Disaster recipes for Ms. McCain


Family recipes, passed down
from 1 site to another and on

CINDY McCain’s favorite family recipes,
as listed on the campaign site, were
Food Network favorites first.
Jason Reed/REUTERS
New York Times
April 16, 2008
WASHINGTON – It was a recipe for scandal … if not already a recipe for disaster.
Until early Tuesday morning, visitors to John McCain’s campaign Web site could find seven of “Cindy’s Recipes,” among them three elegant and healthful offerings: passion fruit mousse, ahi tuna with Napa cabbage slaw and farfalle pasta with turkey sausage, peas and mushrooms.
Only problem was, all three, listed as favorite family recipes of Cindy McCain, Mr. McCain’s wife, were taken verbatim from the Food Network.
A fourth, rosemary chicken breasts and warm spinach salad with bacon, bore a striking resemblance to a similar recipe by Rachael Ray.
By midmorning, the McCain campaign had taken all seven recipes off the Web site and was pointing a finger at an intern who, tasked several months ago with contacting Mrs. McCain’s staff for favorite McCain recipes, had prowled the Internet instead.
“The intern has been dealt with,” said Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman, who declined to provide details. Nonetheless, Mr. Bounds said, “we took away his zero pay.”
“Farfallegate” was first reported Monday night by David Weiner on The Huffington Post Web site after he was alerted by Lauren E. Handel, a New York environmental defense lawyer. Ms. Handel, an avid cook, had plugged ingredients into an Internet search engine, looking for a recipe for dinner on Sunday night, and found that the Food Network and McCain sites popped up at the same time.
“I thought, This is weird, John McCain has a recipe for pasta with sausage and peas,” Ms. Handel said in a telephone interview. Curious, she began investigating and discovered the lifted recipes. She mentioned the episode on Monday morning to one of her law partners, who happened to be Mr. Weiner’s father. The mousse soon exploded.
A spokeswoman for the Food Network, Carrie Welch, said late Tuesday that the network had no comment, but Ms. Ray was more talkative. “My recipes are supposed to be accessible to everyone – interns, students, senators and families alike,” Ms. Ray said through a spokesman, Charlie Dougiello. “I personally find it flattering when anyone cooks my food.” Ms. Ray, a Democrat, then invited both McCains to share recipes on her show.
Also on Tuesday, the Wonkette site posted a recipe, “Cindy McCain’s 3-Minute No-Bake Cookies,” which appeared in the December 2007 issue of Yankee Magazine and was identical to a recipe from Quaker Oats. Mr. Bounds said he would look into it.
In the meantime, The Huffington Post reported that the passion fruit recipe had appeared under Mrs. McCain’s name in the Jan. 16 issue of The New York Sun, in an article that also included a recipe from Michelle Obama (apple cobbler) but not one from the spouse of the other Democratic presidential candidate. The article did include Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
By the end of the day, Mr. Bounds said that the McCain campaign was busy revising the recipe section of the Web site, and that Mrs. McCain liked to cook lemon chicken and beef stew.
McCain intern blamed for plagiarized recipes
RECIPES on the campaign’s web site attributed to John McCain’s wife, Cindy, right, bore a striking resemblance to Food Network recipes and those of celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
Larry W. Smith / EPA
Aide dealt with swiftly; recipe site down for revision
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
WASHINGTON – Call it plagiarized passion fruit mousse. Or a farfalle fake. Or maybe stolen slaw.
Republican Sen. John McCain‘s presidential campaign reprimanded an intern for claiming several Food Network recipes were those of McCain’s wife, Cindy.
The campaign Web site had featured “McCain Family Recipes” including Passion Fruit Mousse, Ahi Tuna with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Farfalle Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms, all seemingly identical to Food Network recipes. Another recipe, for rosemary chicken breasts and warm spinach salad with bacon, was similar to one by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
“One of our web interns apparently appointed Rachel Ray as the senior policy adviser in our campaign’s department of gourmet,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said Wednesday. “The intern was dealt with swiftly, and the site is down for revision. Our apologies to the Food Network.”
The Huffington Post blew the whistle Tuesday on the pirated recipes.
Recipes spiced up the campaign of a former GOP rival, Mitt Romney, whose wife Ann contributed Meatloaf Cakes and Welsh Skillet Cakes to Romney’s Web site.
There are no recipes yet on the Web sites of Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s