ACLU slams Taylor Swift after she sends cease and desist letter to blogger

Pop star said blogger connecting her to white supremacy was defamation; ACLU says it's free speech


Taylor Swift recently took time out of her busy schedule of bilking every possible penny out of her fans via her immoral ticketing system to launch a legal attack on a blog with 81 Twitter followers. Lawyer’s for the singer claim PopFront writer Megan Herning launched a “malicious attack” on the pop star with a story entitled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation”. The post discusses Swifty’s single, “Look What You Made Me Do”, and its accompanying video and how it’s been related to Nazism, the alt-right and white supremacy.

In the piece, Herning writes,

“Taylor’s lyrics in ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ seem to play to the same subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy. Many on the alt-right see the song as part of a ‘re-awakening,’ in line with Trump’s rise. At one point in the accompanying music video, Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazis Germany [sic]. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling.”

Herning points out that Steve Bannon’s journalistic toilet Breitbart excitedly quoted the song’s lyrics when it tweeted a story about loopholes to buying AR-15s. She goes on to note the racial politics and victimhood that have been at play in the Taylor Swift narrative ever since Kanye West interrupted her speech at the 2009 VMAs. The piece also takes Swift to task — as others have — for her total political silence in these most acrimonious of political times.

Despite the blog’s small reach, Swift’s people found the post and the singer soon sicked her lawyers on Herning in the form of a cease and desist letter. In the letter, Swift’s attorney William J. Briggs II claimed that “The [PopFront] story is replete with demonstrable and offensive falsehoods which bear no relation to reality or the truth about Ms. Swift. It appears to be a malicious attack against Ms. Swift that goes to great lengths to portray Ms. Swift as some sort of white supremacist figurehead, which is a baseless fiction masquerading as fact and completely misrepresents Ms. Swift.”

Apparently, pure-hearted Swifty thought using her massive corporate backing and hundreds of millions of dollars to silence a tiny blog was a great way to convince people you don’t support racist fascists. The ACLU did not agree, however, and sharply criticized the singer after being contacted by Herning. Saying Swift was trying to infringe on Herning’s free speech, the civil rights organization responded to Briggs with a letter of their own, which read in part, “The blog post is a mix of core political speech and critical commentary; it discusses current politics in this country, the recent rise of white supremacy, and the fact that some white supremacists have apparently embraced Ms. Swift, along with a critical interpretation of some of Ms. Swift’s music, lyrics, and videos.”

Henring herself has responded today with a new piece titled “Taylor Swift tries to silence PopFront with cease and desist letter”, in which she discusses how troubling it is that a public figure would try and silence the press — especially given Donald Trump’s constant attacks on the media. “At a time when the press is under constant attack from the highest branches of government, this cease and desist letter is far more insidious than Swift and her lawyer may understand,” Herning writes. “The press should not be bullied by legal action nor frightened into submission from covering any subject it chooses.”

Here’s the video that sparked all the debate, Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”: