Project Veritas recently forced out founder and maverick James O’Keefe after a series of rounds of infighting between the controversy-seeking founder and a tamer Board of Directors. The AP, reporting on O’Keefe’s ouster, said:
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe said in a speech posted online Monday that he has been removed as the right-wing group’s leader.
In remarks that appeared to have been made at a Project Veritas’ office, O’Keefe said the board had stripped him of all decision-making. The move comes after the board reportedly put him on leave from his role as chairman amid complaints about his treatment of staff at the organization, which is known for using hidden cameras and hiding identities to try to ensnare journalists in embarrassing conversations and to reveal supposed liberal bias.
“So currently, I have no job at Project Veritas,” O’Keefe said in the video. “I have no position here based upon what the board has done. So I’m announcing to you all that today on President’s Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings.”
The Board accused O’Keefe of “financial misfeasance,” though the internal attempt to oust him suspiciously began shortly after the shocking videos Project Veritas produced of a Pfizer direction discussing the vaccine.
And so many view the coup against O’Keefe as occurring not because of any financial matters but instead because he made the powers that be uncomfortable, and so have deserted Project Veritas’ Twitter account in droves.
Conservative commentator and Twitter personality Mike Cernovich drew attention to that last night, posting a picture showing that nearly 150,000 followers unfollowed Project Veritas when the news about O’Keefe broke and saying “Never seen anything like this. A company destroying itself in public. That’s 150,000 real followers who are done with Project Veritas. And it’s still early.”
Never seen anything like this. A company destroying itself in public.
That’s 150,000 real followers who are done with Project Veritas. And it’s still early. pic.twitter.com/t7tbWPCMls
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 21, 2023
Indeed it was. As of the time this article was written, Project Veritas appears to have lost nearly 192,000 followers on the 20th of February and close to 60,000 on the 21st. That’s in contrast to its normal, average gain of ~5300 followers.
Project Veritas is getting wrecked after the anti-O'Keefe coup: pic.twitter.com/n0Qk6gm6Ps
— Will Tanner (@Will_Tanner_1) February 21, 2023
So Project Veritas is getting crushed by conservative sentiment as people hear about what it did do O’Keefe and recoil in disgust at the coup.
O’Keefe, for his part, posted a lengthy video about what is going on and what he told the Project Veritas staff, saying that he was “stripped” of his position and that he did not resign.
Since it’s already out there, here are my heartfelt remarks to my staff this morning.
I need to make clear I have not resigned from the company, Project Veritas, I founded 13 years ago. I was stripped of my position as CEO and Chairman.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 21, 2023
Commenters on Twitter responded positively to O’Keefe’s video, saying things like:
“We stand with you 100% my friend. This is criminal what they are doing to you. We trust you, not those trying to remove you from the amazing brand you founded!”
“We stand with you, James.”
“Real ones stand with James. Grifters and frauds stand with the Board.”
“Unfollow PV, hit them in the metrics. No James, No Project Veritas.”
Interestingly, the fight between O’Keefe and the Board of Project Veritas has become part of the fight between the more populist, pro-Trump wing of the online conservative sphere and the more restrained, establishment, and pro-DeSantis types. The pro-Trump people are siding with O’Keefe while pro-DeSantis and pro-Establishment types side with the Board.
That’s not 100% accurate- some DeSantis supporters like Cernovich have sided with O’Keefe- but is largely holding true as the Project Veritas situation spills over into the general GOP civil war.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
O’Keefe image credit: By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75513418
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