Taylor Swift hasn’t uttered a word about the 2024 presidential election. But the mere prospect that the pop superstar could endorse President Biden has put conservatives at Fox News in crisis.
“Why would someone as popular as her alienate your fans, the Swifties?” Jeanine Pirro saying on “The Five,” before addressing the singer directly. “So don’t get involved! Don’t get involved in politics! We don’t want to see you there!
“Please don’t believe everything Taylor Swift says,” urged one commenter, Charly Arnolt. “We all beg you.”
And Sean Hannity, using his prime-time soapbox Tuesday night, suggested that Democrats were leading Swift astray. “Does Taylor realize that the guy they want me to endorse is kind of a mess and a klutz?” she asked.
“Maybe,” Hannity added, “you want to think twice before making a decision about 2024.”
These unsolicited tips for Swift appeared on Fox News this week as supporters of former President Donald J. Trump adopted an increasingly conspiratorial worldview about Swift’s possible involvement in the presidential race.
Right-wing activists have indulged in unfounded speculation that Swift’s romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (a sort of American couple consisting of a football star and a wholesome pop icon) is a invention devised by the Democrats, or perhaps by the National Party. Football League, to trick unsuspecting Americans into boosting Super Bowl ratings or voting for Biden in November.
A version of that theory aired on Fox News in mid-January when host Jesse Watters the idea floated that Ms. Swift was a government asset involved in psychological warfare. She suggested that the great success of her Eras concert tour was aided by the Department of Defense. “Have you ever wondered why or how it blew up like that?” Watters asked viewers. (She admitted that she had no solid evidence: “If we had it, we would share it.”)
Mr. Kelce has also been mocked, with Watters calling it “sponsored by Pfizer” because Mr. Kelce recorded Ads to promote Pfizer’s Covid. vaccine.
However, this week’s comments from Hannity, Pirro and others were more aimed at discouraging Swift, who has 279 million followers on Instagram, from throwing her cultural weight behind a political candidate they don’t like. Their on-air discussions were fueled in part by reports that the Biden campaign had considered Swift, who endorsed Biden in 2020, a dream supporter of the president.
An alarmed Arnolt told Fox host Martha MacCallum that when Swift encouraged her fans to vote in a social media post, transferred 35,000 new registrations. Voters “should be careful because she doesn’t do what she says,” Arnolt said, noting that Swift travels on a private plane, “yet she constantly talks about climate change.” It was the kind of green rebuke that rarely appears on a cable network whose guests often express skepticism about global warming.
Hannity, who has declared himself “not a Swiftie,” drew a connection Tuesday between Swift and one of Fox News’ favorite bogeymen: George Soros, the Democratic financier and donor. the air an old clip in which Swift said Soros’ son Alex helped finance the sale of her song catalog to producer Scooter Braun. “Does Taylor really realize that the Soroses are big donors to Democratic and left-wing causes?” Mr. Hannity asked.
Her guest, Tomi Lahren, suggested that Swift’s relationship with Kelce meant she would be less inclined to support Biden, because she was “spending some time in Kansas City surrounded by normal people.” Lahren added: “My bet is that she’ll probably keep quiet about politics, and I think that’s the best we can ask for.”
Another “Hannity” guest, Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt, told viewers not to rule out strange conspiracies about Ms. Swift, citing “so many examples where the Biden cartel has gone out of its way and has He used everything he had at his disposal. as a weapon against his enemies.”
Some analysts consider the right’s focus on Swift to be a misguided political strategy. “Republicans haven’t won the popular vote in 20 years, so now we’re trying the novel strategy of attacking one of the most beloved pop stars on the planet and… the NFL,” said Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former U.S. official. Trump administration and former Trump administration official. co-host of “The View” wrote in X.
Not all references to Ms. Swift on Fox News are negative. On Saturday’s Brian Kilmeade show, he asked Fox Sports analyst Jay Glazer about the Swift phenomenon.
“She’s a genius at what she does,” Mr. Glazer responded. “The NFL is a genius at how to market things. Could not be better. There is nothing to hate here. I think, in my opinion, everything is love.”