Nets Thrilled by Taylor Swift Backing Dems in Midterms: ‘Look What You Made Her Do’

On Monday, the focus of midterm election coverage on all three network morning shows was cheering on pop star Taylor Swift “as she uses her voice to venture into the political fray” by endorsing Democrats in her home state of Tennessee. Anchors and reporters gushed over the singer finally using her influence to push a liberal agenda after having “avoided politics in the past.”

On NBC’s Today show, correspondent Miguel Almaguer noted: “Swift has faced criticism for not speaking out about political issues before, despite having a global platform.” He then touted: “Now after her own personal experiences, she sharing her views as she uses her voice to venture into the political fray.” Making a pun out of Swift’s song lyrics, the headline on screen announced: “Look What You Made Her Do; Taylor Swift Gets Political for First Time in Career.”

 

 

While Almaguer acknowledged both support and criticism from fans, he eagerly tried to connect Swift’s decision to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh:

Swift’s announcement comes just one day after the end of the American leg of her world tour and a day after Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s narrow confirmation to the Supreme Court, following accusations of sexual misconduct. Swift recently acknowledging the one-year anniversary of her own legal victory against a Colorado DJ, who she said sexually assaulted her during a 2013 meet and greet.

He reiterated moments later: “Swift hinting that the Kavanaugh confirmation and her own experiences led to her political posts now going viral.”

Wrapping up the report, Almaguer sympathetically observed: “It is a gamble for someone like Swift to wade into politics, but it’s something she says she has to do.”

Appearing on Megyn Kelly Today in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour, left-wing MSNBC political pundit Zerlina Maxwell praised Swift for becoming a spokesperson for the Democratic Party:

So I think it is important for her to wade in. And her reasoning was because everything’s on the line in this upcoming election in terms of rights for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. Marriage equality was just made legal, it could be [snaps fingers] overturned like that....I do think that, you know, particularly as a young woman in a moment where women’s rights are literally on the line, our lives and our bodies are on the line, Taylor Swift is an important voice to articulate that point.

“Let’s turn to Taylor Swift. She is the latest celebrity to jump into the nation’s heated political debate....Swift had avoided politics in the past, “ proclaimed fill-in co-host Cecilia Vega on ABC’s Good Morning America. Turning to correspondent Eva Pilgrim, Vega remarked that it was “probably not a surprise to many she’s picking the Democrat in this race” in Tennessee. The on-screen headline blared: “Taylor Swift Gets Political; Singer Sounds Off on Midterm Elections.”

Pilgrim highlighted Swift not only voicing support for Democrats, but also trashing Republicans:

Swift, who stayed silent during the 2016 presidential election, now coming forward to endorse two Democrats running for office in her home state of Tennessee. Swift saying she cannot support GOP Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn because “her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.” The superstar writing, “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender, or who they love. These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Soundbites ran of Variety’s Senior Music Editor Jem Aswad wondering what “a weaponized Taylor Swift is gonna look like or the impact that it’s gonna have” and complaining how “Some people are saying really kind of patronizingly, ‘Oh, please stay out of politics.’”

Pilgrim concluded that Swift’s sudden entrance into politics “just shows you how much is at stake in these midterm elections.”

On CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King happily declared: “Taylor Swift is breaking her political silence for the very first time endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee.” The anchor explained: “The 28-year-old pop superstar has been criticized in the past for refusing to talk politics....but now she says events in the past two years have changed her mind.”

During the brief segment, fellow co-host John Dickerson chimed in: “Swift slammed [Republican Senate candidate Marsha] Blackburn on Instagram for opposing some rights for gay people and voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.” After reading Swift’s condemnation of the GOP lawmaker, Dickerson added: “Swift urged her more than 112 million followers to register to vote in the midterm election.”

King commented: “Big step for her stepping out like this.” Substitute co-host Vladimir Duthiers noted: “That’s a lot of people, 112 million.” King agreed: “That’s right.”

In the wake of 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, a chance to bash Republicans and boost Democrats ahead of November.      

 

Here is a full transcript of Almaguer’s October 8 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:49 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: First, the rather unexpected announcement from music superstar Taylor Swift.

HODA KOTB: NBC National Correspondent Miguel Almaguer joins us to explain. Hey, Miguel.  
MIGUEL ALMAGUER: Hey, guys, good morning. Swift has faced criticism for not speaking out about political issues before, despite having a global platform. Now after her own personal experiences, she sharing her views as she uses her voice to venture into the political fray.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Look What You Made Her Do; Taylor Swift Gets Political for First Time in Career]

ALMAGUER: Overnight, pop superstar Taylor Swift getting political, declaring her support for two Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen for U.S. Senate and Representative Jim Cooper for the House. The Grammy Award winner writing on Instagram, “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 differently about that now.”

For the singer, who moved to Tennessee as a teen and got her start in country music before crossing over to become a pop superstar, the reaction was, well, swift. Some angry fans criticizing the pop star on Twitter. One posting, “Bad move, politics just ruined your career. You picked the wrong side. We are never ever getting back together. Unfollowed.” Others backing the Bad Blood star, writing, “Y’all can say what you will, but this right here is someone I can support.”

Swift’s announcement comes just one day after the end of the American leg of her world tour and a day after Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s narrow confirmation to the Supreme Court, following accusations of sexual misconduct. Swift recently acknowledging the one-year anniversary of her own legal victory against a Colorado DJ, who she said sexually assaulted her during a 2013 meet and greet.

TAYLOR [AUGUST 2018]: This day a year ago was the day that – the day that the jury decided in my favor and said that they believed me.

ALMAGUER: It also comes as Swift’s one-time nemesis Kanye West...

KANYE WEST [2009 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS]: Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish.

ALMAGUER: ...is also getting political, backing Donald Trump, recently wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat on Saturday Night Live.

Swift hinting that the Kavanaugh confirmation and her own experiences led to her political posts now going viral.

SWIFT [AUGUST 2018]: I just wanted to say I’m sorry to anyone whoever wasn’t believed because I don’t know what turn my life would have taken if somebody, if people didn't believe me when I said that something had happened to me.

ALMAGUER: Swift has one of the largest followings in the world. Her voice, she hopes, will have an impact. It is a gamble for someone like Swift to wade into politics, but it’s something she says she has to do. Guys, back to you.

KOTB: Alright, Miguel, thank you.

Here is a full transcript of Pilgrim’s October 8 report on ABC’s GMA:

7:32 AM ET

CECILIA VEGA: Let’s turn to Taylor Swift. She is the latest celebrity to jump into the nation’s heated political debate. The midterm race in her home state of Tennessee is a major battle. Swift had avoided politics in the past, but ABC’s Eva Pilgrim is here with more. And, Eva, probably not a surprise to many she’s picking the Democrat in this race.

EVA PILGRIM: It is a surprise, Cecilia, that she’s actually speaking about politics. This is so out the norm for Taylor Swift, who until now, has avoided any comment about politics, even taking down a post at one point, encouraging people to just get out to vote. But overnight, the superstar making it clear to her 112 million followers on Instagram, and the world, where she stands.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Taylor Swift Gets Political; Singer Sounds Off on Midterm Elections]

Taylor Swift is known for belting out ballads of heartbreak and girl power anthems. But this morning, she’s using her voice in a whole new way, writing on an Instagram post overnight, “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 the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”

Swift, who stayed silent during the 2016 presidential election, now coming forward to endorse two Democrats running for office in her home state of Tennessee. Swift saying she cannot support GOP Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn because “her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.” The superstar writing, “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender, or who they love. These are not MY Tennessee values.”

JEM ASWAD [SENIOR MUSIC EDITOR, VARIETY]: Because she hasn’t come out in this way before, we don’t really know what a weaponized Taylor Swift is gonna look like or the impact that it’s gonna have.  

PILGRIM: Instead, she says she will be supporting Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House.

ASWAD: Some people are saying really kind of patronizingly, “Oh, please stay out of politics.” I even saw one man say, “Because of your political views, my daughter will not be attending your concert.”  

PILGRIM: Many on Twitter, like Debra Messing, supporting Swift, tweeting, “Thank you, Taylor.” Others are outraged, saying, “You picked the wrong side. We are never ever getting back together.”

She ended her Instagram urging everyone, no matter what side they are on, to get out and vote. “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.”

And Swift will open the American Music Awards on Tuesday, which will air here on ABC. It’s her first AMA performance since 2014. But it just shows you how much is at stake in these midterm elections.

VEGA: Yeah, it’s a fine line. Kanye, you know, you never know which side you’re going to end up on with your fans, so we’ll see how that goes.  

ROBIN ROBERTS: We will. Thank you very much, Eva.  

Here is a full transcript of the brief October 8 discussion on CBS This Morning:

8:12 AM ET

[Playing Taylor Swift songs.]

GAYLE KING: And she’s doing it. Taylor Swift is breaking her political silence for the very first time endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee. The 28-year-old pop superstar has been criticized in the past for refusing to talk politics. Now, she has said in the past she did not want to influence her fans, but now she says events in the past two years have changed her mind.

One of the candidates she's endorsing is Democrat Phil Bredesen in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race where a CBS News battleground tracker shows Republican Marsha Blackburn leading by eight points. Swift worked for Bredesen back in 2007 when he was Tennessee's governor to fight online predators. His campaign says he did not exact this endorsement.

JOHN DICKERSON: Swift slammed Blackburn on Instagram for opposing some rights for gay people and voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Swift wrote, “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for all Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Blackburn's voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. These are not my Tennessee values.” Swift urged her more than 112 million followers to register to vote in the midterm election.

KING: Big step for her stepping out like this.

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: That's a lot of people, 112 million.

KING: That’s right.


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NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Gayle King Miguel Almaguer Taylor Swift