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Call this one a misadventure in framing.

If you're like me, a little piece of you dies every time a Republican or even a self-styled Independent Democrat engages in a framing device such as substituting "Democrat Congress" for the correct "Democratic Congress." The goal of this wordplay is to both emphasize the "rat" in Democrat in the hopes of tarnishing a political party as untrustworthy and, more sinisterly, to try to lessen the usage of the word "democratic" in political discourse.

But sometimes framing has some unexpected results.

Enter, a biased news site funded by the AFA, or American Family Association, a far right-wing (and James Dobson-friendly) organization whose own web site decries the "homosexual agenda."

As some discovered over the weekend and this morning, the site has a filter set up on its news results that automatically changes the word "gay" to "homosexual." I think it's an odd substitution, but I'm sure they've done some kind of research that shows that "gay" has a more positive connotation than the more literal "homosexual."

How did this attempt at framing backfire on and the AFA? The answer comes from track-and-field.

From the Boston Globe:

When Tyson Gay crossed the finish line in the men's 100 meters yesterday, the crowd at Hayward Field gasped. The clock displayed 9.68 seconds. Everyone at the US Olympic track and field trials knew what that meant. Gay ran the fastest 100 ever, regardless of conditions....

Engage homosexual filter! To people visiting, this was the headline:

Whoops! Beyond looking small and stupid, might have opened itself up to litigation. Perhaps Mr. Gay can sue the AFA for libel if he doesn't care for a possible misrepresentation of his sexuality.

It's good to see a reaffirmation of the first law of political web sites: they are only as smart and tolerant as the people who develop them.

(from via Deadspin)

Update: Wow, first ever rec list! Thanks, everyone.

Originally posted to AmericanFactotum on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM PDT.

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