Project Veritas triumphs despite federal repression

In a day thirteen years in the making, James O'Keefe, the Jason Bourne of American investigative journalism, achieved something that neither his critics nor his supporters could have anticipated.  He blew the cover on a school administrator whose statements were so biased and prejudicial that even Ned Lamont, the bona fide left liberal Connecticut governor, had this to say:

I hate these gotcha guys clipping, uhhhh, clipping the videos and trying to make political – you know, fodder out of it. But the words speak for themselves.

The governor vowed to back any investigation into the statements of Cos Cob Elementary School assistant principal Jeremy Boland.

Why was the video of Boland speaking to a female dinner companion so compelling that local news, as well as Connecticut's all-Democrat senior officials, announced a civil rights investigation?  O'Keefe's undercover reporter succeeded in coaxing him into admitting the real philosophy behind how he makes hiring decisions to exclude applicants who are Catholic, over the age of 30, or leaning conservative in any way.  The Greenwich school district would also within the same day place Boland on leave.

Critics always maintain that Project Veritas is a group of sneaky grifters, engaging in deceptive smears, "gotcha" tactics, and selective editing to carry out character assassination.  Yet anyone listening to Boland's words could tell it wasn't Veritas destroying his character; it was Jeremy Boland.  Whether it was just bluster meant to impress his date or his true feelings and beliefs, Boland had stated on camera that in his hiring decisions he discriminates based on religion, age, and political beliefs.  When the woman asks him what he would do if he found out a hiring prospect is Catholic, he responded by saying, "You don't hire them."

Then, within the same week, O'Keefe did it all over again, this time to the student activities director at New York's posh private Trinity School, Jennifer Norris.  During her dinner dates with an undercover journalist, Norris went even farther than Boland by attacking the character of the school itself and the white male members of her student body.  She proposed the need for a serial killer like the one from Dexter to eliminate the white students using a "community of targets."

Credit must be given to Connecticut's local TV stations and print media for affording the story the coverage it deserved, but on the national level, Boland and Norris are unlikely to attract attention.  Why?  Because in newsrooms at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Times or CNN, the idea that in 2022, glib white staff at schools are discriminating based on religion or race isn't interesting because the groups targeted by the treatment are Catholic or white.

What would have happened if they had said the same about a black applicant?  They may have been fired from their job the next day as happened to Manhattan resident Amy Cooper, a liberal white woman who had a tense confrontation with Christian Cooper, a black passerby, because her dog was irritating him while he was trying to bird-watch in Central Park.  She called the police on him.

In both examples, the issue was exposed by video recording of an incident using someone's phone, and in neither case was the subject's consent requested.  Yet many so-called legitimate media outlets continue to treat O'Keefe and Project Veritas as if they are tainted, while Christian Cooper has been given his own bird-watching show on Netflix.  Amy Cooper's transgression of overreacting to someone at the park cost her a career within one day, whereas with Boland, all that is promised is an investigation.  Norris has been suspended with pay, and the school has effectively sided with her against Veritas rather than address the fact that she joked that some of her students that she is trying to indoctrinate should be murdered!  How extremely do faculty members and administrators have to behave before their superiors recognize that they are an unhealthy and dangerous influence on their kids?

The level of outrage over the revelations at Cos Cob and the Trinity School should actually be much higher, although with the mood of our times, it's easy to explain why it isn't.  The issue of religious liberty in America has been overshadowed by racial and sexual politics, but both examples showed the tendency among left-wing educators to disparage religion and tradition as being archaic and hateful.  Norris made a brief aside about the old Trinity Church, while Boland made a blanket statement about Catholics.  Does anyone stop to question whether self-styled "devout Catholic" Joe Biden would be permitted to teach at Cos Cob according to Boland's criteria?

The First Amendment permits criticism and blasphemy of any religion, but a distinction should be made here that in attacking Catholics as opposed to the Vatican or a church doctrine, Boland was making it clear that his prejudice is against them as people, not just their beliefs.  For those who are unaware, one of the reasons that religious liberty was enshrined in the First Amendment was that the nation could not remain united without religious equality.  The colonists had come from Europe, having seen religious persecution and wars of religion like the Thirty Years War and English Civil War, and were ready to start from scratch at great personal risk.

Nowadays, we are told by the likes of Nikole Hannah-Jones to look at the colonials as slavers of Africans or murderers of Indian tribes, but in their time, they were the misfits who would not change their faith because the Crown said so.  Recognizing this, the Founders built the Establishment Clause into the Constitution, which, contrary to modern liberal thought, is not about separation of church and state as much as preventing a single church from holding the reins of government.

Let's also not forget that this is a story that was broken by an organization that numerous state actors would rather have disappear.  These actors include the federal Department of Justice and FBI, which last year raided the homes of O'Keefe and other Project Veritas associates in Mamaroneck, New York.  The pretense behind these raids was that they had been at one point in possession of the diary of Ashley Biden, the daughter of the president.  Her diary had been found abandoned in a room that she had shared in a friend's house in Delray Beach, Florida in 2020.  The circumstances by which these materials arrived at Project Veritas rest on better legal footing than how the Pentagon Papers came to be published by the New York Times and others after having been leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, a contractor with the RAND Corporation.

Our news cycle is a perfect illustration of how once-daring media institutions are now more dedicated to squashing important journalism than encouraging it.  In light of the fact that the FBI then leaked details of its investigation of Project Veritas to the New York Times, which was a litigant in a lawsuit filed by Project Veritas against it, a court ruled in Veritas's favor to appoint a special master to determine whether materials seized by the Bureau were protected by attorney-client or journalistic privilege.  The stakes of this high-profile legal fight are part of a larger battle, one between those dedicated to revealing the truth, no matter how ugly, and the ones who think Americans are better off oblivious to it.

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