Ali: What’s behind the right’s attack on the Swift-Kelce romance? Fear of a powerful woman

(Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Ali: What’s behind the right’s attack on the Swift-Kelce romance? Fear of a powerful woman

Super Bowl

Lorraine Ali

January 31, 2024

Stop what you’re doing now, because chances are you’re operating for a reason. That’s right. The Taylor Swift tune you mindlessly hum as you scroll past Super Bowl ads on the way to checking your email isn’t just a harmless earworm, at least according to the MAGA Mediaverse.

It’s all part of a nefarious plot to undermine the 2024 election and hand it to Joe Biden.

In a triangulation of paranoia, politics and pop music, right-wing influencers warned this week that superstar Swift and her co-conspirators, the NFL, are part of a widespread scheme to damage Donald Trump’s chances of regaining the White House.

This carefully constructed web of deception has been discovered/concocted by disinformation agents from Fox News to OAN and regional talk radio, many of whom have also convinced their followers in recent months that Swift is a Trojan horse for the Democratic Party and an undercover operative. Pentagon operational.

Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested last month that Swift could be a front for a secret political agenda. Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh responded to Watter’s claim using a song title and lyrics from the singer’s hit repertoire: As far as this conspiracy theory goes, we’re going

shake it off


Now, Swift’s recent romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is being held up as evidence that the NFL is involved in a deep-six operation to sink the GOP in November. The football organization will likely do this by rigging the upcoming Super Bowl in Kansas City’s favor, giving Swift the perfect moment during the halftime show! to announce her support for the Democratic candidate.

Big Pharma also has a hand in the crime, or is it the Clintons? Or both? Hard to keep track, but if we were to ask a Magic 8 Ball, as reliable a source as any on Fox, it definitely is.

Never mind that it doesn’t exactly require Mission Impossible coordination to make the above predictions come true: Swift, along with three-quarters of the entertainment industry, supported Biden in the last election cycle and will likely do so again.

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl last season and this year’s game marks their fourth appearance in five seasons. But on Sunday after the Chiefs’ win against the Baltimore Ravens, conservative media personality Mike Crispi took the bold step of calling it now: KC wins, goes to the Super Bowl, Swift comes out during the halftime show and endorses Joe Biden with Kelce on the midfield. It’s all been an operation since day one.

That’s like psy-op, a favorite right-wing term for psychological manipulation. Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy posted similar psy-op sentiments on X, to which the platform’s owner Elon Musk responded: Exactly.

The idea that Swift and Kelce are players in a secret scheme against the Republicans is so facile that it feels generous to even call it a conspiracy theory on the same level as Area 51 and the staged moon landing.

Still, people have asked about it, and now I’m writing about it.

But choosing Taylor Swift as the figurehead of this imaginary attack on the MAGA world is a curious reversal, considering the billionaire singer was one of the few pop sensations embraced by the right.

The innocent, feel-good singer emerged from country music 20 years ago and was embraced by Middle America for much of her career as a healthy, safe alternative to Beyonc√© and other leading ladies who don’t look like the Swiss Miss Cocoa Girl.

So what has changed? Just about everything, including the sad truth that everything is conducive to polarizing politicization when issues and policies are no longer at the heart of a campaign or a party’s goals.

Real issues, from the lack of affordable housing to a potential world, emerged from the Middle East in the many criminal trials against the Republican front-runner that required discernment and serious thinking. And since Trump’s Republican Party briefly appeared at both, it has become another tried-and-true red herring: attacking a powerful woman.

Sports pundits and conservative personalities have been grumbling for months about legions of Swifties suddenly attending Kansas City games and even donning Kelce’s 87 jersey. How dare they!

Kelce was already a questionable figure among right-wing sports fans for his role in a Pfizer-promoted campaign encouraging people to get a COVID-19 and flu shot at the same time. Now he has dragged pop culture, a domain often criticized by conservative pundits as a petri dish of woke ideologies, into the hallowed world of sports, barely covering his tracks from apolitical player to left-wing undercover operative.

Despite this latest story, the Swifts’ fame propelled Kelce onto the global stage. Her record-breaking Eras tour and a blockbuster film focusing on the concerts catapulted her from a ubiquitous musical sensation to a global force. Her boyfriend at that time naturally became part of the phenomenon.

Sometimes a pop star is really just a pop star, and a football player is really just a football player. Even in an election year where fear of psy-ops and pop stardom collide.


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