Fox News hosts have been engaged in pushing out some pretty special conspiracy theories. The newest is that the Super Bowl somehow has been rigged so that pop megastar Taylor Swift, who is dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, will have a platform to endorse President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.
Fox host Jesse Waters even went so far as to suggest that the Pentagon’s “psychological operations unit” has turned Swift into “an asset.” He said Swift could be “a front for a covert political agenda.” The Pentagon dismissed the accusation with a Swiftian song reference: “As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off.”
RELATED STORY: Fox News loses it over Taylor Swift
But there was at least one unexpected voice of reason in the Murdoch media empire: Fox Sports pundit Colin Cowherd, who on his show “The Herd” blasted those people who have a problem with Swift appearing on NFL broadcasts when she attends a game. He cited a New York Times report that found that Swift appeared on camera for only 32 seconds during the 3.5-hour broadcast of Sunday’s Ravens-Chiefs AFC Championship game—17 seconds of which were devoted to an in-house promo for the network’s upcoming broadcast of Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
“There’s a lot of really weird, lonely, insecure men out there,” Cowherd said. “The fact that a pop star—the world’s biggest pop star—is dating a star tight end who had one of his greatest games ever, and the network puts them on the air briefly, then it bothers you, what does that say about your life?”
He then pointed out all the male celebrities whose presence at past sporting events has been celebrated such as Drake, Spike Lee, and Jack Nicholson. “But a talented and beautiful woman is on the air—one who would never pay attention to lonely men—and it bothers them.”
He added that there are a lot of men out there who have never had “real intimacy with a woman” and they … “are often misogynistic and resent women who didn’t give them the time they think they deserve.”
It’s all quite ironic because some of these same weird, angry, insecure men back in 2016 were idolizing Swift as an “Aryan goddess.” In May 2016, Vice wrote:
Nazis and members of the "alt right"—an Internet subculture that is best described as the venn diagram of hipster culture and white supremacy—have been spreading a conspiracy theory that Swift is a covert Nazi. They claim Swift's songs "red pilled" America into believing a conservative, racist agenda. …
"Firstly, Taylor Swift is a pure Aryan goddess, like something out of classical Greek poetry. Athena reborn. That's the most important thing," explains Andre Anglin, the writer of the white supremacist blog the Daily Stormer. "It is also an established fact that Taylor Swift is secretly a Nazi and is simply waiting for the time when Donald Trump makes it safe for her to come out and announce her Aryan agenda to the world. Probably, she will be betrothed to Trump's son, and they will be crowned American royalty." …
Now all of this was nothing more than these neo-Nazi fanboys projecting their white supremacist views onto Swift’s image. Swift, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with any white supremacist groups. The 19-year-old Swift revealed in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview that she supported President Barack Obama, saying, “I’ve never seen this country so happy about a political decision in my entire time of being alive. I’m so glad this was my first election.”
Vice said Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, did send a threatening letter to Pinterest after one teenage girl posted memes attributing Adolf Hitler quotes to Swift to spoof memes that falsely attributed inspiring quotes to Marilyn Monroe. Baldridge wrote:
The association of Ms. Swift with Adolf Hitler undisputedly is 'harmful,' 'abusive,' 'ethnically offensive,' 'humiliating to other people,' 'libelous,' and no doubt 'otherwise objectionable.' It is of no import that Ms. Swift may be a public figure or that Pinterest conveniently now argues that the Offending Material is mere satire or parody. Public figures have rights. And, there are certain historical figures, such as Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson and the like, who are universally identified in the case law and popular culture as lightning rods for emotional and negative reaction.
At the time, Swift kept her political views to herself. In a 2012 interview, she told Time, “I don’t talk about politics because it might influence other people. And I don’t think that I know enough yet in life to be telling people who to vote for.” She did not make any endorsement in the 2016 presidential election.
In August 2017, The Daily Beast wrote immediately after the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that the time had come for Swift to “denounce her neo-Nazi admirers” who have “claimed her as one of their own.” The story concluded: “Say it after me, TayTay: ‘I, Taylor Swift, denounce Nazis. And I am not attracted to Eric Trump.’”
But then in October 2018, Swift obviously felt she knew enough to tell people who to vote for when she endorsed a candidate for the first time: Democrat Phil Bredesen, who was running against Republican Marsha Blackburn for Senate in Tennessee.
"As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn," Swift wrote on Instagram, adding that "her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me."
And in the Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” there is a revealing scene in which Swift is shown discussing her decision to endorse Bredesen with her parents. Her father advises her that that she might lose a lot of fans. That’s what happened to country superstars The Chicks, then known as the Dixie Chicks, when in 2003 lead singer Natalie Maines at a London concert said she was “ashamed” to be from the same state as President George W. Bush on the eve of the Iraq War. And Swift’s mother said she was really worried about her daughter’s safety if she made such an endorsement.
But Swift said she felt “sad” that she didn’t speak out during the 2016 election, and told her parents that this time, “I need to be on the right side of history.”
“It really is a big deal for me. She (Blackburn) votes against fair pay for women, she votes against reauthorization of the violence against women act which is just basically protecting us from domestic abuse, and stalking, stalking. She thinks that if you’re a gay couple or even if you look like a gay couple you should be allowed to be kicked out of a restaurant.
“Its really basic human rights … And I can’t see another commercial and see her disguising these policies behind the words `Tennessee Christian values.’ Those aren’t Tennessee Christian values. I live in Tennessee. I am Christian. That’s not what we stand for. I need to do this. Dad, I need you to forgive me for doing it because I’m doing it.”
The scene closes with her father hugging her.
Then in a September 2019 Rolling Stone interview, Swift denounced white supremacists in no uncertain terms. She said:
“There’s literally nothing worse than white supremacy. It’s repulsive. There should be no place for it. Really, I keep trying to learn as much as I can about politics, and it’s become something I’m now obsessed with, whereas before, I was living in this sort of political ambivalence, because the person I voted for had always won. We were in such an amazing time when Obama was president because foreign nations respected us. We were so excited to have this dignified person in the White House. My first election was voting for him when he made it into office, and then voting to re-elect him. I think a lot of people are like me, where they just didn’t really know that this could happen. But I’m just focused on the 2020 election. I’m really focused on it. I’m really focused on how I can help and not hinder.”
In October 2020, Swift endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She spoke to V Magazine for their Thought Leaders Issue and said:
“The change we need most is to elect a president who recognizes that people of color deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included. Everyone deserves a government that takes global health risks seriously and puts the lives of its people first. The only way we can begin to make things better is to choose leaders who are willing to face these issues and find ways to work through them.
“I will proudly vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in this year’s presidential election. Under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.”
And now the woman who was once the alt-right’s “Aryan goddess” is viewed by some of the same people as being under Satan’s influence as the conspiracy theories spread that the Super Bowl has been rigged so Swift can have a big stage to endorse Biden. Kandiss Taylor, an ultra-right Georgia Republican politician, wrote on X:
As a former “Aryan goddess,” you can’t fall much farther than into the arms of a Pfizer vaccine spokesman.
RELATED STORY: X pauses some Taylor Swift searches as deepfake explicit images spread