Little did NBC NASCAR reporter Kelli Stavast know that she had just launched an instant political sensation last weekend when she said fans were cheering driver Brandon Brown — and not shouting a profane anti-Biden chant.
“Let’s go, Brandon” has exploded on the right, arming cheeky conservatives with a deceptively innocuous cri de coeur that takes sarcastic swings at President Biden and the mainstream media without running afoul of technology censors.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, gave the catchphrase his seal of approval in a Thursday interview with conservative podcaster Benny Johnson. He said it was “one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.”
“The clip is surreal,” Mr. Cruz said. “Listening to the NBC reporter say, ‘Look, they’re chanting let’s go Brandon.’ It captures everything about fake news all at once.”
To recap: In an Oct. 2 interview with Brown after his Talladega Superspeedway win, Ms. Stavast said it was difficult to hear over the crowd noise because attendees were chanting, “Let’s go, Brandon,” even though the video shows them shouting “F—- Joe Biden.”
Whether Ms. Stavast made an honest mistake or tried to make the best of an awkward situation is unclear. Deadline Hollywood said she was either “hard of hearing or a very, very quick thinker.” Biden opponents accused the reporter of trying to “gaslight the public,” as one Twitter account put it.
The R-rated anti-Biden chant had been erupting for weeks at sporting events, including the Ryder Cup. Since then, “Let’s go, Brandon” has become the chant of choice. Social media posts indicate fans were shouting the chant Saturday at several college football stadiums.
An airplane with a “Let’s go, Brandon! Join Gettr.com” banner flew Saturday above the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines before former President Donald Trump’s rally there. The Daily Wire has started selling “Let’s go Brandon” T-shirts.
After the Republican National Committee noted Friday that Republican governors lead the 10 top job creation states, Trump administration official Richard Grenell tweeted, “Let’s go, Brandon!”
Others tweeting the phrase include Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana Republican, and Fox contributor Lisa Boothe, who called it “pure gold.”
“Saturdays are no longer for the boys. … They’re for Let’s Go Brandon chants,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
Lest there be any doubt that the phrase has arrived, the satirical conservative website Babylon Bee jumped into the fray Saturday with a post headlined, “Guy Named Brandon Attending College Football Games Feeling Really Good About Himself Right Now.”
“Indeed, a study has found that the number of Brandons reporting high self-esteem has skyrocketed in recent weeks after the slogan has been repeated at an increasing number of sports games and other public events,” said the Bee post.