Know Your Enemy: Taylor Swift Derangement Syndrome, with B.D. McClay

Know Your Enemy: Taylor Swift Derangement Syndrome, with B.D. McClay

Matt and Sam talk to B.D. McClay about the right’s freakout over Taylor Swift—and what she can tell us about American fame, fortune, and fear.

Taylor Swift on tour in 2023 (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Why are Republicans and the right losing their minds over Taylor Swift, the gifted songwriter and globe-bestriding pop star? Why do they think her NFL-playing, Super Bowl–winning boyfriend is secretly gay—precisely because he’s dating Taylor Swift? Why is this slice of Americana being portrayed as a deep-state op meant to hand the 2024 election to Joe Biden? To try to answer these and other similarly bewildering questions, Matt and Sam talked to writer B.D. McClay, whose Substack, Notebook, has become the essential guide to understanding Taylor Swift, her place in our culture and politics, and why she drives right-wingers (but not just right-wingers) crazy.



B.D. McClay, taylor derangement syndrome: on losing the normies, Notebook (February 3, 2024)

cruel summer is going number one, Notebook (October 22, 2023)

your future is me: let’s talk about (sigh) swifties, Notebook (October 7, 2023)

Taylor Swift studies takes a detour, Notebook (September 4, 2023)

Taylor Swift, Rockist, Notebook (August 4, 2023)

Taylor Swift studies, contd, Notebook (July 3, 2023)

(but I’m only looking at you), Notebook (May 29, 2023)

A Decade of Sore Winners, The Outline (2019)

Clare Coffey, Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince, Notebook (2023)

Mark Harris, Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Is the First Pure Piece of Trump-Era Pop Art, Vulture (2017)

Edmund Smirk, Swiftian Normality and the Freak Right, The American Mind (2024)


Taylor Swift arguing with her Boomer Republican father about Tennessee U.S. Senate race (YouTube)

Taylor Swift, folklore: the long pond studio sessions (2020)

Bob Dylan, Murder Most Foul (2020)

…and don’t forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!

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