Now that the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are set to square off in Super Bowl LVIII, folks will be asking all sorts of questions between now and February 11, including:
- Will the Chiefs triumph like they did in 2020’s Super Bowl LIV, or will the 49ers avenge their past defeat and earn a sixth championship?
- How good — and meme-able — will Usher’s halftime show be?
- With companies paying $7 million for a 30-second spot, what will be the most memorable commercials?
But those are the normal questions that surround every Super Bowl. If you listen to certain corners of conservative and MAGA media, however, then you might be asking entirely different questions:
- Will Taylor Swift take to the field at halftime to endorse Joe Biden with Travis Kelce at her side?
- Are liberals and Democrats conspiring to ensure a Chiefs victory?
- Is Swift no mere pop star but actually a Soros-controlled government psyop?
Those sound bonkers and yet, they’re claims being made by right-wing trolls and personalities, including a former presidential candidate.
And then there’s this absolute howler from a guy with nearly 1.4 million followers on X/Twitter.
Yes, you read that correctly: If the 49ers fail to defeat the Chiefs then Biden could get re-elected, potentially leading to World War III and the deaths of millions. The fate of the free world now rests, not on the U.S. and our allies, but rather, on the shoulders of Brock Purdy, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Bosa, and their teammates.
It’s one thing to be tired of celebrity romances, or perhaps more accurately, the incessant coverage of celebrity romances. (Personally, I hope all celebrities get to experience some nice, meaningful romance.) It’s something else entirely, however, to claim that a celebrity romance will bring about the End. Of. Civilization. As. We. Know. It.
David French said it well: “I have seen a lot of dumb things in my life, but the Online Right hatred of Taylor Swift — and the conspiracy theories flowing from that hatred — are on a different level entirely.”
But the conspiracy theories themselves aren’t the most annoying and disturbing aspect. What’s truly disturbing is that the folks promoting such bunk on social media almost certainly don’t believe it themselves. Not really. But folks like Mr. Draino do believe in clout and clicks because that’s how they make money and stay relevant. Therefore, they’ll spout any kind of inane B.S. so long as it keeps them at the top of the algorithms and keeps bringing in all of those precious clicks and dollars.
Never mind how many people might actually believe the inanity because they consider Mr. Draino et al. to be reliable sources of truth contra the “lamestream media.” And then there are those who don’t really believe the theories either, but feel validated and vindicated when Mr. Draino et al. publicly express hatred towards the people and things they enjoy hating, too. The result is the same in either case, though: more distrust, more bitterness, and more disconnection from reality.
Of course, when Taylor Swift inevitably does not parachute into Allegiant Stadium or march out onto the field at halftime to endorse Biden, then Mr. Draino and his ilk can say they were just pulling one over on the stupid libs — or more likely, pretend they never said anything at all — because they got what they really wanted in the first place. Not truth or democracy or freedom, but attention and money.
What’s more, they’ll be on the lookout for the next inanity to spout on social media because grifters gotta grift. After all, if they stop, then they might need to exit the bubble, touch grass, and — gasp! — get normal jobs that actually contribute to society but are less glamorous and less lucrative than being a MAGA troll.