DALLAS (CBS11) – Controversial conservative advocate James O’Keefe will be speaking on the campus of SMU Wednesday just a few days after he was apparently linked to a fake-news sting operation.
The Washington Post said a woman recently approached the news organization claiming Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had impregnated her in the past.
The Washington Post said her story turned out to be a lie. Reporters followed the woman and claimed to have watched her walk into O’Keefe’s organization, “Project Veritas.”
“I think he should answer some questions and we should hear his side of the story,” said Jennifer Holloway, who lives across from SMU campus.
O’Keefe would not answer any questions regarding his involvement with the sting operation aimed at the Washington Post.
“I would want to get to the bottom of it,” said Holloway. “Like where did this come from?”
The SMU chapter of Young American’s for Freedom organized the event.
The group released a statement on Wednesday saying in part, “…We view this event as a platform for our peers and Dallas community members to engage in first-hand dialogue with Mr. O’Keefe by hearing his perspective directly, and, if they desire, asking him challenging questions…”
Those who frequent SMU for the lectures and speakers feel it is helpful to have O’Keefe visit.
“I think it will be a great opportunity for the very smart folks at SMU to ferret out,” said Mildred Cox. “What he’s up to?”
SMU’s communication office released a statement Tuesday regarding the event.
“Protection of free speech is bedrock at SMU. This speaker was invited to campus by a student organization, and we respect our students’ right to do so. Please do not misinterpret our support for that freedom as an indication of official University agreement on any particular issue,” wrote spokesperson Kimberly Cobb.
Students expressed mixed emotions. But the majority felt it was important for the public to hear what O’Keefe has to say on Wednesday.
“Showing up to that event does not mean you’re expressing support for what he did. If anything you’re trying to find out more,” said Sunjoli Aggarwal, an SMU student.
The event is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. inside the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
Organizers said they are preparing for protesters.