Why Are There So Many Conspiracy Theories About Taylor Swift?

by | Jan 20, 2024 | German Daily Digest | 0 comments

Taylor Swift: Why are there so many conspiracy theories about the singer?

Taylor Swift

Recently, there has been a surge of conspiracy theories surrounding popstar Taylor Swift, with the American right-wing circulating various absurd rumors about her. While these theories may seem outlandish, there appears to be a concerted effort behind them.

One Fox News moderator, Jesse Watters, combined two different conspiracy narratives. He claimed that Taylor Swift is not only part of a Pentagon psychological operation to manipulate public opinion but also being used by the White House to mobilize voters for the Democrats. However, the evidence provided for these claims is baseless. Watters derived the Pentagon campaign theory from a heavily edited video clip of a NATO cybersecurity meeting where the words “influence,” “operation,” and “Taylor Swift” were mentioned. The speaker in the video, Alicia Marie Bargar, has since denied making any such connection. Despite this, Watters confidently asserted, “yes, that is real.”

Additionally, Watters criticized Swift for encouraging voter participation by sharing a link to the nonprofit website vote.org on her social media. He speculated that perhaps Swift had influenced the White House to do so, assuming that all Swift fans support the Democratic party. This is not the first conspiracy theory that targets Taylor Swift. Right-wing commentators have accused her of using witchcraft, among other things. Watters’ remarks demonstrate that the Taylor Swift conspiracy has now entered the mainstream of the US right-wing.

Response from Washington

As the rumors continued to circulate, an official response from Washington emerged. Following the idea that a conspiracy theory gains traction when the targeted individual denies it, the originators of these theories likely considered the response a success. Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh responded to the conspiracy theory, stating, “We will shake it off.” Singh’s use of the phrase “shake it off” refers to a Taylor Swift song, adding an ironic twist.

The chairwoman of vote.org, Andrea Haley, also felt compelled to highlight the non-partisan nature of the organization. She emphasized that they are “neither a psyop nor a Pentagon asset,” but instead, the largest bipartisan platform in America that helps young people register to vote and have their voices heard. Unfortunately, these statements inadvertently fueled the conspiracy theories even further.

US TV presenter Sunny Hostin offered an interesting interpretation, suggesting that individuals like Jesse Watters believed that Taylor Swift would align with their political views. However, Swift’s support for causes such as the March for Our Lives against gun violence and the LGBTQ+ community in her music videos proved otherwise. Hostin concluded, “They chose the wrong princess.”

Why target Taylor Swift?

Johanna Blakley, a media scientist from the University of Southern California, argues that conspiracy theorists aim to undermine Swift’s credibility. The right-wing appears to be concerned about the influence she could have on young Democratic voters. Blakley describes spreading misinformation about the singer as “a deeply insidious attempt to undermine Swift’s likely endorsement of Biden.”

While the conspiracy theories surrounding Taylor Swift may seem ludicrous, they highlight the power and reach that celebrities possess in shaping public opinion. Moreover, they showcase the current political climate in which misinformation and false narratives can circulate and gain traction.

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