Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart told his viewers to Google Rick Santorum’s name. It landed the presidential hopeful at the top of Google Trends — and not for a good reason.
Santorum’s problem with Google is nothing new. It started in 2003, when sex advice columnist Dan Savage rallied his readers after the Republican senator compared homosexual acts to “man on child, man on dog” relations, according to Roll Call. Savage, who is gay, created spreadingsantorum.com, with the goal of “Google bombing” his name. Now, when you search for “Santorum” or “Rick Santorum,” a not-so-flattering definition is the first result. The result is unprintable and certainly not safe for work. But if you want to know, here you go.
Naturally, Santorum wasn’t too happy about Savage’s actions. “It’s one guy. You know who it is,” he told Roll Call at the time. “The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate. It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak.”
In March of this year, Savage told TIME his side of the story:
“Rick Santorum has said insanely offensive things about gay and lesbian couples. He was a two-term sitting U.S. Senator with a lot of power, and my readers and I are a bunch of jackasses without a lot of power. We made a joke at his expense, and now he [plays] the victim, which is all Republicans seem capable of doing these days.”
But now that Santorum is running for president, his Google issue is something he has to face head-on. But in April, Santorum told The Daily Caller he wasn’t too concerned, since being on the campaign trail means the media would frequently write about him, potentially altering his search results.
Things aren’t quite improving as of now. Later in The Daily Show, guest Keira Knightley expressed her shock after Googling Santorum’s name. “I feel like my innocence has been taken away,” she exclaimed.