The MRC Needs To Calm Down
The Media Research Center feels it needs to attack Taylor Swift for committing the offense of being an entertainer who expresses opinions that differ from those of the MRC.
By Terry Krepel
When Swift first ventured into the political arena in October 2018, the MRC showed some restraint at first. Kyle Drennen pushed the narrative that it was a media distraction: In the wake of [Brett] Kavanaugh being confirmed to the high court, the liberal media were clearly desperate for any positive news they could find for Democrats. Swift jumping into the midterm campaign on behalf of the left gave the networks exactly what they looking for."
When a candidate Swift supported lost to a Republican the following month, the MRC's Kristine Marsh couldn't help but gloat: "After all three networks gushed over pop star Taylor Swift endorsing the Democrat, Phil Bredesen, in Tennessee’s Senate race, they largely ignored the GOP candidate Marsha Blackburn completely demolishing Bredesen in last night’s election." Gabriel Hays similarly gloated, stating that even though Swift inspired hundreds of thousands of voter registrations, "Swift failed to attract enough turnout needed" to beat Blackburn.
Later in November, when Swift signed a record deal that required the label to split royalty revenues from Spotify with all its artists, Jacob Comello groused:
Taylor Swift is undeniably talented, but she seems to have been struggling with identity for the better part of her career. Her days of strumming tunes about lost high school love into the hearts of country audiences are very long gone, and since the early 2010’s she has been trying to reinvent herself as a pop princess of the same strain as Katy Perry and Ke$ha. Simply put, Swift is a revolving door for labels.
In Comello's eyes, the writer committed the offense of saying something nice about Swift; he went on to dismiss the deal without evidence as "a product of corporate goons hijacking 'solidarity' as part of a slick PR stunt."
But as Swift made it clear she was going to dabble more in politics, the MRC lashed out more. Hays sneered in a March 2019 post:
Finally, Taylor Swift has promised to grace us with more of her political opinion. After years of media haranguing and being quiet when asked her opinions on the bad Orange Man (Vice claimed her silence may be partially to blame for Trump’s election) the pop princess claimed that from here on out she “ will be more active in political campaigns.”
Hays wasn't done sneering at Swift for exercising her constitutional right of speaking out on the issues of the day. He heaped more scorn on her in a post the following month:
Remember when Taylor Swift refused to get political? Good times. Now we know she’s a garden-variety entertainment lefty, and she’s proving it with a large donation to an aggressive pro-LGBT interest group in Tennessee.
After Swift expressed her support for the Equality Act, Jorge Plaza huffed in a June 2019 post: "Ever since her decision to go political back in October, Taylor Swift has chugged the entire pitcher of liberal Kool-aid." But Plaza showed he has chugged the entire pitcher of conservative Kool-Aid, uncritically repeating scary Heritage Foundation talking points against the Equality Act, such as that it would force "schools to allow boys into girls' restrooms." Plaza went on to complain that Swift was engaging in "virtue signalling" -- as if that's not what Plaza himself is doing -- and concluding by sneering: "Based on the promise she made in March to be 'more active in political campaigns,' it doesn’t seem like Swift and sanity are never ever getting back together."
Because failing to march in lockstep with the MRC is the definition of insanity, apparently.
The Taylor-haters at the MRC kept up their work. Hays sneered in an Aug. 8 post:
Taylor Swift seems to be looking for a new reputation as leftwing savant and the singer has definitely put in a good effort, working hard to slam conservative perspectives ever since coming out against Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in the November Midterm elections less than a year ago. In that short period she’s gone from knocking Blackburn’s platform of hate to now brutally slamming “white cisgender males” in Vogue’s September 2019 issue.
Hays worked up even more sneering in an Aug. 26 post:
Taylor Swift has gone from zero to sixty in record time when it comes to social justice activism. With the August release of her latest album, “Lover,” she joins the tired chorus of lefty status quo politics. In her latest project, the pop princess tackles the real issues of the day, like sexism and LGBTQ suffrage. She has also made no bones about the fact that America is in a dark place in 2019, telling reporters she thinks Trump is “tearing the country apart.”
Hays, an inveterate LGBT-basher like most MRC writers, was also bothered that Swift's new album "also features a very pro-LGBTQ anthem in the song 'You Need To Calm Down,' which is a rebuke of homophobic people who aren’t happy celebrating all things queer."
The same day, Karen Townsend was upset that Swift used an acceptance speech at the MTV Music Awards to promote her petition online in support of the Equality Act, an “anti-discrimination” bill that discriminates against religious views on traditional marriage and biological sex," adding: "While Ms. Swift said the petition has enough support to receive a response from the White House and tapped her watch impatiently, clearly the bill doesn't have enough support in the Senate and therefore President Trump hasn’t seen it on his desk. Maybe Swift is the one who needs to calm down[.]"
The next day, Kristine Marsh huffed that "All three networks couldn’t stop gushing over pop star Taylor Swift’s liberal awakening on full display at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards," offended that she was "surrounded by drag queens" while accepting her award and promoting the Equality Act.
Hays returned to complain about "the very inclusive performance of everyone's favorite new lefty shill, Taylor Swift."
Matt Philbin picked up the sneer baton from Hays for an Aug. 29 post bashing a writer whom he thinks is "pretty sure we need Taylor Swift’s sad thoughts about America," continuing: "The truth is, Swift is simultaneously trivializing and aggrandizing the political moment into, like, the worst night ever. It’s a much less clever episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. The Hell Mouth is open, the apocalypse is nigh; we need to defeat it and get to the prom by 8:30!"
MRC honchos Tim Graham and Brent Bozell couldn't help but offer their two cents, whining that "You Need To Calm Down" "trashes anyone still dissenting from the LGBTQ agenda" and that media outlets are "gushing over her leftist activism." Making equality a partisan issue, Graham and Bozell insisted that the Equality Act "enables anti-religious hatred and bigotry," mostly by keeping Christians from discriminating against LGBT people, adding that "The LGBTQ orthodoxy shreds dissent. There is no debate allowed. " They don't explain why Christians must discriminate against the LGBT community.
Hays slinked back again on Sept. 18 to grouse that "Ever since Taylor Swift decided to join the left’s propaganda machine, the pop star has been one of the hottest tickets for interviews." (As if he isn't a part of the Right's propaganda machine.) Hays went on another sneering binge, this time over Swift's preference for President Obama over Trump:
Previously, under Obama, it had been a dream for Taylor. She told Rolling Stone, “We were in such an amazing time when Obama was president because foreign nations respected us. We were so excited to have a dignified person in the White House.” Yes, doll. They were dream times, weren’t they? She also added she’s looking forward to 2020: “I’m just focused on the 2020 election. I’m really focused.”
In November, P.J. Gladnick mocked Elizabeth Warren for taking Swift's side against her former record company regarding control of the music she recorded for it -- and, of course, mocked Swift herself for committing the offense of being a "multi-millionaire" who wants to have a say in how the music she helped create is being used:
Justice for Taylor Swift!
Gladnick apparently doesn't think that having control over what you create is something your average working American can understand.
In January, Hays melted down over the singer receiving an award from pro-LGBT organization GLAAD through exhibiting the gay-bashing the MRC is known for in once again complaining there are too darn many gay people on TV:
Although Taylor is less of a hero, and more so just another spoiled celebrity being paraded out by special interest groups in order to condescend to people who are reluctant to join progressive causes. She’s a leftwing android more or less. She promotes all the boilerplate gay lobby crap and bashes Donald Trump supporters as scary racists.
Hays returned in a Feb. 28 post to sneer at Swift's new music video (and the song it's for):
The far left reboot of Taylor Swift is continuing her work of alienating conservatives and most other normal folks from her fanbase. The singer unveiled her music video for her misogyny-crushing anthem “The Man,” featuring her play-acting as a man and doing all the things your typical toxic white male gets away with that women can’t.
Hays then unironically wrote: "Swift must see her product as more of a joke, because it’s too cartoony to be a political statement. " We wonder if Hays sees his product as a joke, because it's too cartoonishly hateful to be taken as legitimate criticism.
The MRC's inability to deal with a celebrity who runs counter to the right-wing narrative demonstrates who really needs to calm down.
MRC's "news" division hates her too
The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com published a June 6 column by Kelsey Bolar of the conservative Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal operation that berated Swift for speaking out in favor of the Equality Act -- the immediately leaped to a speculative talking point that anti-LGBT right-wingers have embraced: the specter of transgender athletes:
“Reports,” she added, “are that the majority of Americans across all parties favor these nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people (liberals at 81%, moderates at 76% and conservatives 55%.)”
Bolar didn't mention that Rasmussen polls tend to have a right-leaning bias, making such results dubious at best.
Bolar sneered that "Swift’s misleading form of Instagram activism is nothing new" because "Hollywood elites have been virtue-signaling to us for years" -- as if Bolar herself isn't virtue-signaling from the right by raging against the eternal conservative bogeyman of "Hollywood elites" -- then lectured that her views on equality are incorrect because the rights of conservative Christians would purported be violated:
Taylor, if you support it so much, go on TV and debate it. Answer the tough questions about how the legislation would compel medical professionals to shut down foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers. Talk to the foster kids who would never be placed with parents because their facilities would be forced to close.
But Bolar admitted in the article she linked to that Soule finished in eighth place, meaning that even if the two transgender athletes had not competed in the race, she would have done no better than sixth. Do college recruiters really care about sixth-place athletes?
Bolar concluded by lecturing some more about how Swift can learn from her because, unlike Swift, she's in her 30s and now knows everything:
In my 20s, I learned that Instagram activism is the easy routeyou’re not held accountable, and don’t really have to engage. The hard work begin with answering the difficult questionsthe ones most other celebrities pretend don’t exist.
Pro tip to Bolar: You're not "answering the difficult questions" if you're staying in your right-wing bubble and automatically dismissing ideas that conflict with your worldview.