In advance of that meeting, Veritas released a statement, saying "Despite what the Corporate Media tries to portray about our organization, know this: We have never been more motivated and dedicated to our mission than now." The vague charges against O'Keefe are that he was a brutal task-master who demanded perfection, and once even stole a staffer's sandwich.
"Project Veritas has achieved immense growth and impact during the last three years," that official statement reads. "Like all newsrooms at this stage, the Project Veritas board of directors and management are constantly evaluating what the best path forward is for the organization. The board and management are continuing this internal evaluation to assure our long term success. Project Veritas will never stop and we will never let our supporters down." The statement says that the employees will continue on no matter what the board's decision, and that they "will never give up."
But for supporters of Project Veritas, especially those who have been part of the "Veritas Army" over the years, the potential ouster of O'Keefe spells nothing short of the end of Veritas. The Veritas Army were a group of social media influencers that broke Veritas stories on Twitter while the outlet was banned on that platform. O'Keefe and Veritas were only both recently allowed back on the platform after Elon Musk took over, and those relationships with the Veritas Army were based on O'Keefe's reputation.
In response to the news, many conservatives took to Twitter to declare their support for O'Keefe, and their belief that Veritas has no future without its founder.
Daily Wire's Candace Owens said "There is no Project Veritas without James O’Keefe," and further expressed what many are thinking, that Veritas will flounder but O'Keefe, the talent behind the organization, will land on his feet.
Human Events Daily's Jack Posobiec said simply "They are not taking [James O'Keefe] from us."
He also posited that perhaps it's because O'Keefe went directly for Pfizer, that massive pharmaceutical company that developed an mRNA vaccine to fight Covid and then took masses of cash from the federal government, pushing the drug on the public, that led to O'Keefe's projected ouster.
TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk stated, "I stand with James O'Keefe!"
Revolver News' Darren Beattie blasted Veritas for thinking they could move forward without O'Keefe, likening it to Van Halen without David Lee Roth, and other notable departures of high-profile people from their platforms.
Rebel News' Ian Miles Cheong said Veritas without O'Keefe will not be "a lot of fun."
Filmmaker Robby Starbuck concurred, saying "James O'Keefe is Project Veritas," and that donors to the organization will have no interest in funding a Veritas that is not helmed by O'Keefe.
Ryan Fornier listed O'Keefe's accomplishments and the service he's done for the public.
Conservative columnist David Marcus indicated that trying to continue a mission in the absence of the founder is not only foolhardy, but hard to pull off. He references the well-known problem arts organizations face when the founder of that group either steps down or is forced out, and suddenly the mission that had been so clear under the founding creator becomes muddied, sullied with second-tier egos, and begins churning out all manner of mediocrity in a quest to survive, like a headless chicken in a barnyard unaware that it is simply waiting to die.
Investigative journalism was changed forever when James O'Keefe walked into an ACORN office in 2009 posing as a pimp, Hannah Giles posing as a prostitute, and exposed workers there actively assisting the duo to set up sex trafficking operations. The workers exposed on video were fired, ACORN lost its government contracts, and the whole operation shut down within a year.
From that investigation, O'Keefe founded Project Veritas, a journalistic enterprise that relies on donations to carry out their work exposing educators, media figures, elected officials, and most recently Pfizer executives giving away information that they never would have if they'd known they were speaking to undercover reporters.
Now, O'Keefe appears to be being pushed out of the organization he founded, and he's currently on paid leave while the board makes their determination. The Daily Beast calls O'Keefe "a power hungry tyrant," while New York Magazine reported that there has been "infighting" within the organization. The Veritas board, which includes three members, Matthew Tyrmand among them, is apparently set to meet on Friday to determine O'Keefe's future with Veritas, and the fate of Project Veritas itself.
O'Keefe isn't talking, and Veritas staff contains a mix of loyalists and those who are ready to move on from O'Keefe, apparently believing that the man who built the ship and had captained it through the many rough seas over the years is no longer needed to lead.
The chief allegations against O'Keefe appear to be that he was mean to employees, and that the workplace, according to the Daily Beast, was a "raucous, sexually charged workplace complete with at least one drug overdose." Anyone who has ever spent time with O'Keefe and the Veritas crew knows that the pressure they are under is immense, and the stakes are incredibly high.
Sixteen staffers signed on to a memo saying that O'Keefe was "abusive" to staff, alleging everything from O'Keefe yelling at staff in public, taking a sandwich from a pregnant staffer when he was hungry, "berating" staff with at least one incident of him calling a staffer a "pussy," and being "so fearful of leakers within his organization that he set up at least one 'mole hunt' complete with private investigators and a lie detector test."
That alleged search for disloyal staff apparently was not effective, as there have now been leaks to the Daily Beast and New York Magazine, and that could only be the beginning.
Perhaps those who are seeking to remove O'Keefe from his position within the company he founded believe that they are through the roughest seas, that the censorship that has dogged Veritas on social media, including the recent difficulties stemming from reporters confronting a YouTube executive to find out why that platform removed Veritas' video exposing a Pfizer exec, are in the past.
But removing the man who founded the Project Veritas project, who made it what it is today, who has taken slings and arrows from colleagues in media, who has been literally raided by the FBI, whose motives have been disparaged and questioned, and whose life has been turned upside down due to his diligent work exposing finks, phonies and frauds, will not sit well with Veritas' supporters.
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