The New York Times reports that a prominently placed section of the John McCain website that was devoted to his wife's cooking recipes was actually copied verbatim from the Food Network:
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.
For example, in the 1988 Democratic Primary race, "Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr., a U.S. senator from Delaware, was driven from the nomination battle after delivering, without attribution, passages from a speech by British Labor party leader Neil Kinnock." WaPost.Com
What is plagiarism?Plagiarism is misrepresenting somebody else's intellectual work - ideas, information, writing, thinking - as your own. In other words, it is a misuse of source material. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is a serious violation of Cornell's Code of Academic Integrity. Cornell University
Now we discover that McCain's campaign deliberately took entire recipes from the Food Network and presented them, on McCain's official website, as Cindy McCain's "family recipes," which was a bold-faced lie.
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. NYTimesAre John McCain's claims to "straight-talk" really just a lot of flatulence?
Of course, McCain blames the plagiarism on an intern and claims that the intern has been fired. Who is that fired intern? Is he or she available for an interview to confirm or deny the McCain campaign's version of events? Did the same low-level McCain aide plagiarize both the articles published in 2007 and those published a year later, in 2008? That strains credulity.
What's clear now is that the McCain campaign has "plagiarized" and the media, including the New York Times, is loath to use the precise term that most aptly applies.