Savage Love

Dumped My Motherfucker Already

I've resisted all previous calls to launch new santorum-style campaigns, DMMA, but your suggestion appeals to me. It takes a lot to lift my spirits these days—something about knowing that George W. Bush is going to be in office for three more fucking years makes every day a gloomy one—but contemplating the sight of ITMFA buttons, T-shirts, lapel pins, and bumper stickers definitely lifted my spirits.

But I need to consult my readers. While I get all the credit for launching santorum-the-substance, it was a reader who suggested a contest, and another reader who suggested the winning definition. It was my readers who made Rick Santorum what he is today—an international laughing stock. So I put it to those same readers: Should Savage Love get behind a campaign to popularize ITMFA? Would you wear buttons? T-shirts? Lapel pins? Would you help push the website to number one on Google? Would you put ITMFA bumper stickers on your cars?

Dear Dan Savage: I was flattered to hear that you and your readers had picked up our reference to santorum in the Economist, but I just wanted to disagree with—or hope to disagree with—your reader who ventured that they were unusual in reading both Savage Love and the Economist. I hope very much they are not. Although nonreaders often think of us as a conservative magazine, we've actually always been socially highly liberal, whether on immigration, gay rights, or many other things, including favouring the legalisation of drugs. The Economist was among the first mainstream publications, on either side of the Atlantic, to advocate legal recognition of gay partnerships when I ran a cover on the subject in 1996 and then another in 2004.

Our readership is younger than that of other current-affairs or business publications, and I like to think that, like us writers, they are thoughtful, intelligent folk. But you were right: It is not only gay activists who use the term santorum in that way. Maybe being edited in London explains why we got that wrong.

Bill Emmott, Editor

The Economist, London

Thanks for being a big enough editor to admit that you were wrong, Bill. I was about to call for the entire staff of the Economist to be beheaded but, hey, now there's no need. But could you print the definition for your readers who aren't familiar with it?

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