Ticketmaster had to endure senators’ T-Swift wordplay. Is that pun-ishment enough?

A man in a suit hands a document to another man seated at a desk inside a hearing room
Live Nation Entertainment President Joe Berchtold, center, and SeatGeek Chief Executive Jack Groetzinger attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Was it better than revenge knowing Ticketmaster was forced Tuesday to endure three hours full of senators’ cringey Taylor Swift puns?

Not quite. But don’t worry, disgruntled Swifties: Ticketmaster and Live Nation aren’t out of the woods yet as the Department of Justice continues to investigate the companies’ ticket-selling practices.

During Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Ticketmaster, Live Nation and the U.S. ticketing market, politicians weaponized Swift lyric after Swift lyric with reckless, bipartisan abandon. The highly publicized hearing was led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) — and let’s just say former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Pokémon GO to the polls” moment walked so that Klobuchar and Lee’s awkward T-Swift references could run.

Senators from both sides of the aisle questioned Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly, part of the fallout from November’s Taylor Swift on-sale fiasco.

Jan. 24, 2023

For those in need of a refresher on the bad blood between Congress and Ticketmaster/Live Nation: The ticket-vending and venue giants brought this on themselves by royally bungling the presale for Swift’s forthcoming Eras tour — resulting in a class-action lawsuit from fans and a public scolding from Swift herself.


At Tuesday’s hearing, Live Nation President Joe Berchtold showed remorse for the “terrible consumer experience” that occurred during the Eras sale.

“We apologized to the fans. We apologize to Ms. Swift,” Berchtold said. “We need to do better, and we will do better.”

Because we heard them (so now you have to hear them too), here are all the Swift lyrics quoted by senators at the Ticketmaster hearing.

‘All Too Well’

Klobuchar quoted Swift’s storied post-breakup anthem “All Too Well” — and she gets a cookie for being the only senator to directly credit the singer-songwriter while doing so.

“To have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation — something that, unfortunately for this country, as a ode to Taylor Swift, I will say we know all too well,” Klobuchar said.

So casually cruel in the name of being honest.

The things I had to do to secure these Taylor Swift tickets.... Honestly, for my own personal safety, I will not disclose my methods. Other fans were not as lucky.

Nov. 23, 2022


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) made a not-so-subtle reference to “Anti-Hero,” the self-aware lead single of Swift’s latest studio album, “Midnights.”


“Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me,’” he said.

And at tea time, everybody agrees!

‘Blank Space’

Lee threw it all the way back to “1989” with a wink and a nod to “Blank Space,” a popular song from Swift’s fifth studio album.

“A purchaser of a ticket being able to sell it to someone else — a lot of people seem to think that’s somehow a solution,” he said. “I think it’s a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”

You can tell us when it’s over if the high was worth the pain, Ticketmaster.

Fans, politicians and even artists were complaining about Ticketmaster long before Taylor Swift filled stadiums. But experts say the anger may be misplaced.

Jan. 23, 2023


On a roll, Lee also managed to squeeze in a line from the vengeful “Midnights” track, “Karma.”

Karma’s a relaxing thought. Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?” he quipped. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

One might say Lee was flexing like a goddamn acrobat to incorporate all these Swift puns into an official government probe.

‘You Belong With Me’

Lee strikes again! The senator also quoted the “Fearless” banger “You Belong With Me” while discussing his and Klobuchar’s roles in the hearing.

“To be honest, I had hoped, as of a few months ago, to get the gavel back,” he said. “But once again, she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers.”

We’d like to think Lee (or one of his employees) wrote that zinger while laughing on a park bench thinking to himself, “Hey, isn’t this easy?”