Ivory Hecker is a former Fox 26 reporter in Houston, Texas, who is accusing Fox News of censorship while working with the conservative group Project Veritas to expose alleged corruption.
“It’s important for the public to see that many good truth seeking reporters are left with a choice of sticking to the narrative or serious consequences,” Hecker, 32, wrote on Twitter on June 16, 2021.
The television station has now fired Hecker, telling the Houston Chronicle in a statement, “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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hecker Dropped Her Claims Into a Live Story That Was Going to Be About the Weather
Hecker revealed she had cooperated with Project Veritas at the beginning of a story about the weather. “I want to let you the viewers know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you the viewers … I am not the only reporter 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 non-profit journalism group called Project Veritas that is going to put that out tomorrow.”
Hecker has continued to make allegations on Twitter. “Some of the corruption I mention in this clip is the efforts Fox took to internally damage me for allowing a factual sound bite that didn’t fit the narrative to reach the public ears. I’ll be releasing this information in my bosses’ own words later today,” she wrote.
In a video interview with Project Veritas, she said, “It affects the viewers that’s why I’m doing this. The viewers are being deceived by a carefully crafted narrative in some stories.”
She added, “Fox came at my throat for standing up against censorship. From the inside, yes there’s a narrative. Yes, it’s 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. I want out of this narrative news telling. I want to tell true stories without fear of whether it fits the corporate narrative.”
Hecker told Daily Beast, “I have been longing to part ways with this strange, slightly unhinged corporation since last August when I realized what they were. The piece with Project Veritas doesn’t touch what they did. Fox 26 knows I’m fearless. I have zero interest in working for another corporation. They all toe the same line.”
2. Hecker, a General Assignment Reporter & Fill-in Anchor for Fox 26 News, Alleged the Station Censored Her COVID-19 Coverage
In one of the videos, Hecker claims the station censored her coverage on hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19.
She recorded Fox 26 vice president and news director Susan Schiller telling Hecker she “failed as a reporter” for not looking at the “latest research” on the drug when doing a story about a doctor who felt it was an effective treatment.
“You need to cease and desist posting about hydroxychloroquine,” Schiller told Hecker.
In the Project Veritas videos, she recorded Fox 26 assistant news director Lee Meier discussing why the station doesn’t cover Bitcoin more. Meier called it “an editorial choice” not to cover Bitcoin, saying, “I have passed on Bitcoin stories by almost every single reporter for our five o’clock audience, because that’s not our five o’clock audience. So, there are lots of reasons..I may say, yeah, and Bitcoin for poor African-American audience at five, it’s probably not going to play. That’s a choice I’m making.”
Hecker told Daily Beast, “They sent me to interview Dr. Joseph Varon, a highly respected doctor who did 1,600 media interviews. They banned me permanently—after my interview—from covering COVID-19 medical treatments.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Hecker covered some of the Gulf Coast’s “biggest stories,” including visits from presidents of both political parties.
“Ivory Hecker is a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for FOX 26 News in Houston,” the LinkedIn page reads, although she has now been terminated.
“During her time in Houston, Ivory has covered some of the Gulf Coast’s biggest stories, from presidential visits by Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter, to the death and funeral of President George H.W. Bush in his home town. She covered the massive march and funeral of George Floyd, two World Series’ involving the Astros, the Hurricane Harvey recovery, the Santa Fe mass shooting, and chemical fires and explosions in the oil and gas industry. Ivory has covered these stories primarily for the Houston audience, but also live on Fox News Channel, NewsNow from FOX, and FOX affiliates across the nation.”
Now she tells The Daily Beast that she never wants to work for corporate media again.
3. Hecker Got Her Start in Minneapolis TV
Prior to FOX 26, Hecker got her start in Minnesota, where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor for KARE, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis.
“While there, Ivory reported live from the scene of several national breaking news stories, including Prince’s death, the police shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and the protests and riots that followed those shootings,” her LinkedIn page says.
“Prior to KARE, Ivory worked at WLEX, the NBC affiliate in Lexington, Ky., where several of her investigative reports spurred county and state leaders to make improvements to local government. CNN aired Ivory’s breaking news report when she covered a hotel explosion in Lexington. Ivory’s coverage also helped WLEX win a 2014 AP award for best newscast in Kentucky. Before WLEX, Ivory was a reporter for WACH, the FOX affiliate in Columbia, S.C. While there, she covered the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, reporting live for a dozen local affiliates throughout the nation. In 2013, Ivory was sent to Colorado Springs to cover the Black Forest fire.”
4. Hecker Has a Degree in Broadcast Journalism
Hecker has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
“She got her start as a reporter at CitrusTV at Syracuse. Ivory was chosen for the New York State Broadcasters Association paid internship at WBNG-TV in Binghamton, NY,” her LinkedIn page says.
“While still in college, Ivory spent a summer reporting for KBJR-TV in Duluth, MN. She also interned at KABC-TV in Los Angeles and at YNN Syracuse, Time Warner’s 24-hour news channel.”
5. Hecker Was Raised in Wisconsin & Plays Guitar
Ivory Hecker grew up in Wisconsin “where she discovered her passion for journalism through high school radio speaking competitions and as a radio announcer at WRLS-FM,” her LinkedIn page says.
“In her free time, Ivory enjoys playing guitar, producing songs she’s written, health, and fitness.”
She rang bells for the Salvation Army.