Santorum neologism gains prominence during US election cycle
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
A Dan Savage's column in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality has gained prominence during the ongoing election cycle in the United States. After Santorum spoke out against in 2003, readers of Savage’s column voted to define the word " " as "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." The prominence of this term's association with Santorum, a current candidate for the Republican Party , has had an impact on the former Senator's .coined in
|It is vile, as are Santorum's comments about gay people.|
Dan Savage commented on the continued impact of the santorum neologism, in an interview with thepublished Sunday, "It's still out there and it is an insanely dirty joke. It is crude. It is vile, as are Santorum's comments about gay people."
At a speaking engagement on Friday, Santorum stated that same-sex partnerships don't "benefit society". Whilst speaking as part of his, Rick Santorum has had to answer questions from regarding his controversial political positions on issues pertaining to them. Critics have showed up to Santorum events and tried to the candidate.
Democratic strategists poised themselves to take advantage of Santorum's association with the neologism phenomenon. Based on sources among Democratic operatives, Jack Cahill of reports Democratic tactics in Missouri involve actually galvanizing support for Santorum ahead of that state's in order to eliminate the possibility of a Mitt Romney win. Cahill says they view Santorum as mostly a dirty joke's punchline.
Wikinews previously reported on the santorum neologism phenomenon in 2006, as part of an article, "Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members". The investigation noted that: "An edit to an article about a controversy over Senator Rick Santorum's statements about Constitutional rights to privacy with regards to sexual acts, seemingly coming from Rick Santorum's staff members, removed a reference to an effort to redefine Santorum's last name as a neologism".
In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing to supporting . Readers of the advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website www.spreadingsantorum.com to document the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on including Google, , and Yahoo!.
|There definitely are people who are finding this to be the best answer to their question ...|
—Gabriel Stricker, Google
Google global communications chief Gabriel Stricker commented toin an interview this January, that the company was avoiding editorial judgment, and that the prominence of the santorum neologism phenomenon in web searches is due to increased interest in the subject. Stricker stated, "There definitely are people who are finding this to be the best answer to their question, and they are indicating this by either clicking on this result or linking to this result as the best answer to that question."
In the wake of Santorum's showing in the Internet and in turn discovered the santorum neologism phenomenon. After journalist of the National Public Radio program received criticism for covering the increased attention to the santorum neologism, she explained why the issue was relevant: "I felt it was an important and legitimate story in the wake of Mr. Santorum's success in Iowa. Although the site had been up for many years, it was only after Mr. Santorum's success in the caucuses that a large number of people were actually searching for more information about him." provided a similar analysis in January — that more coverage of Santorum has led to more coverage of the neologism., additional curious people looked up the former Senator on the
Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon, in comments to the press. He was quoted in January by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google's response: "I suspect if something was up there like that about, say, Joe Biden, they would get rid of it. To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle. I suspect that's not true." Santorum tried to alleviate the neologism's results in web searches by reaching out to Google in September, but this act only served to increase reporting and coverage of the phenomenon. In a 2011 radio interview with host , Santorum characterized the neologism as "filth". He criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon, saying, "It's offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it."
- "Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members" — Wikinews, February 7, 2006
- Aman Batheja. "Bitter rivals Santorum and Savage in North Texas this week" — , February 6, 2012
- "Dan Savage: Rick Santorum Google Bomb Is An 'Insanely Dirty Joke,' Just Like His Views On Gay Rights" — , February 6, 2012
- Diane Smith (Gay rights activist Dan Savage brings 'It Gets Better Project' to North Texas" — , February 6, 2012). "
- Jack Cashill. "Dems Mobilize in Missouri for Santorum" — , February 4, 2012
- Anti-gay remarks haunt Rick Santorum online" — , January 15, 2012. "
- Edward Schumacher-Matos. "Rick Santorum's Google problem becomes the story" — , January 10, 2012
- Laura Sydell (How Rick Santorum's 'Google Problem' Has Endured" — , January 6, 2012). "
- Spreading Santorum, official website created by Dan Savage to promulgate the neologism
- Santorum, defined at
- Santorum, background at
- Santorum, analysis of the phenomenon at by