Dan Savage Threatens to ‘Google Bomb’ Rick Santorum, Yet Again

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Santorum’s “Google problem” might get worse. (Via The Atlantic)

It all started in 2003 when then-Senator Rick Santorum compared gay sex with bestiality and pedophilia, adding: “I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.”

The statements roused the ire of sex columnist, author and gay-rights darling Dan Savage, who proceeded to successfully Google-bomb Santorum’s last name and create a new sex-related but far from sexy definition for the moniker. (Try searching the name yourself, but not if your boss is nearby.)

(VIDEO: Jon Stewart Reminds Internet of Rick Santorum’s ‘Google Problem’)

This neologism is either hilarious or horrifying, but regardless of what team you play for, it also continues to reinforce the power of the Internet and Savage himself. Now that Santorum (the person, not the froth) has joined the Republican 2012 presidential race, running on a socially conservative ticket, the two are duking it out again, with Savage making a new threat to change the candidate’s name — this time, his first.

In this Funny or Die video (which contains strong language), Savage issues his warning: The name “Rick” will also be changed unless the Pennsylvania politico stops picking on gays in his 2012 platform.

Santorum recently discussed his predicament on right-wing radio host Steve Malzberg’s show: “That’s Dan Savage. You know, it’s, it’s the lowest, you know, debasement of public discourse. It’s, it’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.”

The father of seven, who has complained that his children can no longer Google his name, may be losing the viral war, but that hasn’t stopped him from reaping financial advantages from the embarrassing media blitz. In his latest campaign fundraising letter, he calls Savage a “hate activist” with a “perverted sense of humor,” and pleads: “Don’t let Dan Savage and the extreme left win.”

Kai Ma is a TIME contributor. Find her on Twitter at @Kai_Ma or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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