An organization founded by conservative filmmaker and self-proclaimed "muckraking journalist" James O'Keefe has been granted nonprofit status by the IRS.
O'Keefe told The Chronicle of Philanthropy that he's glad he can begin to garner tax-deductible donations for his organization:
"We're pleased that Project Veritas' nonprofit status has been approved. Our nonpartisan mission of exposing corruption while training new, investigative journalists can now be fully supported by donors who require a tax-exemption for their generous contributions."
On its website, Project Veritas describes itself as bringing "transparency into the back-room deals" by using investigative journalism tactics.
In March, a controversial video sing produced by Project Veritas led to the resignation of two NPR executives. The video, which featured the executives making seemingly questionable remarks about religious and political groups, was later revealed to be heavily edited and misleading in nature by media news outlets.
O'Keefe said that the NPR sting cost over $50,000 to actualize and appealed to supporters for funds to help pay off debt. He told Talking Points Memo:
"Up 'til now, my friends and I have financed all of our work on our own -- running up major credit card debt. We made a lot of sacrifices -- personally and financially -- because we fight for what we believe in."
When it was discovered that O'Keefe filed for nonprofit status, some doubted the probability of it happening, due to his criminal record and public statement that he'd "do it again." O'Keefe is still on probation due to a misdemeanor conviction and cannot travel outside of New Jersey.
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