A liberal documentary producer who became an unexpected victor of the first ever Conservative Idol competition recently got an equally unexpected surprise: The folks he was trying to scam were in fact scamming him, as well as the four other winners. Jeremy Levine, an independent filmmaker and a junior at Ithaca College, attended the Conservative Political Action Conference last February as an undercover reporter for the alternative student publication, Buzzsaw Haircut. While reporting on the conference, Levine entered a competition to become one of five “Conservative Idols”—a spin on the pop culture hit that happened to have a $500 prize.

Levine, who recently finished work on a documentary about vigilantes along the U.S.-Mexico border, entered the immigration category. Having spent months along the border filming the virulently anti-immigration militiamen, Levine could easily spout their hateful rhetoric. Stealing the words of the gun-touting extremists, Levine hoped to claim Conservative Idolatry. “All I had to do was think of something vaguely racist and paranoid, dress it up in some patriotic jargon and hope the conservatives would vote for me,” says on


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.