Opinion: Ooops, Cindy McCain’s recipe for recipe plagiarism

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Take one 26-month presidential campaign. Mix in pervasive 24-hour media that have to find something to say or film or write around the clock. Add -- what? -- 1,000 television channels, each one slicing another piece of American life thinly, from Irish jewelry to left-handed golfers.

Stir in a dollop of voter curiosity.

And there you have the modern-day political campaign, which is trying to develop credible, debatable policies to guide the United States of America for the next four to eight years, but is being besieged by you wouldn’t believe how many different organizations to complete policy questionnaires and also answer some of the most inane feature questions you could imagine.


Not just boxers vs. briefs. But a candidate’s favorite movie from childhood. Favorite bed-time story. Most romantic vacation. Biggest surprise in life. Most delicious food. Favorite hymn. Worst movie ever.

Answering these are the jobs that get passed to the...

lowliest campaign staffer, who is coincidentally the least likely to know the accurate answers. It makes sense in the high-pressure world of presidential politics.

Aren’t you dying to know the favorite homemade dish of the next possible president?

So to save time, they put all this stuff on the website. But now the McCain campaign has been outted by and the Huffington Post for a kind of cereal plagiarizing of Cindy McCain’s alleged favorite recipes.

Some intern, likely the daughter of a contributor taking a semester off from school, posted the Arizona senator’s wife’s favorite recipes, the campaign says. Just to look at the beer distributor heiress, anyone can tell she spends five to six hours a day over the stove.

Trouble is, those recipes already existed on the Food Network. And other places. And as David Weiner points out, when you Google certain ingredients, you get both the Food Network and the McCain campaign website.

An unlikely melange, shall we say.

According to the campaign, the Web recipe pages have been taken down. The intern has no doubt been diced and sliced. But they discovered something in the process.

It was a really popular feature. So the McCain folks are gonna put up new Cindy McCain favorite recipe pages. As soon as the oven reaches 450 degrees.

Next comes the favorite dishes that Bill Clinton likes to whip up after a hard day of criticizing other people.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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