter being subjected to this. I am going to be releasing some recordings about what goes on behind the scenes at Fox because it applies to you, the viewers. I found a nonprofit journalism group called Project Veritas that’s going to help put that out tomorrow so tune into them,” she said, before proceeding with the weather report.

The 32-year-old, according to Fox 26’s website, was a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor. She previously worked for KARE-11, an NBC affiliate station in Minneapolis. Hecker’s Instagram says she is a music recording artist who has released several songs.

Hecker took her clips to investigative journalism nonprofit Project Veritas. In an Instagram story on her personal account, she said that she had made it clear to her bosses that she was recording them.

She told Project Veritas that the Fox affiliate station “came at my throat for standing up against censorship.”

“What’s happening within Fox Corp is an operation of prioritizing corporate interests above the viewer’s interest and, therefore, operating in a deceptive way,” Hecker told Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe.

“It is unspoken, but if you accidentally step outside the narrative, if you don’t sense what that narrative is, and go with it, there will be great consequences for you,” she continued. “My newsroom kind of groups everyone into racial groups.”

In one of the clips Hecker shared with Project Veritas, Lee Meier, an assistant news director with the station can be heard saying: “It’s not just about the viewers; it’s about what our CEO reads; it’s about what our GM [general manager] reads.”

Meier implies in the clip that the station wouldn’t run a story on the cryptocurrency based on specific demographics.

“I have passed on Bitcoin stories…Bitcoin for poor African American audience at 5, it’s probably not going to play. That’s a choice I’m making. An editorial choice,” Meier says in the recording.

Hecker also revealed how she was instructed to “cease and desist” on content that would present hydroxychloroquine as a feasible treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

She told O’Keefe that she was sent to a hospital to report on COVID-19 treatment, and ended up interviewing Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of critical care at United Memorial Medical Center on his use of hydroxychloroquine.

“We have used it. I mean, we know it’s a drug that has been politicized up to the wazoo. We’ve used it. We use it with good success,” Varon told Hecker.

In response, Susan Schiller, Fox 26 vice president and news director, told Hecker she had “failed as a reporter.”

“You need to cease and desist posting about hydroxychloroquine,” Schiller says in one clip, citing a New England Journal of Medicine study on the drug.

“What’s happening within Fox Corp is an operation of prioritizing corporate interests above the viewer’s interest and, therefore, operating in a deceptive way,” said Hecker. “The viewers are being deceived by a carefully crafted narrative in some stories.”

Fox 26 Houston has responded to several news outlets through a company spokesperson: “FOX 26 adheres to the highest editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality. This incident involves nothing more than a disgruntled former employee seeking publicity by promoting a false narrative produced through selective editing and misrepresentation.”

Hecker announced on her personal Instagram page late Tuesday that she will soon be releasing additional recordings that show “the depths to which the company will stoop.”

“This story has not fully been told,” she told her followers.

The Epoch Times has contacted Fox 26 and Fox Corporation for comment.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.