A spokesperson for the Department of Defense has clapped back at right-wing conspiracy theorists who claim the government is working with Taylor Swift, Time Magazine, the NFL and the Democratic Party to ensure the win of President Joe Biden this November over likely opponent Donald Trump, who reportedly claims he’s “more popular” than the pop star, anyway.
Theories that Swift is part of a psychological operation carried out by the Pentagon have been circulating since Time named the pop star person of the year in December and have only intensified in the last week as some baselessly claim her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is part of a Democratic Party-led plan to support Biden’s campaign.
Podcaster Mike Crispi on Sunday claimed the NFL “rigged” the Chiefs’ conference championship win to spread “DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA” and said he anticipates Swift will appear on the field with Kelce during the Super Bowl halftime break to endorse Biden:
“It’s all been an op since day one,” Crispi wrote on X.
Theory: Swift is a Pentagon asset being used to influence public opinion
On Tuesday’s Jesse Watters Primetime, Watters asked if viewers wondered how Swift “blew up like this,” referring to the pop star being among the most famous people in the world. While admitting he had “no evidence,” he went on to say: “Around four years ago, the Pentagon psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset during a NATO meeting.
What kind of asset? A psy-op for combatting online misinformation.”
(A psy-op is a person who secretly participates in psychological operations — usually recruited by the government, military or the police — to influence the beliefs, emotions and behavior of the masses.)
Watters played a video clip of someone talking about Swift’s influence saying, “Yeah, that’s real.
The Pentagon’s psy-op unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset” to help the Biden administration.
Only the video was from an academic conference on misinformation, organized by NATO, in 2019.
The woman speaking — Alicia Marie Bargar — was not a Pentagon employee or connected to NATO but a data engineer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Bargar told Business Insider her comments were taken out of context. She was discussing cybersecurity challenges and used Swift as “an incidental example of a famous person to explain a social network analysis concept to the audience.”
A Pentagon spokesperson has since issued a statement via Politico, saying, in part, “As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off,” a nod to the hook from one of the star’s songs.
Theory: Swift is being used to interfere in the 2024 election
The Fox News theory didn’t come out of thin air.
On the heels of the midterm elections, right-wing commentators blamed Swift for key losses for Republicans.
While Swift didn’t endorse anyone this election, the singer — who publicly support Biden in 2020 — reminded her followers to vote. Far-right personality Jack Posobiec said Swift was “influencing an army of voters.”
He wrote it was “THE CHILDLESS, UNMARRIED ABORTION ARMY MOBILIZED BY BARBIE, TAYLOR SWIFT, AND TIKTOK” that was “CRUSHING REPUBLICANS AT THE BALLOT BOX.”
After Swift was named Time’s 2023 Person of the Year in December, there was more of the same from conservative personalities who suggested she’s part of a big election ploy.
Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller said Swift’s stardom “is not organic.”
Far-right activist Laura Loomer said Swift is who “Democrats are counting on to interfere in the 2024 Presidential election.”
The account @EndWokeness also posted a widely recirculated tweet: “If you don’t think the regime has plans to weaponize her just in time for 2024, you clearly have not been paying attention.”
Wired did a deep dive into the topic.
For what it’s worth, Swift has helped boost voter registration through her long-running partnership with Vote.org.