McKenna on KIRO: Bloggers and neo-Nazis badgering Taylor Swift

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a spat involving Taylor Swift, neo-Nazis, and the ACLU. A left-wing blogger wrote that Swift’s lyrics speak to fringe groups’ “anger, entitlement and selfishness” and that her lack of political involvement could be seen as “subtle encouragement” to the far-right. Swift’s lawyers called it defamation and demanded the post be removed, but the ACLU fired back, calling the lawsuit threat “meritless”.

Dave Ross: “But you’re saying, really, this is her only avenue. She simply has to blog back.”

Rob McKenna: “I think so, and I don’t think she should be bullied into doing things she doesn’t want to politically. It may be that she just doesn’t choose to be politically active, that she wants to keep her political views not front and center, wants to focus on her music. That makes a lot of sense.

“And you know, all of us resent being bullied when that happens, whether we’re being – in her case, being bullied by the alt-right and by this left-wing blogger.

“And let’s be clear about what both those groups are trying to do. What they’re trying to do is leverage Taylor Swift’s fame and her popularity to bring more attention to themselves. That’s why the neo-Nazis are doing it, and claiming that she’s some sort of crypto-neo-Nazi. And that’s why this blogger from the Bay Area is doing it. I think she led with this headline knowing that it would grab attention, and succeeded in getting a lot of free publicity for her otherwise little-known [or] commented-on blog.”

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