Taylor Swift holding  a sign that says you need to calm down
Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing media figures are spreading conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl

For months, right-wing figures have targeted Swift with attacks and conspiracy theories

Right-wing media figures are attacking pop star Taylor Swift and spreading conspiracy theories about her after reporting that the Biden campaign is hoping for her endorsement. Swift has been the subject of increasing ire from the right, fielding unhinged attacks and conspiracy theories that she is secretly a Democratic operative, Pentagon asset, or part of a “psyop.”

  • The New York Times reported that Biden’s reelection campaign is hoping for an endorsement from Swift, renewing right-wing attacks and conspiracy theories about the pop star

    • According to a report from The New York Times, Biden’s reelection team is hoping for an endorsement from Swift. The singer endorsed Biden during the 2020 election. [The New York Times, 1/29/24; NBC News, 10/7/20]
    • Former President Donald Trump reportedly responded by asserting that he is “more popular” than Swift. Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller claimed that the Biden team is “counting on Taylor Swift to save him” in the 2024 election. [Rolling Stone, 1/30/24]
    • For months, right-wing media have targeted Swift — and her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce — with unhinged attacks. Right-wing figures have made misogynistic comments over Swift’s appearance at football games and attacked Kelce for his appearance in an advertisement for the COVID-19 vaccine. [Media Matters, 12/23/23, 9/27/23, 10/3/23
    • Right-wing media have continued their attacks on Swift and Kelce following news that the Chiefs will play in next month’s Super Bowl. [Rolling Stone, 1/29/24]
  • Right-wing figures are pushing conspiracy theories that the Super Bowl will be “rigged” for Swift to endorse Biden as part of an “election interference psyop”

    • On X (formerly Twitter), failed 2024 GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy implied that the upcoming Super Bowl will be rigged for Kelce’s team to win, setting up Swift to publicly endorse Biden. He speculated that the Super Bowl would have “a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall.” [Twitter/X, 1/29/24]
    • Turning Point USA influencer Benny Johnson speculated that the fame of both Swift and Kelce has been “concocted” and that the Super Bowl will be “rigged for the Chiefs.” He went on to say that after this planned win, Swift and Kelce will “reach, like, crazy levels of absolute fame, and then they take all that fame that's been given to them by the rotted corporate press media entertainment industry that explicitly backs Democrats, and then they use that in order to try and save Joe Biden.” [YouTube, The Benny Show, 1/30/24]
    • Johnson also posted: “Regime media is big mad that we’re counter-programming the *obvious* centrally orchestrated Taylor Swift Biden endorsement.” [Twitter/X, 1/30/24]
    • Anti-Muslim bigot and Trump ally Laura Loomer posted, “The Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open.” She claimed: “It’s not a coincidence that current and former Biden admin officials are propping up Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. They are going to use Taylor Swift as the poster child for their pro-abortion GOTV Campaign.” [Twitter, 1/28/24]
    • Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt gave credence to conspiracy theories about Swift and Kelce, claiming that people believe them because “they've seen so many examples of where the Biden cartel has pulled out all the stops and used whatever they have at their disposal as a weapon against their enemies.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/30/24]
    • Former GOP congressional candidate Jack Lombardi posted to X that he has “never been more convinced that the Super Bowl is rigged” and that Swift and Kelce are a “bought and paid for couple.” The post claimed the Chiefs’ season was “totally scripted” and that after the team’s Super Bowl win, Swift and Kelce will be “announcing their support for Biden.” [Twitter/X, 1/28/24]
  • Right-wing media are warning Swift to “stay out of politics,” claiming that endorsing Biden “would be the single dumbest thing” she could do

    • OutKick host Tomi Lahren argued that Swift should “stay out of politics.” While celebrating Swift’s voter registration efforts, Lahren stated that Swift should “stop short of making an endorsement for Joe Biden — or for Donald Trump,” adding, “I think she should just stick to her singing and let her love life be what it is, and I think she should be protective over her legacy.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 1/29/24
    • Fox News host Jeanine Pirro argued Swift would alienate fans by endorsing Biden. Pirro said, “Why would someone as popular as she is alienate — and I'm not saying it's going to be, people are going to hate her — but why alienate your fans? … They come across from every political ideology, why put yourself in one area?” [Fox News, The Five, 1/30/24]
    • OutKick host Charly Arnolt described Swift’s potential endorsement of Biden as “so scary,” telling fans, “Please don't believe everything Taylor Swift says. We're all begging you.” On Fox, Arnolt fearmongered about a recent poll showing “one-fifth of Taylor Swift fans said they would back whichever candidate that she endorsed.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 1/29/24]
    • Fox host Brian Kilmeade argued that Swift endorsing Biden “would be the single dumbest thing a mega superstar could ever do.” He continued to argue that endorsing Biden would alienate her fans, stating, “Why would you tell half the country that you don’t agree with them in this highly polarized time? You stay out of it.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 1/30/24]
  • For over a month, right-wing figures have attacked Swift, repeatedly claiming that she is a Democratic operative or a Pentagon asset

    • Fox host Jesse Watters suggested Swift’s popularity was part of a government “psyop,” claiming that “around four years ago, the Pentagon psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset during a NATO meeting.” Watters’ guest, Stuart Kaplan, said that “it is possible that Taylor Swift quite frankly does not know that she is being utilized in a covert manner to swing voters, but the bottomline is that the Biden administration is savvy, identifying how many followers and how many voters potentially she can influence with either right information or misinformation.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 1/9/24]
    • Former Trump adviser and right-wing podcast host Steve Bannon said Swift is a “powerful political force” for the left and compared her to right-wing election denier and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. According to Bannon, Swift is “a powerful political force on their side, like Mike Lindell's a political force on this side. A cultural figure.” [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 12/6/23]
    • OAN host Allison Steinberg said she believes Swift is “the perfect psyop for the youth” and “the perfect political weapon for the Democrat agenda.” Steinberg said, “She's trendy. Everyone loves her. She comes off as super sweet but in reality, her entire value set completely contradicts anything Christian or conservative.” Steinberg added, “I think she's propped up as an idol for Gen Z girls so the Democrats can possibly use her to win votes for Biden.” [One America News, In Focus, 12/6/23]
    • In a series of social media posts, Laura Loomer claimed that the 2024 election would be “MAGA vs Swifties.” In an earlier post, she alleged that the Democratic Party is “100% using Taylor Swift to try to get Democrats elected.” [Twitter/X, 12/11/2312/6/23]
    • Newsmax host Mark Kaye suggested Swift is a Democratic operative because she held voter registration drives at concerts, asking, “What better way to get a bunch of young girls to vote for Joe Biden than to convince Taylor Swift to be his spokesperson?” Kaye also said that “it’s interesting that this pop sensation and this football star are getting together just before an election year to promote not just registering to vote, voting for Democrats, but also getting your COVID vaccine. Is it all just a coincidence, or is this pre-planned by the Democrat Party?” [Newsmax, The Mark Kaye Show, 12/9/23]
    • In a social media post, right-wing account End Wokeness speculated that Swift was an operative for “the regime.” The full post read, “Why is the regime pushing Taylor Swift so hard? Because she is a 2024 Get Out The Vote operation that will be activated soon.” [Twitter/X, 12/6/23]