Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here. Right-wing media is burning red at Taylor Swift. With the Kansas City Chiefs headed to Super Bowl LVIII, influential MAGA Media personalities have started circulating conspiracy theories about the pop superstar, promoting the deranged notion that she is part of a sprawling psychological operations plot staged by the NFL and Democratic Party to deliver the 2024 presidential election to President Joe Biden. The attacks on Swift have been steadily building for weeks (see Fox News host Jesse Watters asking on his prime time program earlier this month if Swift is a “Pentagon asset,” for example), but it reached a fever pitch on Monday. The bad blood is related to Swift’s 2020 endorsement of President Joe Biden and the fact that Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight end whom she is dating, participated in an advertising campaign for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. A Monday story published by The New York Times, which noted Biden would like Swift’s endorsement again this year, added fuel to the fire. “I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month,” Vivek Ramaswamy, the unsuccessful 2024 presidential candidate who has spread conspiracy theories about the January 6 insurrection and the legitimacy of the 2020 election, posted Monday on X. “And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months.” Ramaswamy was responding to a post from Jack Posobiec, the far-right conspiracy theorist, who shared a version of the theory during an interview with Roseanne Barr, the famous actress who in recent years has descended into the far-right online fever swamp. Posobiec said he believes the Democratic Party and other powers are “gearing up for an operation to use Taylor Swift in the election against” Donald Trump. Barr agreed, saying that Swift is “definitely somebody who has consented to speak the way the establishment wants to be spoken of” and that using her influence will be how they “try to get on top of the next election.” Of course, it would not be surprising for Swift to endorse Biden as she did in 2020. After all, celebrity endorsements are run-of-the-mill in presidential campaigns and Swift has over the years waded more deeply into political waters, encouraging her fans to turn out and vote. But suggesting that Swift, one of the most powerful entertainment figures on Earth, is quietly being manipulated by sinister forces in a grand conspiracy staged by the establishment is ridiculous. And yet, that is precisely the type of rhetoric that has permeated the country’s ever-more polluted information environment. “Taylor Swift is an op,” Benny Johnson, a right-wing media personality who boasts millions of followers across different social media platforms, wrote on X. “It’s all fake. You’re being played.” “The Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open,” added Laura Loomer, a self-described Islamophobe who has been embraced and promoted by Trump. “It’s not a coincidence that current and former Biden admin officials are propping up Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. They are going to use Taylor Swift as the poster child for their pro-abortion GOTV Campaign.” “The NFL is totally RIGGED for the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor Swift, Mr. Pfizer (Travis Kelce),” agreed Mike Crispi, a Salem Media host. “All to spread DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA. Calling it now: KC wins, goes to Super Bowl, Swift comes out at the halftime show and ‘endorses’ Joe Biden with Kelce at midfield.” “It’s all been an op since day one,” Crispi concluded. On and on the anti-intellectual drivel goes, parroted by scores more of MAGA Media personalities who spend their days peddling junk to their audiences. It can be easy to dismiss some of this loony thinking as bearing little resemblance to reality. And, to be sure, in the larger scheme of things, this troubled train of thought is not predominant. But it would also be wrong to dismiss the rhetoric altogether as well. The figures promoting it wield significant influence inside the Republican Party and possess millions of followers who turn to them for their news and information. “The individuals and outlets spreading conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift sound ridiculous because they are exactly that,” said Jared Holt, who studies extremism and disinformation for Strategic Dialogue, a non-profit think tank. “But they are also among the leading sources of information for modern conservatives, and they have the financial backing of Republican elites to spread exactly this kind of nonsense.” “To me,” Holt added, “it’s a sign of just how far gone and unconcerned with reality conservative media is today, and it makes you wonder what they’re actually trying to accomplish here.” After all, a fight with Swift and her legion of die-hard fans is not something that you can just shake off.