Local news reporter, Ivory Hecker for Fox 26 in Houston, was fired after announcing on-air the company that owns the station FoxCorp – separate from the Fox News Channel, though owned by the same parent company, Fox Corporation -has been “muzzling” her reporting and planned an exposé with the help of Project Veritas.
The station confirmed to the Houston Chronicle that she has been terminated. It also issued a statement through a spokesperson:
“FOX 26 adheres to the highest editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality,” according to the statement. “This incident involves nothing more than a disgruntled former employee seeking publicity by promoting a false narrative produced through selective editing and misrepresentation.”
In the interview with Project Veritas, Hecker said the network had been censoring her on matters of race and on stories where doctors spoke of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The now-former Fox 26 reporter also released secret recordings to back up her claims.
“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,” Hecker tells O’Keefe. “My newsroom kind of groups everyone into racial groups.”
Lee Meier, an assistant news director at KRIV, is heard saying in one of the recordings: “It’s not just about the viewers; it’s about what our CEO reads; it’s about what our GM reads.”
“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 video.
“That seems like sort of a racially charged statement to make,” says Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe. “I want out of this narrative news-telling,” Hecker responds. “I want out of this corruption … I’m so horrified at what the news business has stooped to.”
In one story, Hecker says she was sent to a hospital to find out how they’re treating COVID-19 and Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of critical care at United Memorial Medical Center confirms he used 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,” he tells Hecker.
“You need to cease and desist posting about hydroxychloroquine,” KRIV vice president and news director Susan Schiller tells Hecker in another video after that report. “In my opinion, you failed as a reporter.”
Schiller points to a New England Journal of Medicine study that disparages hydroxychloroquine, and Hecker counters that she read it, and that it caused her to deem the remarks by doctors who use it as more newsworthy, not less.
A Project Veritas reporter is also seen confronting Fox 26 photographer David Lanier, asking him, “How come you guys, like, are the all-vaccine, all-the-time channel?”
“We hire producers, which are the ones that write the show, that are right out of college,” says Lanier. “They just regurgitate what they are fed.”
Other KRIV employees are also shown in the video lamenting that the station pushes COVID-19 vaccine stories but doesn’t allow stories about potential side effects and that advertisers and the CDC have sway over editorial content.
Full interview here: