Pearl River Veritas means truth in Latin. Project Veritas means untruth in English. One thing that is proven to be true once again is that “what goes around, comes around.” James O’Keefe, the hyper-conservative provocateur, specializes in the faux expose and supposed scandal with one organization or individual after another, including most tragically his role in the demise of ACORN in the USA. I was greeted in the predawn by news of this latest episode from one of mi companeros, who succinctly stated, “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
You live by the sword; you die by the sword. This time they came for him. Several former employees filed a couple of lawsuits in federal court in New York City exposing the seamy and sordid inner workings of his outfit. The accusations aren’t pretty, but given the PV-O’Keefe m.o, modus operandi in Latin again, none of it was surprising. They claim that inside his organization “is a “highly sexualized” work culture where daytime drinking and drug use were common and the group benefited from employees who worked additional hours without pay.” It’s hard not to believe that someone, like O’Keefe, who specializes in honey-traps in this day and age, would be a total sexist looking for “…young, attractive female operatives he referred to as “pretty young things” or “PYTs” to be hired to go on undercover dates; and that he mandated that the group’s operatives review copies of the book and movie “Red Sparrow,” about a Russian intelligence agent trained in “sexpionage.”
Ick! Nothing nice about this for sure. Seems to be a standoff with one of O’Keefe’s former administrative assistants, Antonietta Zappier and her husband. She had worked for him for several years, so was in position to have the keys to his kingdom and to have been trusted sufficiently to sign his names to books for donors, handle his laundry, and god knows what else. PV sued her several months ago, likely as a pre-emptive strike. This seems to be the tit for tat to that, but unfortunately for PV and O’Keefe, it’s also more than that, since one of the lawsuits alleges unpaid overtime hours which is a plain-and-simple violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and, in a straightforward investigation, it they have proof of hours worked, they will be paid.
Zappier seems to have some spicy goods to dish though. One lawsuit “describes a corporate apartment the organization kept as having been used like a “frat house” for drinking, sex and parties.” She also alleges that she was personally the subject of sexual harassment. Her revenge includes revealing the names of more than “a dozen” so-called “operatives” of the organization used for their various video, undercover, and “I spy” activities that have been relentlessly reported including training at Wyoming ranches in spy tradecraft by former British James Bond wannabes.
O’Keefe, as always, whether it’s breaking into former Louisiana US Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, where he notched his own criminal record, or any number of other scams that have been exposed or discredited from ACORN, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and on and on, claims to be the victim. He must be worried big time, and he should be. Even big, rightwing donors funding his escapades don’t like to be embarrassed and, as one shoe after another drops, teaming up with O’Keefe is a guarantee of getting the red ass, sooner, rather than later. What goes around, comes around, and the big boys and deep pockets don’t necessarily want all of this sludge coming up on their beaches. He keeps bouncing back from all of this bad publicity and his war of words with the New York Times, but there’s a limit to everything, and as close as O’Keefe always lives to the edge, he may finally find that too much is way too much.