Image: Fox 26 Houston Screengrab
On Monday, former Fox reporter from Houston, Ivy Hecker interrupted a live report on a heat wave to denounce her own network for “silencing me to hide certain information from you, the audience”. She promised that an upcoming report by the well-known far-right activist group Project Veritas would blow the whole thing off.
Well, the report came and it turned out that Hecker was mostly pissed off that the Houston-based Fox subsidiary didn’t let them report on Bitcoin and hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug used as a COVID-19 cure by former President Donald Trump was advertised.
“I’m going to be posting some footage of what’s going on behind the scenes at Fox because it applies to you, the audience,” Hecker said on the air, revealing that she’d recorded her colleagues. “I found a non-profit organization.” Journalism group called Project Veritas they’re going to help get this out tomorrow, so tune in then. “
According to The daily beast, Fox 26 suspended Hecker Tuesday morning and fired her later that day. Hours later, Project Veritas dropped a 20-minute length Video on his YouTube channel. Hecker’s allegation of media corruption is that she is angry that her bosses won’t let her cover Bitcoin.
“I’ve been sharing Bitcoin stories from almost every single reporter for our five o’clock audience because it’s not for our five o’clock audience,” said Lee Meier, Assistant News Director at Fox 26, in a project screened by Project Veritas Video. “So there are many reasons. If I know our numbers are going up from 5 to 6 and in a certain segment I can say yes and Bitcoin for a poor African American audience at 5 it probably won’t play. That’s a choice I’m making. An editorial decision. “
Aside from the “poor African American” comment, there is no evidence that Fox 26 has any bias towards Bitcoin. There is no evidence of any attempt to extinguish Bitcoin’s light on the world. Fox 26 aired Segments about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Journalists who work in the tech sector are haunted daily by a torrent of emails from people trying to get them to cover Bitcoin. Every journalist’s inbox currently contains around 20 unread emails about Bitcoin. The local news audience in particular is likely to tune in to local reports to find out about local crime and the weather – exactly what Hecker should be talking about.
The bulk of Hecker’s other bias allegations at Fox 26 concerned hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug Trump touted as a treatment for COVID-19 – and unsubstantiated claims about advertisers.
“Ivory Hecker came to us because she was upset that the corporate imperative is being put above journalism, ethics and truth,” Mario Balaban, Project Veritas media relations manager, told Motherboard on the phone. “Your boss will be taped telling her not to worry about the audience as much as the CEO thinks.”
Motherboard turned to Fox 26 Houston and Ivory Hecker, but heard nothing.