James O’Keefe jumped or was he pushed out by Project Veritas? The gonzo journalism company he started in 2010, which he founded. The people who fought with O’Keefe were clearly feeling the heat from angry fans. They tried to come to an agreement with their friends and supporters on Thursday.
It was ugly to see the battle between these two sides. Perhaps the most ugly battle between supporters and donors and the board might be the one that is fought.
We reported on February 20 that Project Veritas had removed O’Keefe’s CEO and board seats. O’Keefe’s clip, in which he admitted that he had been pushed aside and had gone to his office to retrieve his personal belongings, was included in our report.
The board of directors of the organization responded by clarifying that they had suspended him temporarily, an explanation that was similar to what we reported.
In the meantime, both sides have called their lawyers again. O’Keefe posted an Instagram update clarifying his status and stating that he did not resign.
Project Veritas has now returned with another clarification, basically saying that we have never threatened his job, so trust us!
“Project Veritas Team,” sent an email with the subject “we hold everyone responsible especially ourselves” and referred to the fact that O’Keefe supporters are lighting up the organization. They hoped that no matter who the team was, “you might continue giving us a chance.” We cannot stress enough how distinct the board’s role from PV’s daily operations. We continue to pursue stories of public importance and are still working.
“The Team” wrote:
James’ “removal”, as he called it, was not a firing. He stated that he didn’t resign and that he was not fired by the board. He was placed on temporary suspension by the board until the audit was complete. He was asked by the board to delegate the management of staff to his department heads in order to focus his talents, efforts and time on journalism/stories, and less on the management of personnel.
[…] There are more than 60 people at PV who continue to be passionate about James’ mission. It’s what brought us all together. We cannot control online narratives and can’t defend ourselves individually in the public sphere right now, but we can assure that we are determined and steadfast in our efforts to expose corruption.
An email contained a video that showed the faces and names Project Veritas reporters. This was done to show that others do most of the heavy lifting in reporting. As if we didn’t know. James O’Keefe would have to be able to make undercover sting videos for as long as Mike Wallace.
However, there has been a lot of backlash online.
Donors leave the company.
Dianna Remmers, Project Veritas donor, said that James’ interactions were “misrepresented” in the letter sent by the board.
According to the board, O’Keefe misappropriated company funds, some of which were for himself, and they wanted him gone until a two-dimensional audit was completed. This can be very concerning for fiduciaries in 501c3 organizations.
O’Keefe was also criticised for his harsh treatment of employees.
A meme that is trending on social media asks a fascinating question. It reads like this: So, in a room of undercover journalists using video to expose bad guys, O’Keefe didn’t take one video of him dressing down employees?
It didn’t happen. But it’s interesting.
O’Keefe’s — temporary? The ouster could end up being more fascinating than the stories his company exposed.