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This Week in Schadenfreude: Gimme Some Truth

"Veritas" means "truth" in Latin. And so, "Project Veritas" is most definitely in the running for the title of most ironic name of all time, since that organization is about as interested in the truth as Pinocchio was during his "wood" period. Project Veritas is a propaganda organization of the first order, using various deceptive practices (like heavily edited videos) to create scandals for Democrats where none exists.

The founder of Project Veritas is James O'Keefe, whose Wikipedia page notes that he has the support of both right-wing and far-right-wing groups. Diversity! Anyone who has followed his public career, which dates back to the early 2000s, knows he is a sleazeball, through and through. And now, his own organization has apparently been compelled to admit that.

When someone is a sleazeball in one area of their life, they are usually a sleazeball in other areas, as well. And whaddya know, O'Keefe fits that model to a T. In addition to his unethical "journalistic" practices, it turns out that he's an abusive boss who has triggered numerous lawsuits for creating a hostile workplace environment and for harassment. Further, he is in possible legal trouble over his efforts to acquire a diary that was stolen from presidential granddaughter Ashley Biden. There may be other issues, too; these are the ones that happen to be known because of court filings.

As a result of his troubles, O'Keefe has been placed on paid leave, and may be shoved out the door. Since he's a jerk who poisons the U.S. democracy with his lies, that would be a pretty excellent outcome. But it gets better, because to many of the folks who fund Project Veritas, it's really just Project James O'Keefe. Some of them have sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding that he be kept on board. And so, if the organization has to cashier him just to limit legal exposure, it may well implode. As one person who was interviewed for the piece linked above noted: "Quite frankly, he's the company."

There's nothing wrong with some rough and tumble politics, on occasion. But what O'Keefe and Project Veritas do is beyond the pale, as they concoct flat-out lies out of thin air. So, if one or both is taken down, that certainly justifies a little schadenfreude. (Z)

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