Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hecker, who teased her work with Project Veritas in a surprise off-script TV hit on Monday, was reportedly fired from her job via text message.
Among the claims levied by Hecker in an interview with Project Veritas' James O'Keefe were that Fox Corp. sought to silence her reporting on doctors supporting the use of hydroxychloroquine; the station's coverage should "do the opposite" of what everything former President Donald Trump says; and that she should be more cognizant of what corporate executives want to read over what she thought the public needed to know.
"Fox came at my throat for standing up against censorship," Hecker told O'Keefe.
"Fox Corp. is an organization prioritizing corporate interests above the viewers' interests, and therefore operating in a deceptive way," she added. "Viewers are being deceived about some of the things that are going on."
Hecker claimed a senior vice president of Fox 26 Houston supported censoring HCQ support because former President Trump supported it.
"He said, 'look it's obvious why this is getting censored: President Trump said that hydroxychloroquine works,'" she claimed, adding he suggested, "whatever he does everyone wants to do the opposite."
Video of secret recordings with Hecker's boss showed she was ordered to "cease and desist posting about hydroxychloroquine," and was reprimanded that she "failed as a reporter."
"She's shutting down a news story that actually happened, and that's just one of many news stories," Hecker told O'Keefe. "Many stories have been shut down over the past, almost, year.
"And I have never to this day advocated for this drug.
"This is the opposite of catering to the audience," she continued. "The audience was craving answers and then they're seeing the news is not covering it at all. Does that build trust in the news? No, that alienates the viewers. They are left to just assume, 'the news must be in on some sort of conspiracy because they're not answering our questions on what's really going on.'"
Hecker also levied racial segregation and discrimination claims, sharing a secretly recorded video of an assistant news director rejecting coverage of Bitcoin because it would not appeal to "a poor African-American audience" of the 5 p.m. broadcast.
"A lot of our meetings are, 'well, how does this play with Black people,'" Hecker told O'Keefe.
"According to her, some of our biggest audience is poor Black people," Hecker continued. "She has decided that poor Black people don't care about Bitcoin."
In dealing with her challenging her bosses on censorship of her stories, Hecker recorded exchanges where her bosses say, "It's not just about the viewers; it's about what our CEO reads; it's about what our GM reads."
"That means corporate values are above the viewers' interests," Hecker explained. "That is saying we don't abide by journalism, we abide by corporate values."
Hecker acknowledged her work with Project Veritas was going to lead to her leaving her job, but she said she no longer wants to work for corporative-driven media.
"It affects the viewers; that's why I'm doing this," Hecker told O'Keefe. "The viewers are being deceived by a carefully crafted narrative in some stories, O.K.? 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."
"At this point, I want out of this narrative news telling," she concluded. "I want out of this corruption. I want to tell true stories without fear of whether it fits the corporate narrative."
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