You knew Taylor Swift was influential, but Republicans are now crediting the singer with James-Bond-villain-level powers in a wacky conspiracy theory claiming the singer’s romance with NFL star Travis Kelce is really a plot to rig the Super Bowl and get President Joe Biden reelected.
The relationship between the pop powerhouse and the Kansas City Chiefs tight end has gripped the nation for weeks, with TV cameras repeatedly panning from the field during the team’s surging NFL season to a cheering Swift in the stands.
- Actor Idris Elba calls for action over UK knife crime
- Fan dies at Taylor Swift’s concert due to heat exhaustion
Fascination peaked this weekend when the Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens to book their berth in February’s Super Bowl and, in the midst of celebrations, Swift descended onto the field to kiss Kelce, fresh from playing one of the best games of his life.
Well, not for Republicans.
Right-wingers — who, like their leader Donald Trump, increasingly see conspiracy theories under every stone — detected not a love story but a deep-state psychological operation against the American people and the November presidential election.
Fox News hosted a discussion with a former FBI agent asking: “Is Taylor Swift a Pentagon asset?”
A Trump media booster, Laura Loomer, told her more than 800,000 followers on X, the former Twitter, that “The Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open.”
And Vivek Ramaswamy, a failed Republican presidential candidate now fully behind Trump’s bid for a second term, suggested there is a plot to boost Biden through a faked Swift-Kelce relationship and a rigged Chiefs victory in the Super Bowl.
“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple,” he wrote on X. “Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months.”
A major pro-Trump broadcast personality, Mike Crispi, said it all even more clearly: “EVERYONE knows Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce is fake and the Super Bowl is rigged. You’re a whacko at this point if you DON’T believe it.”
Swift will appear on stage at the Super Bowl halftime show, he said, and endorse Biden.
– Dark territory –
The nutty furor has roots in long-running hatred on the right for Swift, who is not only a global entertainment megastar but openly liberal and against Trump. She endorsed Biden in his successful 2020 bid to unseat Trump and flexed her muscles again last September by urging fans to register to vote — tens of thousands did.
Kelce, something of a legend for his outsized personality off the field and heroics during games, has become an unlikely target of the right himself after promoting Covid vaccines and, now, for being the boyfriend of an even bigger female celebrity.
The saga has already veered into distinctly dark territory. AI-faked pornographic images made to look like Swift got millions of views on X before being removed last week.
And things may get weirder.
The Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on February 11 and the right-wing media-sphere is lining up behind the Californians — even though their team represents one of the most liberal cities in the world.
“I know we’ve all been roasting your city for years,” posted Rogan O’Handley, a hard-right personality with 1.3 million X followers.
“For 2 weeks, 99% of America will be 49ers fans but in return you MUST defeat the Chiefs,” he wrote. If they don’t, Biden will get reelected and “WW3 will likely follow.”