Taylor Swift has been the target of leftist outrage mobs by being a positive role model as a pop artist, rather than creating near-pornographic shows or spewing hateful politics at half the country. She’s drawn the media’s ire not for what she says, but for her silence in the political realm. Her success drives the haters crazy, and time and time again she’s shown the ability to shake it off. This last week, the simple act of releasing a cover of a popular song again sent the media after her to try to claim her scalp.
Do You Remember Dancing In September?
The left-wing’s echo chamber of the internet is outraged at Swift’s new cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” which she released on Spotify. The simple acoustic recording sparked dozens of outrage articles and hundreds of angry tweets by left-wing activists.
White rapper, Five Five, said, “September is literally one of my favorite songs in existence, who let this dumb b— Taylor Swift cover it omfg.”
Nathaniel Friedman, writer at GQ Magazine, said, “Taylor Swift’s cover of ‘September’ is hate speech.”
Perhaps the most egregious display of hatred was from the entertainment magazine, The Root, in which their columnist actually called for violence against Swift over the recorded tune. “Taylor Swift needs her ass whooped,” wrote Monique Judge.
Why is Swift considered such a threat? A singer recording a song shouldn’t bother anyone, but the outrage mob has been obsessed with her these last few years. They want to destroy her career, and are increasingly frustrated that they have been unable to do so. Now they’re grasping at straws.
Know That It’s Delicate
It’s sensible business for a mass-marketed pop star to not want to turn off half the country from purchasing their work. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters figured this out. He said in an interview:
When the Foo Fighters go out and tour, we play to everyone. I like to think music is something that can bring two opposite sides of the spectrum in to the same arena for three hours of relief. There’s part of me that thinks I’m better at giving people hope. So that’s where I’d rather be.
The left-wing thrives on control of the entertainment industry, creating propaganda through all forms of entertainment, from Hollywood movies to pop songs. Silence is an act of defiance that causes the media to relentlessly try to destroy careers. But like they did with President Trump, they have overstepped from sane reality into attacks that appear disingenuous to the general public. Swift’s career is just as healthy as it’s ever been, and she’s already faced about the worst of what the left can do to her.
Haters Gonna Hate
Swift has been one of the few artists to not drift into the political arena at all. Without political scrutiny, she already faces enough scrutiny for her pop-style choices and her private life, which, unlike most pop stars, she doesn’t flaunt debauchery in her listeners’ faces. Being different in that regard draws ire from feminists, who have attacked her via op-eds in The Washington Post such as, “Sorry, Taylor Swift. Being a feminist is about more than just supporting your girlfriends.”
Being a powerful role model as a woman is not enough, according to her detractors.
When shaming her on feminism didn’t work, the media tried to shame her into speaking out against Trump. “In the year since Donald Trump was elected,” wrote an editor of the Guardian, “the entertainment world has been largely united in its disdain for his presidency. But a notable voice has been missing from the chorus: that of Taylor Swift.” The editorial goes on to state Swift’s silence somehow demonstrates an approval of Trump’s personality and policies. It’s an absurd leap to try to paint her in a way to tarnish her reputation, something Swift is very familiar with.
Perhaps the most bizarre attacks tried to paint Swift as an alt-right supporter. The narrative began in Vice in an article in May 2016 titled, “Cant’ Shake It Off: How Taylor Swift Became A Nazi Idol.” They based their article on an anonymous website called Aryan Goddess, which made memes of Taylor Swift’s images using quotes from Nazi soldiers in WW2, falsely attributing them to her. By all accounts, this was a troll parody website stemming from some of the anonymous humorists at 4-chan. The media was happy to bite, as they have on several other false-reports about white supremacy, most notably the “OK” hand gesture, where trolls convinced several media outlets on the left that it is a secret symbol meaning “white power.” This trolling made it all the way to The Hill and Newsweek, and is still reported as fact by several news outlets today, despite its absurdity.
The closest Taylor Swift has come to dipping her toe into politics was with one tweet for the women’s march this year, where she stated, “So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched. I’m proud to be a woman today and every day.” The phrasing was pretty meticulous in not getting involved in political angles other than a positive statement on women in general, and the media noticed.
She also donated to the March For Our Lives, another youth-oriented cause, and with another innocuous statement condemning gun violence. Her stands are something most can agree with, being pro-woman and anti-school violence, and the causes are trendy ones, even if the results of them are misguided. She still hasn’t gone nearly as far as the vast majority of other celebrities with her support.
The media’s response? Buzzfeed released an article, “Taylor Swift Didn’t Go To The Women’s March And People Are Mad.” Several other outlets followed with articles of similar tone, condemning Swift, proving the point that no matter what she does, she can’t appease the outrage media. The outrage media still can’t break her down, despite several attempts in trying, so now, they’re going after her songs.
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
If we’re honest about the current outrage over Swift’s recording of “September,” it comes down to having a white singer making a recording of a black band’s song. The last several years of attacks on Swift were written with purpose to create a narrative of her race being a factor in everything she does. As with most rabble rousing over identity politics, the accusations have been thin. It takes numerous logical leaps to paint Swift as an evil individual. Swift even became so sick of the libel that she threatened to sue a Bay Area blogger who bizarrely claimed her song, “Look What You Made Me Do,” was dog-whistling to the KKK.
As a song, Swift’s rendition of “September,” is a bit on the bland side. It’s got the country flare of her past work, with acoustic guitar, sung in a very sweet way in which Swift was known before her transition into pop mega-star. It’s innocuous, and for writers to label it “hate speech” or to call for violence over the cover is another sign at how far the left has become unhinged in their attempts to control entertainment. It doesn’t help their case when the co-writer of the song, Allie Willis, called Swift’s cover, “the absolute cherry on top of a very soulful and happy sundae.” When the original creator approves of the work, it’s easy to see the media has created a narrative of disingenuous outrage that has little to do with the work.
All They’ll Ever Be Is Mean
Ever since Trump overcame one of the greatest coordinated character assassination attempts in history, people distrust the media. The public no longer believes their concerted efforts to paint individuals as villains, and rightfully so, as none of their dire predictions of the Trump presidency have come true. When it comes to entertainment, consumers actively rebel against what they’re told to do by the media overlords. America thrives on rooting for underdogs and counterculture. As the media snipes at their targets, those victims tend to get more successful as a result. We’ve seen with the success of “Roseanne,” who has simply presented middle-America as regular people, and cast Trump supporters in a neutral light. Swift has been similar — a neutral artist, but in the days of outrage over identity politics, neutrality is dangerous to the extreme left, because they understand how the centrists voted in 2016.
All the media accomplished is to bring attention to Swift’s new song. Though the calls to violence against her are dangerous because we’ve seen how extreme rhetoric can influence the mentally ill to attempt to injure someone, Taylor Swift is weathering this media storm like she has every other she’s faced. It will be interesting to watch our culture change as artists continue to rebel against the narrative. We may soon find some pro-Trump or conservative artists reaching the top of the charts because listeners are fed up with being told what they can or can’t enjoy. The media will go ballistic then, but average people will simply shrug and say, “look what you made me do!”