How Taylor Swift prompted some far-right pundits to do the unthinkable: cheer for San Francisco

San Francisco has long been a conservative punching bag, but in recent days some far-right commentators have said they plan to cheer for the city in the Super Bowl. Photo illustration from the Los Angeles Times; photos by Associated Press; Unsplash
(Los Angeles Times photo illustration; photos by Associated Press, Unsplash)

How Taylor Swift prompted some far-right pundits to do the unthinkable: cheer for San Francisco

Super Bowl, California politics, 2024 elections

Julia Wick

February 8, 2024

As America’s two favorite pastimes, football and elaborate political conspiracy theories, collide ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, something strange has happened.

Several conservative commentators announced their intention to support San Francisco, a city that has long served as a bte noire for America’s far-right, with politicians and the media alike typically vilifying the city as a corrosive emblem of progressivism run amok .

The emerging 49ers fans who declare their unlikely allegiance are hardly driven by Bay Area devotion or Candlestick Park nostalgia. Instead, they’re sticking vocally to Taylor Swift, the country’s biggest pop star and the new girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who takes on the 49ers on Sunday.

Swift has been at the center of a series of elaborate but baseless right-wing conspiracy theories that allege she is somehow in cahoots with the NFL to, among other things, damage Donald Trump’s chances in the 2024 election and hand victory to President Biden in to be handed over in November.

Swift endorsed Joe Biden in 2020 and her Super Bowl-bound boyfriend has appeared in Pfizer ads encouraging Americans to get COVID-19 vaccines. There is no evidence that she colluded with the NFL to guarantee her boyfriend a spot at America’s biggest sporting event, nor is there any evidence that she plans to support Biden at the end of the big game, as some theories claim.

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

On Sunday,


Conservative sports pundit Clay Travis told Fox News that he would proudly support the San Francisco 49ers, the American team, against Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce on Sunday.

The new love for San Francisco that has echoed on right-wing social media in recent days is particularly surprising given the way the city is typically portrayed on the airwaves of Fox News and other conservative media: as a supposed Sodom and Gomorrah, where the streets are covered in feces and fentanyl, and old-fashioned American values ​​are dying (but only after they put on a nice leather armor and march in Pride).

We don’t need your support. We don’t want your support. San Francisco will be just fine without them, says Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), a local troublemaker and former chairman of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, known for his efforts to promote psychedelics legalize. allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. and build more housing, the latest 49ers fan said. Conspiracy theorists are very, very bad energy. We don’t need that negative energy.

Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), who plans to attend Sunday’s Super Bowl with his father, admitted it was a little strange to see people who normally hate San Francisco now cheering for San Francisco.

They hate Taylor Swift even more, I think, he said.

Right-wing commentator and journalist Nick Sortor appears to have jump-started MAGA-SF’s unlikely lovefest with a tweet last Saturday after the Chiefs secured their spot in the Super Bowl.

I haven’t given a damn about the NFL since all their Black Lives Matter BS, Sortor said. But I’m a 49ers fan now, especially seeing Taylor Swift and that Pfizer guy go down.

In a somewhat uncomfortable detail for Sortor, the 49ers were also long home to Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who famously took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color.

Another far-right influencer, Rogan OHandley, who uses the nom de guerre DC Draino on the platformadded fuel to the fire for his more than 1 million followers the next morning.

I know we’ve been scrutinizing your city for years, but I offer you a two-week truth, Handley wrote. He and his brethren would curb their anti-San Francisco commentary, he said, while 99% of America would become temporary fans of the 49ers, because if they didn’t, “Mr. Pfizer and his girlfriend will tour the country as ‘world champions’. ‘helping elect Joe Biden.’

The irony is heightened by the fact of the Chiefs’ own geographic origins: Kansas City may be a small urban island of relatively blue color, but President Trump defeated Biden in 2020 by more than 15 points in the surrounding state of Missouri. With the exception of Illinois, home of the basement-dwelling Chicago Bears, every other state surrounding Missouri also supported Trump in the last presidential election.

California, by contrast, favored Biden by nearly 30 points, while only 12.7% of San Franciscans voted for Trump in 2020. (It would be remiss not to note at this point that the San Francisco 49ers actually play in the town of Santa Maria Clara, about 45 miles southeast.)

This is the idea that Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis were going for, San Francisco political consultant Peter Ragone joked about San Francisco’s newfound right-wing fandom.

Ragone, a former Newsom adviser, referenced the Florida governor’s obsession with the city. The fixation was widely reflected in DeSantis’ ill-fated presidential bid for the Republican Party and in his November prime-time debate with

California Governor Gavin

Newsom, where DeSantis proudly wielded a shit map of the city and declared that the former mayor of San Francisco had turned it into a template for California’s collapse.

Unfortunately, no tension between the rival governors appears to be in sight, regardless of what is happening in certain corners of the right-wing internet. DeSantis held a press conference on Monday where he stood in front of a podium with the words Don’t Let Florida Become San Francisco.

Newsom, a Democrat who has traveled the country campaigning for Biden, tapped into the furor last weekend, calling the GOP’s criticism of Taylor Swift sad and pathetic during an MSNBC interview.

However, he still chooses the Niners, as he always has.


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