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Fox 26 Reporter Ivory Hecker Releases Tape of Bosses; Sounds Alarm on ‘Corruption’ & ‘Censorship’

Published: June 16, 2021
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  • Fox 26 reporter Ivory Hecker was suspended today, after announcing live on-air that she had decided to come to Project Veritas for what she described as pure “corruption” at the Houston affiliate – She said the station’s actions are an affront to real journalism and claimed leadership prioritizes corporate interests over the viewer.

  • Hecker obtained recordings of her superiors telling her to prioritize the opinion of the station’s General Manager, and the company’s CEO, above that of the audience.

  • Hecker: “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.”

  • She also obtained audio of Fox 26’s VP and News Director, Susan Schiller, telling Hecker to “cease and desist” posting about Hydroxychloroquine on social media.

  • Hecker interviewed Dr. Joseph Varon, MD, Chief of Critical Care and COVID-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, who told her of his success using Hydroxychloroquine on certain patients.

  • Hecker: “The viewers are being deceived by a carefully crafted narrative in some stories.”

  • Things turned racial behind the scenes, according to Hecker, who recorded her superior, Lee Meier, as they judged the newsworthiness of a story based on specific demographics -- on one occasion, a Fox 26 executive said that a “poor African-American audience” wouldn’t care about Bitcoin stories.

  • Hecker said the decision to shy away from these topics was not made in the interest of the public good, but rather, in line with the leadership of Fox Corp and Fox’s advertisers -- one of which is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Hecker: "There's a narrative. Yes, 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 grave consequences for you.”

  • Hecker: “Fox came at my throat for standing up against censorship.”

  • Hecker had a call with Fox 26 earlier today in which she was asked to return her reporting equipment to the station.

  • Ivory's mother Renee has set up a crowdfunding support page for her daughter at the Christian website GiveSendGo.com

  • Fox 26 Houston has responded 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."

[HOUSTON, TX – June 15, 2021] Project Veritas released a new video today featuring a sit-down interview with recently-suspended Fox 26 reporter, Ivory Hecker, who blew the whistle on her own network for what she says are acts of deception. She claims the station’s editorial decisions are an affront to honest journalism. 

Hecker, who serves as a dayside reporter primarily for the five and six o’clock news, came forward to Project Veritas with recordings of her colleagues and superiors showing a pattern of “censorship” on COVID-19 and Bitcoin-related stories. She also highlighted a pattern of submission among the local affiliate’s leadership to Fox’s corporate interests, rather than acting in the interest of transparency with its viewers.

Viewers are being deceived about some of the things that are going on,” Hecker told Veritas. 

One major issue Hecker addressed was Fox 26’s pressure on her to minimize stories presenting Hydroxychloroquine as an acceptable treatment for COVID-19. Hecker cited a seemingly tangled web of ad dollars, network corporate executives, government health departments and money-making motivations as the main reasons behind such censorship. 

“Fox came at my throat for standing up against censorship,” Hecker added. 

She secretly recorded phone calls with two of her supervisors, Vice President and News Director, Susan Schiller, and Assistant News Director, Lee Meier.

Hecker also cited a specific story in which Lee Meier, her boss, deemed a Bitcoin piece to be inapplicable “for a poor African-American audience” that represents a large portion of Fox 26’s audience during the five o’clock hour. 

Veritas reporters recorded members of the Fox 26 team shedding light on the surprisingly young producers who joined the network “right out of college,” the mechanics of how ad dollars affect stories, and the recent push to publicize the Coronavirus vaccine as much as possible. 

Jennifer Bourgeois, Sales Coordinator for Fox 26, admitted on tape that the CDC is heavily influencing stations such as theirs due to the amount of money they are pouring into ad campaigns – and how that, in turn, affects the network’s coverage of major health issues. 

“Yeah, they [CDC] are spending money. They are spending money because they can,” she told an undercover Project Veritas reporter. “Yeah, they can. They [CDC] are in the pocket. You know? They’re there.” 

Hecker went on to say her superiors lost their way when they forgot their “first loyalty is to the citizen.” 

“Vaccines are a potential money maker for Fox,” she explained. “Fox gets paid for that. As a viewer you need to look at who is advertising on this TV station, and you’ve got to realize -- surely that the TV station doesn’t want to hurt its advertisers.” 

When asked why she would risk her career and professional reputation to come forward, she said the “corruption” at the network became too overwhelming. 

“It affects the viewers. That's why I'm doing this,” Hecker explained. “The viewers are being deceived by a carefully crafted narrative in some stories, okay? In some areas they do fantastic journalism. For some reason, some of these stories have an incredible slant. If you accidentally step outside [the narrative], they try to internally destroy you -- as I've witnessed firsthand.” 

She concluded, “At this point, I want out of this narrative news telling. I want out of this corruption. I want to tell true stories without fear of whether it fits the corporate narrative.” 

About Project Veritas

James O'Keefe established Project Veritas in 2011 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. O'Keefe serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board so that he can continue to lead and teach his fellow journalists, as well as protect and nurture the Project Veritas culture. 

Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Project Veritas does not advocate specific resolutions to the issues raised through its investigations. Donate now to support our mission.

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