Maddow Ends Show With Santorum's Vulgar 'Google Problem,' Calls Dan Savage a 'Genius'

March 8th, 2012 10:07 AM

Having spent the past week mercilessly attacking conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for his comments concerning Georgetown University law student and women's rights activist Sandra Fluke, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow closed Wednesday's program by discussing at length Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's vulgar "Google problem."

You see, calling a liberal woman a slut is practically a hate-crime, but referring to a conservative man as the disgusting byproduct of anal sex is "genius" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MADDOW: We have an update for you, on the Rick Santorum Google problem. You know what the Rick Santorum Google problem is, right? I might have mentioned it a couple times on this show.


MADDOW: It is the problem he has, and then you have when you Google him. If you do not know what I mean, you can Google Santorum, do not do it at work, do not do it in front your mom.

That’s because if you put Santorum into the Google search engine, you get information, you get vivid, vivid information, but you don’t get what you were looking for about Rick Santorum.

I am not going to ask you about Rick Santorum and campaigning against MSNBC and what he can or cannot Google.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: I mean, there’s no way to find out about Rick Santorum. You can’t just type that into the Google.

MADDOW: I cannot research it.

HAYES: There’s nothing that come back.

MADDOW: I should say, I can research at home, but I can’t research it at work.

You can Google it, it’s safe. It’s not like Rick Santorum.


MADDOW: Until recently when you typed the word Santorum into the Google search box, the first result even more prominent than Rick Santorum’s campaign Web site was a Web site called Spreading Santorum. Spreading Santorum was a created in 2003 to frankly retaliate against Rick Santorum for equating same sex relationships with bestiality. That’s why everybody calls him the man on dog guy. That’s what he said it was like to be gay, man on dog. That’s what he said.

The Web site turned Mr. Santorum’s last name into a euphemism for something I will not describe on television. But its creator, the genius, Dan Savage, got so many people linked to that it became the most prominent search result on Google for the word Santorum, for years.

"The genius, Dan Savage."

This "genius" decided to have a contest years ago to create a new meaning for Santorum. The "winner" was "The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."

As Maddow said, this "genius" got so many people to link to this that the Google algorithm until recently placed it first at its search engine.

It must also be noted that this "genius" told HBO's Bill Maher last year that he wished Republicans were "all f--king dead." This was moments before he proudly said, "I sometimes think about f--king the s--t out of Rick Santorum...I’m up for whipping up some santorum in Santorum."

So you see, Maddow thinks calling a women's rights activist a slut warrants someone being thrown off the radio.

But create a vulgar term for a conservative that goes viral and becomes the number one Google result, and talk about having violent, gay hate-sex with a former United States Senator, and you're a "genius."

See ANY double standard here? Maybe you will when you find out how disappointed Maddow is now that the vulgar term for Santorum has dropped at Google:

MADDOW: But then over the past week or so, something changed. Now, this with a first noticed by a Twitter user named Anthony Hick, who asked, quote, "Did Google de-rank Spreading Santorum? First or second result for seven years and suddenly busted off the main page."

And you know what? It’s true. As the blog Search Engine Land pointed out with screen caps that they posted, the first result used for typing Santorum Google, right? If you go to, type in Santorum, the first result used to be the site Spreading Santorum. But last week, the first result change to Mr. Santorum’s official campaign Web site and Spreading Santorum got bumped down to the bottom of the first search page.

So, so far down it wouldn’t appear on your screen unless you scrolled. Then all of a sudden, though, Spreading Santorum started moving back up the search results page.

So, of course, figuring this out, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW has been Googling Santorum madly ever since, despite my strict instructions not to do so at work. Interestingly, not all of us are getting the same results. Some of us have gotten even better result in the number one spot.

The definition of Santorum courtesy of We have to redact a lot of it, as you can see here. It is an even more graphic description than what was up at Spreading Santorum. It’s, in fact, stunningly graphic.

Now, why the Santorum search results page is constantly changing is at this point unclear. Google released a statement on Wednesday saying, quote, "We make more than 500 changes to our algorithms in a typical year. With each of those changes, sites will shuffle the different positions in our search results. We have not manually taken action to change the ranking of the site."

So with this added dose of unpredictability in terms of what your results are going to be, I think Rick Santorum’s Google problem if it didn’t get worse, got a lot more interesting. Now, there’s more of a reason to keep typing the word Santorum into the search box and hitting return, you never know what you’re going to get. You should definitely wash your hands regardless.

And probably don’t do it at work. And don’t talk to your mom, just alone.

Did I mention that Maddow and her network think it's heinous to call a women's rights activist a slut?

(H/T Barry Popik)