A Fox News segment promoted the persistent right-wing Taylor Swift PsyOp theory—that she is a Pentagon asset simply because she is encouraging her fans to register to vote.
On National Voter Registration Day in September, Swift shared a link on Instagram and encouraged her followers to register to vote. According to Vote.org—the website she linked to—more than 35,000 people registered that day, though it’s unclear how many did so specifically because of Swift.
“I’ve been so lucky to see so many of you guys at my U.S. shows recently,” Swift wrote on an Instagram Story. “I’ve heard you raise your voices, and I know how powerful they are. Make sure you’re ready to use them in our elections this year!”
Though her call was nonpartisan, Fox News host Jesse Watters and his guest, ex-FBI agent Stuart Kaplan. theorized without evidence Tuesday that something more sinister was at play.
“When she posted the link to the Vote.org, it’s like hundreds of thousands of young Taylor Swift fans all of a sudden registered to vote,” Watters said. “I wonder who got to her from the White House or from wherever. Who makes that initial handshake?”
As Watters spoke, the chyron below questioned: “Is Taylor Swift a Pentagon asset?”
Kaplan responded that the White House has a “perception optics management team” that may have used Swift’s influence.
“Now it is possible that Taylor Swift quite frankly does not know that she is being utilized in a covert manner to swing elections, but the bottom line is that the Biden administration is savvy, identifying how many followers and how many voters potentially she can influence with either right information or misinformation,” he said. “She certainly can swing the voters.”
Video clips of the segment were mocked online, with one user joking: “Please. Go ahead. Anger the Swifties.”
“I always thought Shake It Off sounded a little Russian,” wrote someone else.
Less than a day after the segment aired, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas begged Swift to help bolster youth voter turnout ahead of this year’s European election.
“It’s young people who can mobilize young people to participate, more than commissioners,” she said, later adding that she hopes “someone from her media team follows this press conference and relays our request to her.”
Last fall’s post was not the first time Swift encouraged fans to register to vote; an Instagram post ahead of the 2018 midterm elections reportedly spurred a similar spike in registrations via Vote.org.
That post also marked Swift breaking from her history of avoiding explicit political endorsements when she weighed in on Tennessee’s congressional races in support of the Democratic candidates.
“In the past, I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote in 2018. “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country.”
She went on to criticize Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for her voting record and called on others to research candidates and “vote based on who most closely represents your values.”
“So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count,” Swift said. “But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do.”
The theory has been percolating on the right for months now. The latest iteration came in December 2023, when Swift was named Time’s “Person of the Year,” which prompted accusations the media was collaborating with the government to hype Swift and swing the 2024 election.