MSNBC Revisits Taylor Swift’s ‘Not Your Dad’s Republicans’ Takedown and How She Could Change Trump’s Path to Reelection (Video)

Ari Melber posits that the musician’s reach is over 10-times that of cable news networks like his own

“The Beat With Ari Melber” dedicated a good chunk of time Wednesday evening to one of today’s most famous and celebrated musicians, Taylor Swift.

Hot off breaking her own record for most Video of the Year awards at the 2023 VMAs on Tuesday, Swift, host Ari Melber posited, is in a position going into the 2024 presidential election to use her pop culture visibility as political weight. He broke it all down in a the segment now uploaded to MSNBC’s YouTube channel titled, “Quadruple-Indicted Trump Faces Far More Popular Foe: Taylor Swift.”

“Full disclosure, we believe that shows like ‘The Beat’ on MSNBC can provide something to the public. But in terms of sheer numbers, let’s just be objective and nonpartisan about it — cable news can reach anywhere from 4–10 million people per night over a given monthly stretch,” Melber said, offering viewers “a little back of the envelope math” to show how Swift’s reach compares. “That’s an average, that’s just a rough ballpark of multiple channels.”

Swift, meanwhile, with just “the sound of her voice,” can reach over 10-times that cable news audience.

“Swift’s streaming reach is 100 million through Spotify and other platforms. Meanwhile, her social media following has many tens of millions of fans,” Melber said. “So when she says, ‘Do something,’ ‘Check something out,’ whether that’s ‘fegister to vote’ or ‘look at this video,’ she is reaching people in a way that is far broader than any other artist in earlier digital eras.”

Of course, the marriage of political influence and musical artistry is nothing new, but modern media has changed the ways in which artists today can use their platforms in such causes. Melber pulled of a clip of Swift’s 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana” to prove his point, replaying the watershed moment of her deciding to share her more liberal political beliefs with her fans.

“First of all, these aren’t your dad’s celebrities, and these aren’t your dad’s Republicans,” Swift said in the viral documentary clip of her debating with her father whether or not to open up.

In a 2020 cover story with Variety, she further explained the decision, saying, “This was a situation where, from a humanity perspective, and from what my moral compass was telling me I needed to do, I knew was right, and I really didn’t care about repercussions.”

Swift began rallying fans to register to vote in 2018, which itself saw nearly 65,000 Americans ages 18 to 29 register in the 24 hours following her social media post. Later posts showed her baking cookies with the Biden-Harris campaign logo frosted on top.

“Swift’s political advocacy drove headlines, she found her own ways to share her politics, from explaining the personal stakes, inciting women’s rights, to a lighter touch that fits with this era,” Melber said, adding that the cookie bake was “exactly the kind of straightforward, relatable and quite frankly shareable item that does work well online, especially if you like the person baking the cookies.”

The MSBNC segment went on to reflect — with the aid of former Obama political strategist Chai Komanduri — why Swift is so personable and powerful as a storyteller and what it might mean if she further embraces her political power going into the election ahead.

“The point is to understand that while we sometimes get pretty narrow in our habits, in our sense of what defines politics and what defines a campaign ad or how these things work, we’re actually living through an incredible transformation, and there are few people, including in youth culture, who have a huge and broad impact,” Melber said. “It would be weird to ignore them, it would be odd to pretend they’re not here.”

Watch the full “The Beat” segment in the video above.