Wednesday, June 16, 2021

So Now We Know What's Up with Ivory Hecker

Yesterday we saw how Ivory Hecker, a Fox 26 (Houston) news reporter (and occasional singer) was in the news, threatening to blow the lid off her station and Fox News corporate, by going to James O'Keefe's Project Veritas. It came out late last night, and I put it off until today. First, the interview (if you can call it that) via Sundance at CTH: FOX News Reporter Ivory Hecker Releases Undercover Footage of Fox News Execs Shaping Coverage, “Viewers are Being Deceived” 

In a follow-up to her brave, live, on-air reporting yesterday, Fox26 Journalist Ivory Hecker provides Project Veritas with evidence of Fox News corporate bosses giving instructions about how to frame stories to follow the ideological agenda of the outlet. 

I found parts of the video repetitive, and annoying, but generally good, confirming that even Fox news is more concerned with money than news value (but we knew that), and more importantly, even Fox, from local to national, has an ingrained bias against the Donald, as evidenced by their handling of the hydroxychloroquine matter. 

Ace, Project Veritas: Suspended Fox Employee Says She Was Muzzled Over Claims About Hydroxychloroquine
I'm just seeing this now.

Of course it's about HCQ.

Fox is as bad as any of them. It's "conservative-leaning" for suckers and dummies.

And at Hot Hair, Jazz Shaw wonders Was that "censored" Houston Fox News reporter's expose worthwhile?

Most of Hecker’s accusations come off as more of a generalized complaint about the corporate culture at the station rather than specific, documented acts of malfeasance. She speaks of the management prioritizing a narrative and “corporate” interests over the best interests of the viewers. In the end, she winds up citing only two incidents as examples of these accusations. I’m not going to say that neither of them is worthy of concern, but it’s something of a stretch to define them as intentional media malpractice.

The first deals with the fact she was told by management to stop making social media posts promoting stories about the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID patients. Hecker had interviewed a doctor in Houston who had been prescribing the drug and seeing some success with certain patients. We now know that the trashing of Hydroxychloroquine indeed was a narrative (and a false one at that) but Fox 26 Houston was hardly the only outlet in the country pushing it at the time.

A bit more disturbing was the revelation that the CDC was dumping a lot of advertising money around, including to Fox 26 Houston, and the management there was cognizant of that fact. While Fauci was vacillating back and forth on the usefulness of the drug, it was clear that many wanted a thumbs down to be delivered on it after Donald Trump promoted it. That definitely strikes me as ethically dodgy, but it seems like an odd hill to die on in terms of your career.

The second accusation involves suggestions of racism. This comes from a story on bitcoin that Hecker was working on. One of the station’s executives told her that “a “poor African-American audience” wouldn’t care about Bitcoin stories.” He also noted that Black viewers make up a significant part of the station’s audience during the evening news. I’ll readily admit that the attitude being displayed definitely suggests a tendency to generalize along racial lines and not in a flattering fashion. The executive clearly sees Black viewers as being impoverished and unable to participate in cryptocurrency experiments. But it also doesn’t seem to rise to the level of slinging the n-word around or refusing to hire employees of color. But every media outlet tries to be keenly aware of who their primary audience is and tailor content around what they hope will be popular.

I guess I'm about where Jazz Shaw is, the bitcoin story I give Fox some slack; they judged their audience in that time slot had zero interest in it, because of their "demographics." That seems like a legitimate consideration. The hydroxychloroquine story is more troubling. Clearly, parts of the CDC were rooting against that, just to be anti-Trump, and Fox local and corporate were gladly taking their money, and their bullshit. Thus the CDC, Fauci and the media are largely responsible for killing anyone who could have been saved by "the hydroxy" and wasn't because of the high pressure, and under the table program to stifle it due to it's association with Trump.

In the meantime, Ivory Hecker's career with Fox is clearly and an end, and it seems unlikely that she'll get hired by any network, save perhaps OAN. She claims to want to go into "independent journalism," perhaps following the Sharyl Attkisson and John Solomon examples. Best of luck to her. But she is much less well known, at least until now. Maybe they can help?

In the meantime, she can always fall back on her singing talents:

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