Taylor Swift is heading to the Super Bowl, riling up conservative pundits along the way.
Swift's appearance on the field after last night's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens sparked a new wave of vitriol on social media and a resurfacing from some that her near-dominant place in American popular culture must be the result of some sort of psychological manipulation effort — known colloquially. In fringe circles it is known as the “psychological process”.
One of the most viewed posts came from right-wing account X End Wokeness, which describes itself as “fighting, exposing and mocking wokeness.” the account A post shared before on Sunday, suggesting that Swift's overwhelming popularity over the past year was due to malevolent forces.
“What is happening with Taylor Swift is not organic and natural. It is a process,” the account posted. “We all feel it. We all know that.”
Swift has already come under increased scrutiny from some football fans upset with her media exposure during NFL games, where cameras appear to be monitoring her every reaction. She told Time magazine in her Person of the Year interview that she had “no awareness of whether I was showing up too much and pissing off some of the parents, Brad, and Chad.”
But recently, some right-wing critics They suggested without evidence that all the hype around Swift could be part of an orchestrated plot to hype the Democratic Party in a presidential election year.
Vivek Ramaswamy, who dropped out of the Republican primary race this month, participated His conspiracy theory on X on Monday, suggesting the Super Bowl will be rigged in favor of an “artificially culturally boosted couple” who he believes will reveal a “major presidential endorsement” this fall.
“Just some wild speculation here, let's see how this plays out over the next 8 months,” wrote Ramaswamy, who endorsed former President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.
The Pentagon shut down similar right-wing charges earlier this month after conservative commentator Jesse Watters claimed Swift was a “potential front for a secret political agenda.”
“It's real. The Pentagon's psychological operations unit has urged NATO to turn Taylor Swift into a tool to combat online disinformation,” Watters said, referring to a clip from NATO's 2019 Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence conference that appeared to show a presenter mentioning the name Swift, for example, is a powerful influencer.
At the end of the segment, which aired during his show on Fox News, Watters said he had “no evidence” of the conspiracy.
The speaker in the clip, Alicia Marie Bargar, He later told Business Insider Her comment was taken out of context, and she had no connection to the Pentagon or NATO.
Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh called Watters' comment a “conspiracy theory.”
“We'll get rid of him,” she said. POLITICOin reference to Swift's famous song.
A Swift spokesperson declined to comment.
Swift was almost entirely apolitical until 2018, when she endorsed two Democrats in Tennessee, where she lived as a teenager.
“In the past, I have been reluctant to publicly express my political views, but due to many events in my life and in the world over the past two years, I feel very differently about it now.” books In her Instagram post in which she endorses Phil Bredesen for US Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.
The post came after the pop star faced scrutiny from left-wing fans over her silence on various political issues. In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” which debuted in 2020, she said He expressed his regret For not speaking out against Trump during the 2016 elections.
But her gentle embrace of Democratic politicians over the years has also contributed to her visibility on the right As a target for criticism.
In 2019, I participated Open letter Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander urged support for the federal Equality Act, which would enshrine protections for LGBT people. In 2020, Swift endorsed Joe Biden for President and Trump criticized On social media.
It has also continued to encourage its massive fan base to vote, forming an ongoing partnership with Vote.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on increasing voter registration and participation.
In September 2023, the organization said that more than 35,000 people had registered to vote after Swift posted on social media about National Voter Registration Day. In 2018, Vote.org also reported a significant increase in registrations, especially among young people, within two days of an Instagram post from Swift directing her fans to the site.
The singer received the highest favorability rating of any public figure examined in the national poll conducted by NBC News in November 2023 — with 40% of registered voters saying they had a favorable opinion of Swift and only 16% saying they had an unfavorable opinion.
Some online, including those in the soccer world, wondered why right-wing pundits were interested in Swift's relationship with the Chiefs' Travis Kelce.
“The most successful woman on the planet is now dating the greatest tight end of all time,” ESPN's Pat McAfee said He said In the last part. “Why is everyone so angry about that? I'm tired of people being angry about that. What are we even talking about? … Taylor (Swift) is part of the football world now. This is good news, not bad news.”
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