Local Fox reporter: I'm being muzzled -- and James O'Keefe will blow the lid off it today; UPDATE: Suspended

But, um … what about those AC units? Ivory Hecker, a reporter for Fox’s Houston affiliate, turned a routine story about a Texas heat wave into something a wee bit hotter. Claiming that Fox was “muzzling” her, Hecker promised on-air that Project Veritas would blow the lid off her story sometime today.

And now, about those AC units …

“I want to let you the viewers know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you,” said Ivory Hecker, who is a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor with Fox affiliate Fox 26 Houston.

“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,” she said.

The news that James O’Keefe will go after Fox News might raise some eyebrows … and perhaps a little newfound respect from some of Fox’s competitors. O’Keefe has spent a lot of time going after CNN, which that network has shrugged off as politically motivated. Making Fox a target would expand O’Keefe’s target range to the entire industry, or at least lay claim to that, depending on Hecker’s complaints.

But what exactly will Hecker expose through Project Veritas? They don’t have any teasers on their home page as of this morning. We’ll find out tonight, Insider reports, but it sounds more generalized than specific:

A spokesman for Project Veritas told Insider that Hecker will be sitting down for an interview with the group on Tuesday evening to discuss claims of “corruption” and “censorship” that she has regarding her employer. The spokesman added that Hecker will be, among other things, “blowing the whistle” and speaking about how she believes corporate journalism is “broken.”

Perhaps Hecker has some smoking-gun material to air tonight, but it will have to be pretty spectacular to move the needle on “corporate journalism” being broken. We already know that much from PV’s own work. Also, “censorship” is an interesting word to use against a publisher. One can complain about editorial bias — it’s a real problem, and is the core of Bernard Goldberg’s seminal media criticism Bias. However, editorial choices aren’t censorship — they can be dishonest, manipulative, and corrupt, but they aren’t censorship. Reporters can still speak independently to break their own stories; those working for others don’t get to choose what goes on air. Well, not unless they use Hecker’s strategy here by sandbagging the people who pay her while reporting on another topic on air.

We’ll see what Hecker has to say, but with this kind of build-up, it had better be pretty juicy. And it had better pay the bills too, because after this stunt, Hecker will probably need to start exploring her options. Stay tuned, so to speak.

Update: To no one’s great surprise, Fox 29’s management didn’t take too kindly to Hecker’s stunt. They probably won’t like the fact that she recorded the call informing her that she’s been suspended either:

When you hijack a station’s air time to accuse their company of corruption and “censorship,” the obvious consequence is to make sure someone doesn’t get a second opportunity. This revelation had better be worth it.