Conservative social media is engulfed with a Taylor Swift conspiracy theory centered on the idea that the NFL is rigging games to ensure the pop superstar and boyfriend’s team both make and win the Super Bowl — just in time to give a nod to President Biden in the presidential election.
Swift, coming off a year in which her “The Eras Tour” broke records, her concert movie boosted the box office and her romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce broke the internet, is perhaps at the peak of her popularity and fame.
That’s attracted attention from the political world, with the Biden campaign said to be interested in a “dream” endorsement from Swift, according to an article published Monday by The New York Times. Swift endorsed Biden in 2020 and has been somewhat active in politics, also endorsing Democrat Phil Bredesen against Republican Marsha Blackburn when the latter was first elected to the Senate in 2018.
Swift’s incredible popularity is also bringing to the forefront various ugly sides of 21st century American life, from explicit AI-generated deepfakes of the superstar that briefly closed down Taylor Swift searches this week on X to unfounded conspiracy theories.
Kansas City has been to three Super Bowls in five years and won Sunday in a game that featured terribly timed turnovers and careless penalties by the losing Baltimore Ravens. While Kansas City was the underdog, the victory was hardly a big surprise.
But that seems to matter little with those fanning the conspiracy on the right.
“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month,” former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wrote the morning after Chiefs victory.
“And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months,” said Ramaswamy, no stranger to conspiracy theories.
Elon Musk, the owner of X, later retweeted another post on the subject from Ramaswamy with this message: “Exactly.”
Jack Lombardi, a conservative activist who ran an unsuccessful bid for the House in 2022, also posted on social media he has “never been more convinced that the Super Bowl is rigged.”
“The Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open,” claimed far-right influencer Laura Loomer. “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 [get out the vote] Campaign.”
“The NFL is totally RIGGED for the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor Swift, Mr. Pfizer (Travis Kelce),” Mike Crispi, a Rumble video host, said on X. “All to spread DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA. Calling it now: KC wins, goes to Super Bowl, Swift comes out at the halftime show and ‘endorses’ Joe Biden with Kelce at midfield.”
The Swift conspiracy theories predate Sunday’s big game.
Fox News host Jesse Watters in January said the Pentagon’s psychological operations unit had floated the idea of “turning Taylor Swift into an asset.”
“It’s real. The Pentagon psy-op unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset for combating misinformation online,” Watters said at the time. His evidence was a clip from a NATO cyber conference where a presenter appeared to name Swift as an example of a powerful influencer, according to a report by Politico.
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At the time, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told Politico: “As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off.”
Perhaps the conspiracy theories in part reflect a certain fear about Swift’s influence and power, which has certainly grown since the last presidential election.
A Redfield and Wilton Strategies/Newsweek poll released Sunday found that 18 percent of 1,500 respondents said they’re “more likely” or “significantly more likely” to vote for a candidate Swift endorses.
“The reality is that’s persuadable power,” Fox host Emily Compagno said Monday of Swift’s massive social media following. “And this administration is locked dead set on harnessing that.”
Swift has yet to state her support for any candidate in the 2024 cycle, though given the 2020 endorsement, a nod to likely GOP nominee former President Trump seems unlikely.
After her endorsement in 2020, Biden tweeted his thanks for what he referred to as Swift “speaking out at this crucial moment in our nation’s history.”
Biden is considerably less popular now, and there could be real questions about whether Swift would want to even get drawn into this year’s race.
Brian Kilmeade, another leading host on Fox, called a potential endorsement of Biden from Swift “the single dumbest thing a mega superstar could ever do.”
“Why would you tell half the country that you don’t agree with them in this highly polarized time,” he said. “You stay out of it … it would be the craziest thing you could ever do. And Biden isn’t worth it.”