Recipegate

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In an election that has had everything from a candidate who saw a UFO to a Ron Paul and his cross of gold to a minister who would definitely keep me awake on Sunday mornings to a shot-swillin’, imaginary-shot-duckin’ Hillary Clinton, now we have a scandal that could derail the McCain candidacy:

Recipegate ’08

A couple of days ago on The Huffington Post – apparently the new place to get breaking news – David Weiner wrote that several of the McCain Family Recipes on the candidate’s website had been lifted, word for word, from Food Network’s website:

This past Sunday, Lauren Handel, an eagle-eyed attorney from New York, was searching for a specific recipe from Giada DeLaurentis, a chef on the Food Network. Yet whenever she Googled the different ingredients in the recipe, the oddest thing happened: not only did the Food Network’s site come up, as expected, but so did John McCain’s campaign site.

On a section of McCain’s site called “Cindy’s Recipes,” you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading “McCain Family Recipe.” Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the “McCain Family Recipes,” were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

At least three of the “McCain Family Recipes” (below) appear to be lifted directly from the Food Network, while at least one is a Rachael Ray recipe with minor changes.

Weiner included screen shots so that you can compare and judge whether a high crime or misdemeanor has taken place.

A short time later, the story made its way through the blogosphere to CNN’s Political Ticker and then to the Caucus. By then, the McCain campaigned had taken the offending recipes down, fired an intern and locked Mrs. McCain out of the kitchen.

The teflon non-stick Pam, patron saint of straight talk sought to defuse the situation with a little humor. To wit (really):

“Apparently a web intern added Rachael Ray to our policy team without her knowing it,” McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds told CNN Tuesday morning. “He was swiftly dealt with and the page is down for revision. Our apologies to Food Network …but according to our press assistant the passion fruit mousse is really worth trying.”

And on The Caucus:

By midmorning, the McCain campaign had taken down all seven recipes from 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 McCain campaign spokesman, who declined to provide details. Nonetheless, he said, “we took away his zero pay.’’

So you can now check recipe-related intern scandal off of your list of things to see in this election.

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