A student who participated in a hidden camera video allegedly showing Barry University officials giving thumbs up to a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) campus club has been suspended.
The student who was proposing the bogus club, identified by various media outlets as Laura, was an undercover journalist for muckraker James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.
“The reaction to the video was predictable, and Barry fielded considerable bad press because of it,” Legal Insurrection noted. Barry University is located in the Miami area and happens to be the alma mater of Shaquille O’Neal.
After the release of the video in question (embedded below), Barry’s president said that “It is reprehensible to think that any organization would acquire video and edit it in such way as to denigrate the reputation of Barry University or its staff.”
On the video, O’Keefe operative Laura can be heard telling an administrator that the proposed club (“sympathetic students in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”) would raise money for humanitarian aid to ISIS including shipping flashlights to help ISIS fighters see and protect themselves at night. The footage also seems to suggest that the primary concern of Barry University officials was to remove the ISIS reference from the name of the fake proposed club and call it something else generally related to the Middle East. “Technically our country is at war with ISIS,” one official admits.
The U.S. government has officially designated ISIS as a foreign terrorist organization.
Barry claims that the club never would have been approved had it worked its way through the application process and that the paperwork was never filed, the Miami Herald reported. The video concludes with a faculty advisor apparently signing off on the paperwork, however.
O’Keefe’s crew recently pulled off a similar undercover stunt at Cornell University which prompted the school’s president to issue an angry statement that “the notion that Cornell would allow ISIS training sessions on our campus is ludicrous and absolutely offensive.”
An email from a Barry University dean today informed Laura that she was being suspended on an interim basis because “your alleged actions were the cause root of disruption of the University community and the creation of a hostile environment for members of the University staff,” according to Campus Reform.
Laura, who recently received an award as a “senior of distinction” from the school’s Communication Department, has been banned from campus for the duration of the interim suspension for allegedly violating the university’s code of conduct while it is pending in the internal disciplinary system.
Watch the Barry University Project Veritas video and draw your own conclusions. Parenthetically and unrelated to the substance of the controversy, the male university official seems to be going with the whole uptalk thing, i.e., ending a declarative sentence with an invisible question mark.
Although the controversial O’Keefe has plenty of detractors — including Barry’s and Cornell’s presidents obviously — for his particular brand of journalism, his Project Veritas team, which mostly specializes in undercover videos, has done its share of investigative reporting, which seems to be falling out of favor in the mainstream or legacy media.
For example, the group released several clips in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections about potential voter fraud. The group has also covered possible election law violations by the Wendy Davis for Governor campaign, the corrupt ACORN organization which was subsequently defunded by Congress, previous instances of voter fraud, apparent chicanery in the Obamacare navigator program, and revealed that some outspoken anti-gun journalists declined to post gun-free zone signs outside their own homes. His group also exposed potential abuses in the so-called “Obamaphone” program. Another Project Veritas video suggested that former U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was faking her support for the all-important Kentucky coal industry.
A separate O’Keefe video showed how someone wearing an Osama bin Laden mask could walk across the southern border undetected, and also how a man wearing an ISIS uniform could cross by boat from Canada to the U.S. without being stopped.
Based on the information available now, do you think that Barry University has sufficient justification for suspending the honors student journalist behind the pro-ISIS club Project Veritas undercover video?