What has happened at Project Veritas can only be described as a tragedy, since the founding force that propelled the organization to great utility for the right has been forced out of it and it will surely founder.
This tragedy has two acts, first a violation of fiduciary duty, and second the type of careerist seizure that we expect from dark organizations, with the latter surely having formed at Project Veritas while it grew too fast over the past few years.
It is a loss for all, since O’Keefe has done good work and been nothing but civil to me. He could hardly be expected to proclaim any positive opinion about a blog that is furthest Right, since most of what we talk about here shocks normies and donors alike. He does good work.
Allegedly however he spent small amounts of Project Veritas money on personal pursuits involving the theater, and the dark organization in charge of the organization he previously ran took advantage of that fact to bin him:
Although PV Leadership has not concluded looking into the full scale of financial issues over the years, a preliminary review at this time indicates that James has spent an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries.
In other words, he built an organization up from the ground, the dark organization wants to seize it, and an excuse was found in the form of some dubious spending. With that legal justification, they promptly took over the organization he built.
Were we to purchase a Bentley convertible, drive it to Los Angeles, and leave it unlocked with the keys in the ignition on Hollywood Boulevard, it is unlikely that it would be there a few hours later. Someone would spot opportunity and take it.
O’Keefe drove his people hard and may have been harsh with them — this is all “he said, she said” data at this point, so can be given no weight — but no one cared because he got results. However, the employees cared, and they staged an insurrection that the board catered to.
From the perspective of the board and the employees, they just got a free organization with a good name that will allow them to rake in millions of dollars a year in donations. This parallels what the GOP, conservative podcasts, conservative publications, and other grifters do.
In their view, they just hit the jackpot. They seize the organization, they keep making some kind of video, and the same poor saps who have been mailing in the excess on their pensions and Social Security will fund them just like they fund the do-nothing GOP and outrage porn publications.
As all of us in the cheap seats can see, they have killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. For better or for worse, O’Keefe was their star performer, and now they have a bunch of yes-men and bean counters who will make half-hearted attempts at the same.
From their perspective, this is all they must do. Project Veritas is a business; it now has a famous name, so they can trade on that to rake in the dollars, and all they need to do is offer up something that looks like investigative journalism.
In other words, it will be just like any other job. Money flows in from somewhere in huge amounts, and workers do the minimum to avoid getting fired, bosses cover it up so they look get and get promoted, and the only person who really suffers is the consumer.
Many on the Right want to believe that this is the result of Pfizer placing pressure on them:
“Nothing about how I conducted myself over the past 13 years has fundamentally changed, until now, so what has changed in the last 3 weeks? What has changed? The only thing that has changed is that we broke the biggest story in our organization’s history,” he continued, referencing the Pfizer exposé.
“A few days after the Pfizer story, I was informed by an officer of Project Veritas that he would resign unless I step down as CEO. We’ve been having a conflict of vision over fundraising, there were tactical disagreements about the boldness of approach soliciting donations.”
Pfizer has lawyers who will find malfeasance. They will then use that to send everyone to jail for fraud if they can find compassionate courts, which are not hard to find in the post-Obama court system. The board had reason to fear, and could not legally cover up the mess.
They could have demanded the money from O’Keefe, written a disciplinary letter, and subjected him to an additional layer of oversight. But why do that when you can seize the whole organization, and then stop striving, and instead attend it like any other job on the cushy fat of the donors?
Most likely, the official story that Pfizer forced this will be at best half-true. Project Veritas board members are scared of what Pfizer lawyers must do, so they needed to clean house, and in doing so, saw an opportunity to get rid of the source of controvery and get wealthier.
Perhaps the board members are not directly compensated. They can now pay themselves consulting salaries, however. They figure that the donations will keep rolling in because, after all, Project Veritas just took on the boogeyman.
Conservatives believe in blind symbolism like people at tent revivals and snake oil sales. They want to find some external symbol to believe in, another to blame for all of their problems, and then to force the former to seem to defeat the latter.
Look at the abortion debate. It is a dead letter: people want abortion in case their sexually-active children have a boo-boo that might preclude them from going to college and getting that high quality job so they never have to live in the ghetto.
But as symbolism, it is dynamite. Our side are virtuous angels, but the other guys literally murder babies. In the same way, it is handy to blame Pfizer for the fact that Obamacare pays huge money for medical care, covering both COVID-19 shots and transgender surgeries.
If we did not have Obamacare, the profit motive for Big Pharma would not exist. They are swimming in taxpayer cash because they only have to satisfy the bureaucrats, not the patients. Then the voters panicked over COVID-19, and the pharmaceutical guys knew they had hit the money pot.
When we peel back the symbols, what happened at Project Veritas is a tragedy because an organization got stolen for some of the flaws of its creator. Dark organizations tend to do this. They wait for an excuse, like all narcissists, and then use it to rationalize and justify the theft.
This will turn out badly for all parties. No one trusts what happened at Project Veritas, so it will fade away, with the board, consultants, and employees taking a bigger share of the donor money every quarter.
O’Keefe will move on, but he will have been exhausted by this, so it will be difficult for him to make a new organization. Everyone loses, except those consultant, employees, and board members in the dark organization who will be richer and safe from the Pfizer legal team.