Conservatives have long accused academics of shredding the Constitution, figuratively speaking, but a Project Veritas sting operation recently caught them doing it literally.
Undercover video released last week showed administrators at Yale, Cornell, Syracuse, Vassar and Oberlin agreeing to rip up copies of the Constitution handed out off campus after an investigator posing as a student described the document as “triggering” and “oppressive.”
“Well, I think that the Constitution means things to different people; like you said it is a flawed document and the people who wrote it are certainly flawed individuals in my mind,” Cornell lead Title IX investigator Elizabeth McGrath says on the video.
Ms. McGrath agrees to rip up the hand-held copy of the Constitution and run it through a shredder after the female “student” asks, “Is there any way that maybe like we can get rid of it somehow or I can just see that like maybe it will be like therapy for me, like if you can like shred it or something?”
Project Veritas president James O’Keefe, known for his undercover video operations against ACORN and the National Public Radio, said the videos showed that the willingness to cut up the Constitution was “not an isolated incident.”
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“Using a shredder, scissors, and bare hands to destroy the U.S. Constitution, makes you stop and think: where did we go wrong?,” said Mr. O’Keefe in a Thursday statement. “In this latest investigative series we have been to five schools so far and the results have been frightening at each one.”
Only Cornell reacted the videos with an official statement. Joel M. Malina, Cornell vice president for university relations, said that the administrator, “whatever her personal views,” was “appropriately focused on addressing the apparently urgent need of the person before her and not on any larger political context.”
“The Project Veritas video released today would have you believe an employee was helping a student make a political statement by denigrating the U.S. Constitution,” said Mr. Malina in a Thursday statement. “In fact, the video shows a ‘reporter’ misrepresent herself as a student with a mental health crisis. Under the guise of addressing her mental health issues, the ‘student’ asked the employee to help her shred the document she brought with her that was the apparent source of her anguish.”
At Oberlin, spokesman Scott Wargo called the episode “deplorable” in a comment to the Oberlin Review.
“Posing as a student in crisis, secretly recording a private conversation and then strategically editing the footage in order to support a specific, predetermined agenda is deplorable,” Mr. Wargo said.
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College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany agreed that the investigator had put up the administrators to destroying the Constitution copies, and that none volunteered to do so until it was suggested.
“So they are, on some level, trying to ease her ‘pain,’” said Ms. Kabbany in a Friday commentary. “And in fact that is part of their job descriptions.”
At the same time, she said the biggest surprise was that the administrators actually fell for the Project Veritas con, which she said reveals something about the “whiny” attitude of students on college campuses.
“Because in the end, you have got to laugh out loud at these videos as you listen to this chick moan and groan over the Constitution,” she said in a Friday commentary. “It the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard, and these officials swallow it hook, line and sinker.”
Mr. O’Keefe, who makes a cameo dressed up as a copy of the Constitution, said he was also surprised that the operation worked.
“When this idea came up in our newsroom about campus administrators shredding the Constitution because it’s a trigger against students, we didn’t think people would actually fall for it,” he told Campus Reform. “We underestimated just how stupid and politically correct these people are.”