In a truly bizarre news segment, local Fox 26 reporter Ivory Hecker surprised her colleagues and viewers Monday evening when she claimed live on-air that Fox’s corporate overlords had been “muzzling” her to stop her from sharing “certain information” viewers deserved to know.
Hecker then said she had secret recordings to back-up her censorship claims which she'd turned over to a far-right anti-news group.
Near the top of the station’s 5 p.m. news broadcast, the Fox 26 studio anchor cut to Hecker for a live hit about the sweltering Texas weather that has state power grid operators nervous about potential power outages. But Hecker had a quick announcement to slip in prior to discussing the topic she’d been sent out to cover.
“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. And from what I’m gathering, I am not the only reporter being subjected to this,” Hecker said.
Instead of immediately cutting away from Hecker, who had obviously gone rogue, the camera kept rolling.
“I am going to be releasing some recordings about what goes on behind the scenes at Fox, because it applies to you, the viewers,” she continued. “I found a non-profit journalism group, called Project Veritas, that is going to help put that out tomorrow, so tune in to them.”
Without so much as taking a breath, Hecker then nonchalantly pivoted to talking about the local heatwave as she’d been assigned, and the on-set anchors didn’t mention the outburst once her segment had concluded.
Project Veritas, the far right-wing organization founded and operated by conservative trickster James O’Keefe, is devoted to discrediting American mainstream media outlets whom they contend are part of a vast liberal conspiracy to brainwash the public.
In addition to attacking news providers, Project Veritas has also targeted Democratic politicians and advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood with deceptively edited video footage and shady undercover sting operations where the group attempts to get outlets to report on fake news stories in order to tarnish their credibility.
Twitter banned Project Veritas and O’Keefe back in April for running afoul of its “platform manipulation and spam policy” for allegedly running fake accounts, but the group bragged Monday night through its still-running Facebook page about being a trending topic on Twitter despite being blocked from the platform.
A Project Veritas representative told The Daily Beast that it would post a video of an interview with Hecker sometime Tuesday night, and that the group would also be publishing some of her secret video and audio recordings she claims prove that her Fox superiors were trying to silence her from discussing certain yet-to-be-disclosed topics.
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Schaefer Edwards is a staff writer at the Houston Press who covers local and regional news. A lifelong Texan and adopted Houstonian, he loves NBA basketball and devouring Tex-Mex while his cat watches in envy.