Fox News host Jesse Watters admitted he “obviously has no evidence” but ran with a head-scratching story about pop superstar Taylor Swift and how she may be part of a government “psyop.”
With plenty of speculation about the conspiracy theory surrounding the megastar, Swift’s name has come up on social media as part of an alleged government psychological operation., with former State Department official Mike Benz posting just this week a video purportedly showing a pitch to use Swift as “an asset for the Western military alliance to stop ‘disinformation’ on the Internet.”
“I like her music,” Waters said on “Jesse Watters Primetime” on Tuesday. “She’s all right, but I mean, have you ever wondered why or how she blew up like this?”
Is Taylor Swift a Pentagon PsyOp asset? pic.twitter.com/yHp8WywKh8
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) January 10, 2024
“Well, around four years ago, the Pentagon psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset during a NATO meeting. What kind of asset? A PsyOp for combatting online misinformation,” Watters continued as he showed a 2019 clip of a woman giving a presentation.
“You came in here wanting to understand how you just go out and counter the information operation,” the woman said in the clip.
“The idea is that social influence can help encourage or promote behavior change,” she continued. “So, potentially as a peaceful information operation… I include Taylor Swift in here because she’s a fairly influential online person. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her.”
That woman was reportedly not a Pentagon employee, however.
According to the Daily Beast:
That video was an excerpt from the 2019 International Conference on Cyber Conflict, which was held in Estonia and organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE). The speaker in the clip is Alicia Marie Bargar, a research engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, who appears to simply mention Swift as an example of the power of influencers with large followings.
“Yeah, that’s real: the Pentagon psyop unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset for combating misinformation online,” Watters said after airing the clip.
The Fox News host pointed out, however, that he “obviously has no evidence” that Swift is “a front for a covert political agenda.”
“If we did, we’d share it,” he said. “But we’re curious.”