Fort Smith Times Record Backtracks…Sort of

UPDATE:  Shortly after publishing this, the reference to Reese Witherspoon reappeared inserted between two recipes.  My apologies.  I’m at a loss to figure this one out.

Several weeks ago, Paula S. left the following comment on our Heavenly Fodder post:

1. Just too funny. Please tell us more. Is “Heavenly Fodder” still in print? Wouldn’t it be a hoot if someone showed up at one of her public appearances wanting her to autograph her recipes in the OTHER book, rather than her own? I read in the paper this weekend that she is to be appearing near my town this fall. The local food writer gushed as if she were writing about the second coming.

I posted a follow-up comment requesting a link to the article and Paula S. kindly provided it. When I opened it, I read yet another glowing, nauseating account of the little ol’ ranch wife a/k/a The Pioneer Woman containing the following language:

Rumor has it that Academy-Award winner Reese Witherspoon (“Walk The Line”) will play Pioneer Woman. I wonder if Reese (eerily close to Ree, don’t you think?

Fort Smith Times Record – Apr 20, 2011

I decided to contact the author, Jay Harshaw and sent her the following e-mail:

Dear Ms. Harshaw,

I was recently referred to your great column. I love the wide variety of recipes that you post. 

There seems to be quite a following of Pioneer Woman fans and thus quite a few of her recipes appear on your site. I was wondering if you knew where many of Ree Drummond’s recipes originate. If you do not, I invite you to read my blog, The Marlboro Woman.

 I noted as well your report that Reese Witherspoon is rumored to play the role of the pioneer woman if and when the Lifetime Channel moves forward with this movie of the week project. In this video from Feb. of this year, Drummond clearly states that Witherspoon has never signed on for the project. Deadline Hollywood first ran this piece suggesting, not confirming, that the project was being developed as a vehicle possibly for Witherspoon. In fact, neither Witherspoon nor her spokesperson have ever officially commented on the project. Stranger things have happened, but for an academy award-winning actress to appear in a film about the life of a woman who has managed to delude the Internet gullible into believing she’s a “little ol’ ranch wife” is quite a stretch. 

Ree Drummond never left the big city lifestyle, she merely adapted it to the Pawhuska ranch where she lives with her multi-millionaire husband. By the way, the Drummonds are one of the largest landowners in the U.S. and they derive a portion of their annual income from the Bureau of Land Management who pays them to provide land for wild mustangs to roam. It’s nothing but a government welfare program funded by YOU and ME. In addition, Ree has tons of hired help and homeschool tutors so she can pursue her big city lifestyle: tv appearances, book signings, remodeling a guest house into a television studio, blogging and on and on.

You honestly don’t believe she’s writing books, traveling to promote them, maintaining a multi-layered blog, taking photos, editing them and shooting a television show while herding cattle, sweeping up cow patties, raising children and doing laundry? Nothing about this gal rings true. On the one hand she advocates a lifestyle she doesn’t live because she’s married to a wealthy cattle rancher who in turn has bankrolled her blog furnishing her with top of the line photography equipment and editing software plus financing the refurbishing of a building (allegedly a guest house) on their property to house a television studio for her upcoming tv show. Sorry, I know that was quite a run-on sentence. 

As a journalist yourself, do you take everything at face value or do you stand back and think, hmmmmm, I need to look into this a little more? You realize that Ree Drummond retains a high priced public relations firm to promote this fairy tale? It’s really very, very sad to think that people spend their hard-earned money to buy this woman’s books and oftentimes travel great distances to get them signed. This whole charade needs some serious scrutiny and that’s why The Marlboro Woman was launched. We receive information on a daily basis about who the real Ree Drummond is.


When I checked the link today, the blurb about Reese Witherspoon had been removed entirely. In fact, the only way you can read that portion of the original article is through a Google search. Jay Harshaw did the right thing and deleted what amounted to nothing more than rumor.  We applaud Ms. Harshaw’s professionalism.

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7 Responses to Fort Smith Times Record Backtracks…Sort of

  1. Lily says:

    Good e-mail and great work Malrboro Woman. Thank you for being a voice for us duped by PW folks out there.

  2. Amanda says:

    Reese Witherspoon played in Sweet Home Alabama when she was younger. She’s now just 40 I believe, and an accomplished, seasoned actress who is probably looking for parts to challenge her just as Nicole Kidman moved on to different roles. I think this whole Reese Witherspoon stuff got started with this interview with Forbes when they asked PW who she would want to play her. Here’s the link:

    Good letter by the way!

  3. Good work MW. Keep us posted. Do you think Reese would ever play gREEd? Could she be that hard up for a role? That would be rock bottom for her. Reese would need to gain a lot of weight and make her voice sound like Melanie Griffith on helium.

  4. Paula S. says:

    MW, I checked the link from this post, from our original exchange on the Heavenly Fodder post, and direct from a fresh google search, and in all three cases, the references to Witherspoon are back. If you have not heard from Jay, I would seriously consider sending her an email of the whole Heavenly Fodder post. Anyone who is in the business of writing about recipes should see that evidence presented.

    • The Marlboro Woman says:

      Interesting, I just saw that as well. It’s in there stuck between 2 recipes. How weird! I recall it being in the body of the main post. Well, I’ll post an update.

  5. Paula S. says:

    Yes, your e-letter to Jay was excellent. I hope you caused her to check this site and also google a bit and learn the truth. And thanks for being polite and giving her a way to redeem herself; she seems to be a pretty nice lady and people here really enjoy her column.

  6. Penny H. says:

    I liked your e-mail… was well-written and articulate. Good job!