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Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hecker released “secret information” that allegedly incriminates Fox News for censorship and propaganda. 

“I want to let you the viewers know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you,” said Hecker during a live broadcast at the KRIV station. “From what I am 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.” 

Hecker went on to announce her decision to share secret recordings with non-profit, anti-censorship journalism group Project Veritas, which has a problematic history with mainstream media outlets. 

Her relationship with the Fox affiliate began to deteriorate when, according to Hecker, the news station disapproved of an interview she had conducted with an unspecified individual. Theyreportedly called an HR meeting in December, where they condemned Hecker for her advocacy for free speech– which came at the expense of her station. On June 13, Hecker was fired

“True journalism can’t exist in an environment of censorship,” said Hecker. “True journalism needs an environment of free speech.”

In a 17-minute sit-down video with Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, Hecker released her recordings to defend her claims. These recordings held various instances of censorship, including her superiors telling her to prioritize the opinions of those in charge rather than that of the audience. In another moment, Lee Meier, one of the executives, was recorded judging the newsworthiness of a story based on racial demographics, saying that a “poor African-American audience” would not be interested in stories about Bitcoin. 

With these examples, Hecker said the company prioritized Fox Corp. and their advertisers over the public good for their viewers. 

“There’s a narrative,” Hecker told O’Keefe. “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.”

A Fox 26 spokesperson told Scriberr News in a statement that “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.” 

Alongside Hecker, Project Veritas alleges otherwise. 

“With Ivory Hecker specifically, it shows that there’s also corporate bias,” Project Veritas’s Mario Balaban told Scriberr News. “It’s not only about pushing a narrative–it’s also in the interest of ratings and what plays with certain audiences and what doesn’t.” 

Project Veritas pledges itself against corruption, working with undercover journalists and whistleblowers to expose malpractice in the journalism industry. However, the organization has a muddled legal past, including being accused of producing deceptively edited videos to discredit media outlets.l. The founder, James O’Keefe, has also been commonly considered by Left-organizations as a conservative activist, who has been said to engage in radical conspiracies

In 2009, Project Veritas published videos of alleged illegal activity at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which led to the shutdown of the organization. Later, the ACORN employees who were accused were cleared of the accusations by the Attorney General of California, leading to O’Keefe paying a $100,000 settlement to a responsive lawsuit. 

In another instance, the Washington Post was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for both their transparent work in exposing Senate candidate Roy Moore’s sexual misconduct, as well as for rejecting Project Veritas’s attempt to “entrap them into writing about a fake victim.” 

Balban rejected any notion of bias in the organization’s work. 

“We’re taking on all whistleblowers–it doesn’t matter where they come from. We are the hub and home for these people now, regardless of what side they come from,” Balban said. “We will never sell ourselves to the corporate imperative.” 

Project Veritas is funded in large part by Donors Trust, which is a donor-advised fund that has “steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the most influential think tanks, foundations, and advocacy groups in the conservative movement.” Other important donors include the Donald J. Trump Foundation. 

A local CBS journalist also announced on June 20 that she intended to speak to Project Veritas.

Written ByAddison Gallagher

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