City Desk

Hot Dog Lunch Correction

Despite my earlier report, it looks like PETA's lettuce ladies didn't have very meaty competition at the Rayburn Office Building today. American Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley wrote and called in to CP to say that the AMI lunch is next week, not today, as I reported earlier.

"I guess PETA was so excited to protest our Hot Dog Lunch that they came a week early—and convinced you to cover 'dueling lunches' that didn’t occur," wrote Riley.

On the phone, Riley described the calendar disconnect this way: "A girl from PETA called me a while back, asking if we were going to be having the hot dog lunch this year," says Riley. "I asked what office she was calling from, and she kept saying, 'my office, my office.' Eventually I said, 'you're from PETA, right?' and she sort of sheepishly said that she was. But she never asked what the date was. I think she got nervous and hung up."

Adds Riley, "You know, the funny thing about it is, every year we're having this event that is jam-packed, and we are turning people away because hot dogs are so popular. And outside they have to have people in lettuce leaf bikinis trying to entice people to eat their food because everyone prefers hot dogs."

Riley says the AMI will wear "conservative khakis and golf shirts" at their event, which will, actually, be held next Wednesday, July 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Rayburn Building.

"It’s going to take more than a few girls in lettuce leaf bikinis to wrestle this beloved food out of Americans’ hands," Riley wrote in an e-mail, adding: "Be sure to visit our new Hot Dog Etiquette video—it’s much more interesting than PETA’s erroneous media advisories. It was also the top featured video on You Tube July 4. It’s 2 ½ minutes long and will give you a good laugh after the irritation of having to retract your story.

Photo by CJ Sorg

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  • J.

    Good retraction, I think the Riley lady is a comedian (not being sarcastic- I swear). Oh, The video link doesn't work =)

  • Amanda Hess

    Thanks J. -- it's fixed. It's been a long hot dog day.

  • Matthew Borlik

    HAVE A HOT DOg!@

  • PETA

    Oops, looks like Amanda Mess--sorry, I mean Hess--has compounded her original inaccuracy with another one. A careful look at PETA’s press release (
    reveals that we made no mention of AMI’s hot dog lunch. Our veggie dog giveaway was timed to coincide with National Veggie Dog Day, which we have to admit we invented ourselves to counter the relentless propaganda that spews forth during National Hot Dog Month (July). Looks like somebody has ground-up snouts, anuses, eyeballs, and intestines on their face, and it isn’t PETA. Visit for delicious veg recipes and more.

  • Amanda Hess

    Hi PETA,

    I was never directed to any press release when I spoke over the phone to Ashely Byrne, who was listed on the Reuter's Daybook as the contact person for the event. When I asked for a website, Byrne directed me to, but all I could find were exposes about urine in KFC and blogs asking what my Favorite Corey Feldman Movie was. Just because a single press release "reveals" that that single press release makes no mention of AMI's hot dog lunch doesn't mean that your spokespeople don't make mention of it in interviews, as Byrne did. Byrne told me over the phone that the event was scheduled "for the day that the Hot Dog and Sausage Council has traditionally held their hot dog events on Capitol Hill." I never stated that any PETA press release mentioned AMI. If you want to respond to AMI's assertions on this blog, however, you have my phone number.

  • Maya

    Meat stinks!

  • Ryan

    Watching that video was great. Because you posted that I'm going to have drumsticks tonite.

  • Alberto

    "Watching that video..."

    That might've been funnier if you got the domain name right, genius. Because you posted that, I'm going to have your mother tonight.