The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Craig James -- Photo courtesy of Fox News Channel Craig James -- Photo courtesy of Fox News Channel  

Google bomb haunts Senate candidate, and it isn’t ‘Santorum’

Search Google for former ESPN analyst Craig James and you’re likely to also find references to an alleged murder of five prostitutes during his school days at Southern Methodist University.

The allegations are completely false, and they are evidence James is being targeted with a “Google bomb.”

James, who is now running for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas, recently took to Twitter and Facebook to combat the meme.

James’ campaign Twitter account, started on Dec. 26, devoted its twelfth tweet to address the problem included a link to blog written by PR firm Alter Endeavors explaining what a Google bomb is and how it applies to Craig James.

Historically, Google bombs are a concerted effort by a single person or a group to discredit an individual, idea or cause.

“Ever heard of a Google Bomb?” tweeted James. “They’re a headache, but they won’t slow down this campaign.”

When James’ bid for the Senate was announced in December, a flurry by college sports fans in online forums began the rumor that Craig James “killed five hookers” while attending SMU.

Unlike many Google bombs, which are often initiated through a concerted effort, the Craig James Google bomb arose from a widespread dislike the former sports analyst.

Former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach was fired after allegedly abusing James’ son, Adam, who was a player on Leach’s team. James is reported to have been involved in the firing.

“[O]ver 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,” reported the Texas Tribune.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that James initiated legal action against two book publishers last month in an attempt “to save face from his previous actions that may affect his upcoming senatorial campaign.” The legal document “lists 27 grounds James believes the authors used to mislead the general public and make defamatory statements against him.”

Timothy Burke of the sports blog DeadSpin wrote: “Craig James is so universally unpopular that his name has been organically google-bombed. ESPN’s kid-gloves treatment of him during the Leach-Feldman controversy suggested James contained something nuclear the network feared and didn’t want to mess with.”

The hostility against James is not only contained to Google searches and forums. Ohio State blogger Ramzy Nasrallah recently tweeted that he donated $5 to James’ campaign he could “write a message.”

Nasrallah’s message was an acrostic poem that contained the hidden message “HOOKER KILLER” posted to James’ campaign donation page.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has suffered a similar Google bomb, with his surname indelibly associated with a crude sexual term devised by Seattle columnist Dan Savage in 2003 after the then-senator compared homosexuality to bestiality and paedophilia.

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