Assuming self-described roles as the “hipsters who stole Christmas,” paid conservative activists Amber Athey and Cabot Phillips of The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform project went to the University of Virginia to film a hidden camera-style video mocking college students.
Equipping themselves with language of the college left and posing as members of a fictional student group called “Students for an Inclusive Holiday Season,” the pair stood on a campus sidewalk and asked students to sign a petition to ban references to Christmas on university grounds and in university literature in order to be more inclusive of those on campus who do not celebrate Christmas.
In a post-action report published on Campus Reform’s website, the pair claim to have solicited “nearly twenty” signatures in nearly two hours. The video, however, only shows around eight actual signatures. Eight and twenty are distant figures.
Campus Reform is a project of The Leadership Institute, a 501(c)3 conservative action group founded in 1979 by Morton Blackwell to train “freedom fighters” to, among other things, “effectively utilize the Internet” against the “radical Left.” Campus Reform works to change rules on college campuses and get professors disciplined and/or fired, keeping track of “wins” over “liberal bias and abuse” on a prominent whiteboard in their Arlington, VA office.