Networks that hammered Melania Trump gave Obama a pass on plagiarism

by WorldTribune Staff, July 21, 2016

The attack dogs of the leftist media were unleashed after Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama in a portion of Mrs. Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention.

When then-candidate Barack Obama was caught plagiarizing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick during a speech in 2008, the same attack dogs weren’t barking.

Michelle Obama and Melania Trump
Michelle Obama and Melania Trump

In coverage on July 19-20, NBC, CBS and ABC combined to devote 59 minutes and 25 seconds to the flap over similarities in Melania Trump’s speech vs. one given by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention.

In contrast, the three networks combined for just 14 minutes of coverage on the Barack Obama plagiarism controversy.

On NBC’s Today, correspondent Hallie Jackson ran the speeches by Melania Trump and Michelle Obama through an online word analyzer to document the overlap: “The popular plagiarism site found that six percent of Trump’s entire speech matched the First Lady’s eight years ago. Word for word, the site found, Trump used 23 of the same words in a row that Obama did.”

As with the 2016 flap, all three networks ran clips of Barack Obama’s Feb. 16, 2008 speech alongside clips from Patrick’s Oct. 15, 2006 speech using identical language to argue that inspiring rhetoric matters: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal — just words. We have nothing to fear but fear itself — just words.”

The Feb. 19, 2008 Today show on NBC included a long interview co-host Matt Lauer had conducted with Obama the day before, at the height of the controversy, but Lauer never asked Obama about his plagiarism.

ABC did the most to excuse Obama’s conduct. “Politicians steal slogans more often than comedians steal jokes,” correspondent David Wright argued on the Feb. 18 World News.