Honey Boo Boo prances around for an audience in a green dress.
The phrase “Google bombing” refers to the practice of creating a large number of links that cause web pages to have a high ranking for searches on unrelated keyword searches, often for comedic purposes.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently became a victim to a mass Google bomb; or so it would seem. A Google Image search for the phrase “completely wrong” on Wednesday revealed almost an entire page full of images of the Republican presidential candidate.
A Google spokesperson said that the phrase’s image search results are simply an unintentional result of normal Google analytics and not the result of any efforts to skew voting results. Google analytics produce images that are associated with popular phrases in news headlines.
Google’s algorithms picked up on news coverage of Romney saying last week that he was “completely wrong” when he responded to controversial statements he made saying 47% of Americans were completely dependent on the government.
He responded to these controversial statements last Thursday on Fox News:
“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said, “In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”
News outlets had used numerous photos of Romney while reporting on his “completely wrong” statement. Now the two are associated as far as the computers are concerned.
Many Twitter users, including comedian Rob Delaney, who is known to poke fun at Romney on Twitter, made note of these search results Wednesday.
Romney’s Google bomb is hardly the worst that a politician has faced; however, it does appear to be quite similar to the George W. Bush Google Bomb in which a search for “miserable failure” returned George W. Bush’s official White House biography as the top result.
The Google results page of Romney photos was noticed Wednesday by tech blog Mashable and other news sites.
Google says it tries not to handle strange search results on case-by-case, instead opting for making improvements to the search algorithms themselves.
By: Taylor Chobanian
Jim Lehrer exhibits a poor performance as moderator in the 2012 Presidential Debate.
It was PBS News Hour’s Jim Lehrer’s 12th time moderating the presidential debate; however, many agree he was unsuccessful in his attempts to take control of this year’s debate.
Both of the candidates, especially Romney, talked over him at many points throughout the debate. “No, no, no,” he said to Romney at one point; who then ignored Lehrer and continued speaking.
Twitter exploded Wednesday night with comments on Lehrer’s performance. A parody feed titled “Silent Jim Lehrer” was created and went viral over night.
More than 10 million tweets were posted during the presidential debate. This set a record as the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics.
Conservative columnist John Podhoretz tweeted that “Jim Lehrer may be the worst moderator in the history of moderation.
“Crazy that Lehrer thinks any of these answers will come in under 15 mins given how broad the questions are,” MSNBC’s Alex Wagner tweeted.
After the debate, hundreds of postings from news sites and bloggers came about as to who they speculated the “winner” of the debate to be.
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow said that she could not quite declare a winner; however, she could declare a loser-Jim Lehrer. “That manifested in a way in which the debt format was just dismantled – the format and I think the moderator, with all due respect to Jim Lehrer,” said Maddow.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed his true opinions on voters who support President Barack Obama during a private fundraiser held in May. Mother Jones was first to obtain video footage of Romney speaking at the fundraiser. He openly discussed his foreign policy ideas as well as his campaign strategy, using harsh words he would never say in a public setting:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
Romney went on with racist comments such as “Had I been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” Romney also told the audience that “women are open to supporting me,” but that “we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting bloc in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”
Romney spoke freely to his fellow millionaires, displaying his disgust for almost half of United States citizens. He contradicted himself by saying he could not speak such degrading words about Obama in public. However, he then clumped all Obama voters into a group of Democratic moochers that hardly contribute anything to society.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina expressed her view on the quotes by Romney at the fundraiser:
“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
Some Romney supporters believe the quotes about the 47 percent of Americans should be interpreted differently than they are being explained by many news outlets. Some say the quotes are made in the context of the voters Romney is trying to reach. They believe he’s simply telling followers why certain themes work and others don’t, especially at those themes that relate to Obama supporters.
Romney supporters also fight back with his campaign statement:
Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.
However, this statement was made as damage control for Romney’s image after the video was released.
The video that was originally posted by Mother Jones has led to much speculation about the reasonable right to privacy for a presidential candidate. The unedited video on the Mother Jones website was shot from a hidden camera on a table to Romney’s left side.
The private fundraiser where Romney spoke was at a private residence in Boca Raton. It would seem that the home owner and Romney would both have a case against the person who shot the video footage, and possibly Mother Jones as well.
Romney verified the comments that he made at the fundraiser while even repeating some at a public press conference following the video’s leak. So at this point it would seem highly unlikely that Romney would take any legal action against the person responsible for the video and Mother Jones. However, they both could still face some sort of legal action from the owner of the home where the fundraiser was held.
So has this video scandal hurt Romney in the polls? The answer is yes. On the date that the video was released, President Obama was winning in the popular vote by 4.1 percentage points. As of Thursday he has gained additional ground in the polls and now leads the popular vote by 5.7 percentage points. This is a gain of 1.6 percentage points since the video was released. Whether the video leak is directly responsible for Obama’s rise in the polls will never be truly certain. However, the only thing that can be said for sure at this point is that Romney is in a bind in the polls.
Regardless as to how the information in this video was released, I think that it’s a good thing that it was. Romney had the option to take legal action after the video was released, but he chose to confirm his statements instead.
The fact is, the video was released whether anyone agrees or disagrees with it. It’s already been copied and posted all over the Internet to the point that it would be impossible to fully make it “go away.”
Regardless of the fact that Romney was in a private setting, the comments that he made about many of the people in this country were real. There is an argument for a right to privacy, but this man is trying to become the president. I think it’s safe to say presidents of this country end up giving up the majority of their privacy rights when taking office, and even while just running for office.
Presidential candidates have the right to know exactly what voters think about them, why shouldn’t we have the right to know what they really think about us?