A Fox reporter at a Texas affiliate surprised her network in a live hit Monday, saying she has been working with Project Veritas on secret recordings of her network.
Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hecker was set to deliver a report on a Texas heat wave, but instead teased her complaint of being "muzzled" by Fox Corp., telling viewers she has been secretly working with Project Veritas, an investigative reporting group seeking to expose behind the scenes allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse – mostly targeting left-leaning media like NBC and CNN.
"Before we get to that story, I want to let you the viewers know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you the viewers," she said in the video of her live hit that was circulating on social media Monday night. "And from what I'm 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 non-profit journalism group called Project Veritas that is going to help put that out [Tuesday], so tune into them."
Project Veritas' James O'Keefe posted a tease for the interview with Hecker on his Telegram page:
"WORLD EXCLUSIVE: TOMORROW, Project Veritas introduces you to Ivory Hecker, who blew the whistle on her own news network where she is currently employed as a Television Reporter. Ivory has a story to tell. She claims to have witnessed corruption and censorship first hand. Best of all, she got it on tape. Stay tuned for the recordings of her superiors and colleagues, tomorrow.
"There are those who've had enough. Who live like they're dying. There are going to be hundreds more of them. Thousands who exhibit a special form of moral courage, follow their conscience and record what happens with a hidden camera to observe behaviors for the world to see. BE BRAVE. DO SOMETHING. If not us, who? If not now, when? Veritastips@protonmail.com"
In a statement to Newsweek on Monday, Hecker said a human resources dispute with Fox "had taken a dark turn last August" after interviewing an unidentified subject for her news station in Houston. She claimed she was told to keep silent about opposing "censorship."
"They decided they didn't like what the interview subject had said, and they went on to internally harass and defame me," Hecker said in the statement to Newsweek. "I knew I was not working for a journalistic organization when I was called into an HR meeting in December and was told to keep my support for free speech and opposition to censorship to myself — that those were not matters to be publicly spoken about."
"True journalism can't exist in an environment of censorship," Hecker added. "True journalism needs an environment of free speech."
It is unclear if Hecker has been disciplined or terminated after her surprising live hit.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton referred to Project Veritas by name in an October 2020 press release, referring to a video alleging to expose a political consultant's sweeping election fraud operations.
"What's shown in the video is shocking and should alarm all Texans who care about election integrity," AG Paxton's release read. "We are aggressively investigating the serious allegations and potential crimes that Project Veritas' documentary audio and video recordings shed light on today.
"My office is fiercely committed to ensuring that the voting process is secure and fair in all Texas elections—a process that this video unfortunately casts a shadow of doubt on. Election integrity has been a top priority of mine since I first took office in 2015. Anyone who attempts to defraud the people of Texas, deprive them of their vote, or undermine the integrity of elections will be brought to justice and penalized to the fullest extent of the law."
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