Merrick Garland Is Just Like Us: He's A Huge Taylor Swift Fan
Even those who fancy themselves too good for the likes of the musical stylings of one Taylor Allison Swift, are aware of her impact on the zeitgeist -- oh, and antitrust law. The latter is the result of the epically terrible ticket sales for Swift's Eras Tour -- to be clear, the sales were great from Swift's perspective, tix to the concert remain a red-hot commodity, but the Ticketmaster process for securing those golden tickets was a clusterfuck. Wild wait times, presale codes that didn't work, and a cloud of disappointment that hung over members of Swiftie Nation unable to get their tickets.
Swiftie Nation's frustration at trying to secure tickets was channeled into Ticketmaster, the industry giant that controlled the process. And because there is no force on earth like a Swiftie scorned, this translated into Congressional hearings last week (plus, you know all the antitrust red flags).
Senators probed Attorney General Merrick Garland about the Justice Department's investigation into Ticketmaster (which actually predates the Eras Tour debacle). And he responded by name dropping Swift tracks and saying, "I'm pretty familiar with Taylor Swift." As reported in the Wall Street Journal reports, he's a full-fledged Swiftie:
Mr. Garland has been talking about her for years. In his home, in his car, and in his wood-paneled office suite on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he has prominently displayed nearly all of her CDs in a curio cabinet. He's a die-hard Swiftie, as her fans are known, and he drops lyrics into legal arguments and discussions all the time.
"My favorite song is 'Shake It Off,'" he said in an interview.
He tracks Swiftie minutiae and has discovered some Taylor Swift fans on his own staff.
"Since we established our mutual regard for Taylor, references to her work have come up in a few conversations, sometimes hiding in plain sight," said Marissa Brogger, his chief speechwriter. "Recently, I dropped something off for the attorney general to review and he said he would do so swiftly. It took me a second to realize it, but given the attorney general's tendency to be precise in his word choice, I don't think it was an accident."
I'm not sure "Shake It Off" cracks a real Swiftie's top 5, but still reasonably impressive for a Cabinet member. Garland says he got into T. Swift's music via his daughters, and they'd listen to her early albums when he took them to school. And now, whenever there's a new Swift album, the family shares their takes on the latest songs. That's... pretty freaking cute.
Garland displays Swift's CDs, which he still collects, in his office:
"My daughter sent me 'Midnights' right away as a CD, which I appreciate is a little prehistoric at this point," Mr. Garland said. "And then she told me the playlist order in which I should listen to the songs."
But the real question remains -- was Garland able to secure his own Eras Tour tix? "That is a delicate question," he says. Delicate? Nicely played, Mr. Attorney General, nicely played indeed.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon