A recipe for trouble
By HOWIE CARR at the New York Post
The bloodlines aren’t “faint”; they’re nonexistent. You may still hear that her claim to be one-thirty-second Cherokee is merely “dubious”; in fact, it’s false.
Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color,” as the Fordham Law Review put it, is whiter than Ivory Snow.
Yet much of the media continues to look away from a scandal that would have driven any Republican from the race weeks ago.
When national Democrats handpicked her to unseat freshman Republican Scott Brown (who is, it should be noted, a white man), Warren’s credentials seemed impeccable; she claimed last fall to have provided the “intellectual foundations” of the Occupy movement.
The 62-year-old “Okie” (as the Native American emeritus now describes herself) began checking the box, as they say, back in 1984 — and her academic career immediately took off. The newly minted minority catapulted from the University of Texas to the Ivy League, first Penn (where her name was boldfaced in faculty directories to indicate her minority status) and then Harvard.
If Warren hadn’t decided to run for the Senate, she’d still be an Indian. But three weeks ago, it got out that Harvard had been bragging about her as a “minority” hire as far back as 1996. This led the newspapers to ask the New England Historic Genealogical Society to trace her roots. A day or so later, their top researcher reported finding a 2006 family online newsletter, that mentioned an 1894 application for a marriage license in Oklahoma that supposedly listed her great-great-great grandmother as a Cherokee. Thus, the one-thirty-second claim.
The next day, Warren’s greatest cheerleader, The Boston Globe, breathlessly announced that “an 1894 document” had been “unearthed.” Maybe she could have brazened it out — but then Warren stumbled into her own personal Little Big Horn.
In a press release, she touted both the supposed 1894 document and an obscure 1984 Indian cookbook, “Pow Wow Chow” (edited by her late cousin), as proof of her tribal origins.
Then a Breitbart researcher, Michael Patrick Leahy, called Logan County in Oklahoma, where the document would have been filed. The county clerk told him that in 1894 there was no such thing as a marriage-license application — only a license, with no box to check off for race.
Cherokee spokesmen called for her to release her law-school job applications, but Warren stonewalled. Asked why she had claimed Indian heritage, she cited an old photograph of her “papaw,” her grandfather, who “had high cheekbones, like all the Indians do.”
As for claiming Native American status in minority law-school directories, she said she’d done it simply in hope of being “invited to a luncheon . . . with people like me.” Right.
Then the Breitbart blogger got a copy of “Pow Wow Chow,” supposedly a compilation of “special recipes passed down through the Five Tribes families.”
Five recipes came from “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.” At least two were plagiarized — lifted verbatim from The New York Times. They’d been developed by “60-minute gourmet” Pierre Franey as chef at Le Pavillon, the mid-century center of haute cuisine in Manhattan.
One of them — for cold crab omelet — Franey wrote in 1979, was a particular favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and composer Cole Porter.
The French-recipe story broke Friday morning, and the mother of Occupy Wall Street was suddenly an international punchline:
* “Funny, she doesn’t look Siouxish.”
* What’s Liz Warren’s favorite kitchen utensil? The crockpot.
* Her favorite meal? Cooked goose or macaroni and Cochise.
Warren is trying to stop the hemorrhaging with a $1.6 million TV buy featuring a photo of her with President Obama. She now grants interviews only to in-the-tank media, like MSNBC.
Count on much of the press to stick by Warren as she trudges down her personal Trail of Tears. This weekend, a Times columnist dismissed her fraudulent ethnic claims as a “tragicomic . . . whim” more deserving of “sympathy than scorn.”
Presumably, that goes for the lifted Times recipes, too.
Howie Carr is a Boston Herald columnist.