"Ever heard of a Google Bomb?"
That's how the 12th-ever Tweet from @James4Senate, the Twitter account for former ESPN analyst Craig James' U.S. Senate campaign, begins. Why they'd raise the question is a head scratcher, because the answer inevitably leads to the completely untrue phrase "Craig James killed 5 hookers."
In politics, the concept of a "Google bomb" — a campaign to trick internet search engines into making specious associations between certain terms — is most strongly associated with GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
In 2003, in opposition to Santorum's positions on homosexuality, columnist Dan Savage launched a Google bomb campaign to redefine the word "santorum." Ever since, the top Google search result for the former Pennsylvania senator's last name is an off-color sexual joke.
Type "Craig James" into Google, and it's likely that the search engine will offer to auto-fill the request by adding the phrase "killed 5 hookers."
Of course, James did no such thing.
Rather, over time, through his associations with Southern Methodist University's football program, his work at ESPN and his involvement in the firing of football coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech University, James has attracted enough detractors — largely outside the political realm — with the time and energy on their hands to launch the "killed 5 hookers" Google bomb.
James' campaign, which could not immediately be reached for comment, clearly felt it was worth addressing in one of its first few Tweets. In the Tweet, the campaign links to a story that discusses the mechanics and history of Google bombs and concludes, "They're a headache, but they won't slow down this campaign."