Accuracy in Media

The left was having a rough go of it during the first night of the Republican convention, when they stumbled on their saving grace. Melania Trump, Donald’s wife, had given a warmly received speech that highlighted her grace and charm, and the values she shares with her husband. But around midnight, social media began to erupt with comparisons to Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008.

It was a night where Hillary Clinton was blasted for lying to family members of those killed in Benghazi. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called the mother of one of those victims a liar. It was a night where the black sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, David Clarke, called out the left for its anti-police rhetoric and the consequences it is reaping. There were references to Hillary’s shameful and illegal handling of classified material, including Top Secret and even more secret Special Access Program materials. Critics were calling day one of the convention a poorly organized event, since Melania’s speech turned out not to be the climax of the evening, but a prelude to several other effective national security speeches that rambled on, and were delivered before a dwindling crowd.

As the evening proceeded, irony and hypocrisy filled the media section of the convention center. The hour from midnight to 1 a.m. saw both MSNBC and CNN go wall to wall with shock, outrage, and pretend-sympathy for Melania. The evidence was definitive, proclaimed Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews, along with MSNBC’s Republican voices Steve Schmidt and Michael Steele. Guilty as charged, trial to be held later. From the tone of the discussion, this was worse than Watergate, and was going to be the ultimate test of how Trump would react to a crisis. Would he fire the speechwriter? Or would the speechwriter, as Matthews advised, fall on his or her sword and immediately resign to save the campaign?

At first glance it is hard to conclude anything other than that parts of the speech were ripped from Michelle’s speech. And, if so, someone should be thrown overboard. But the statements in question, found in just two paragraphs of the speech, were largely platitudes that could be found in many speeches: “My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect,” said Melania. But again, the order and exact use of certain words look bad for whoever tried to pull this off. Matthews suggested that it was so blatant that it might have been purposeful sabotage. Who knows?

The campaign struggled to come up with a reply, and when they did, shortly after 2 a.m. ET, it said the following:

“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love…for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

Jason Miller

Senior Communications Advisor

But as is usually the case, there was more to this story. First, Melania is not the candidate. Does it make the campaign organization look bad? Sure. But now look at Barack Obama, when he was running for president, stealing parts of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s speech, as the Drudge Report was quick to remind us.

What sort of outrage did that generate when it was exposed?

Then there is the fact that MSNBC was being anchored at the time by Brian Williams, who looked like a deer in the headlights, as the rest of the panel were talking about dishonesty and deception, and wondered how the Trump campaign could possibly keep this speechwriter on the team? How could MSNBC and NBC keep Brian Williams on their team after the dozens of lies he told his audience over a period of years, to make himself seem more important and bolder than he actually was.

And what about Hillary’s series of lies? From the innocent, stupid lies such as her claim that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Mt. Everest and gained worldwide recognition several years after she was born; to her lie about ducking sniper fire on a runway in Bosnia, a lie that even MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell helped expose since she had been there with her.

All MSNBC was lacking was Mike Barnicle, a regular on their Morning Joe show, another liberal who was caught repeatedly plagiarizing and making stuff up, but still has a career on MSNBC.

And what about the bigger picture? How does this compare to Hillary Clinton’s lies to the family members of the dead in Benghazi? How does this compare to the series of lies Hillary told to Congress and the public about her handling of classified material on her unsecured server?

Paul Manafort, Trump campaign chair, insisted on CNN that “These were common words and values. She cares about her family…To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.” It’s certainly not likely that Melania did it herself.

Tiffany Gabbay, writing for Truth Revolt, showed how it could be argued that Michelle Obama actually plagiarized her 2008 remarks, citing a couple of examples.

“Working hard, treating people with dignity and respect, and keeping your promises—or knowing that ‘your word is your bond’—are not groundbreaking concepts conjured up by Michelle Obama in 2008,” writes Gabbay. “Nor were they on Monday evening when Melania Trump made these same statements.”

Former President George W. Bush’s speechwriter Marc Thiessen has detailed how, in a speech in which he made the case for military action in Syria, President Obama plagiarized Bush’s case for going to war in Iraq. And Joel Pollak of Breitbart has documented much more substantive examples of plagiarism by President Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. This issue may prove to be a can of worms the left would prefer to have left dormant. But for Monday night, it served to obscure the important messages coming from the podium.

Steve Schmidt, talking about this latest kerfuffle, said that Barack Obama was the best writer of any president since Abraham Lincoln. Is he not aware that Obama didn’t even write his own autobiography? Dreams from My Father was written primarily by the unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayers, who was a founder of the communist Weather Underground, as is well documented in Jack Cashill’s great book, Deconstructing Obama. The evidence in this case is overwhelming, though the media ignored the book so as not to have to deal with this messy issue.

Or how about Obama’s lies on everything from Obamacare to the economy to the so-called Iran nuclear deal?

The hounds of the liberal media have found a vulnerability they believe they can ride for days because it overshadows the devastating critique of the Obama/Clinton record coming from the speakers at the GOP convention. Only time will tell how this will play out.

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  • Premium

    One big fat nothingburger.

  • IronChefSandwiches

    As usual, you idiots are missing the bigger picture here. The Drumpf campaign is SO comically inept, unprepared, and pathetic. THAT’s the takeaway. Oh, and you’re still lying through your teeth with the majority of you Clinton accusations. The only people that believe Aronoff are people who already hate all Democrats. You’re tilting at windmills and only the braindead are listening.

  • R D

    Melania sang the same song so much better!

  • missieb2000

    Was kinda handy how they used this waste of airtime to obfuscate Mrs. Bills top pick for Veep being under FBI investigation now.

  • zapman95020

    If that’s the best they’ve got, it’s Trump by a landslide.

  • zapman95020

    You sir are a turd sandwich.

  • Mac

    Keep trying, numb nuts.

  • rac647

    Like I said on Powerline earlier, my dad used the same exact words with me when I graduated from HS back in the 60’s. I told my sons the same thing using the same words when they graduated in the 90’s as did millions of dad’s. Democrats need to get a life. And as for Chris Matthews, I have one question, have you ever served in the military? No. Then keep you damn mouth shut, you pig.

  • hap46

    Look it up on the internet under “Clinton plagiarism” and besides her examples, you can find Slick Willy, King Obama’s, Joe Biden’s and many, many other politicians’ “oops”. Why the big deal about Mrs. Trump that the CEO’s of all the major, national networks attacked her continuously? The internet says that Melania speech, similar to Michelle Obama’s in 2008 was actually Michelle Obama plagiarizing from Alinsky’s (socialist activist that Hillary Clinton had much contact with when she was in college. By the way, Mr. Aronoff, this was a great column and I appreciate your contribution.


    Everything that the Obammunists have tried so far has failed. The witch’s maniacal playing of the gender card (“Deeeeeeeeeal me innnnnn!”) reminded voters of her spouse’s serial rapes and her role in covering them up. The “star of David” tweet reminded voters that Trump’s son converted to Judaism on marrying a Jew, that his grandchildren are Jewish and that we are ruled by a muslim who hates Israel and about to elect a hag who uses the “k” word all the time. The photo-op in front of the closed casino reminded voters of just how many businesses the regime has put under. The fake Indian calling Trump a fraud backfired badly, as did the claim that he would use the IRS against his political opponents. This is all they could find in the first night of the convention, and it is truly rich coming from the party that boasts compulsive plagiarist Joe Biden as a luminary. There is no comparison between a multilingual supermodel and businesswoman who escaped from Communist tyranny and an angry uppity harridan, feeding pigswill to helpless schoolchildren in designer gowns bought with our taxes, with a small resume, a large butt and a big mouth.

  • Ted

    Pretty funny that a Republican presidential candidate’s wife stole a goodly portion of a speech originally by the Democratic president’s wife!

    It just goes to show that these political mooks have reached the point where NONE of them have any scruples, ethics, or honor … and that they’re all willing to cheat, steal and lie to advance themselves.

    Pretty sad commentary … but … that’s what you get from the 1%. After a generation or two … it’s in their genes!

  • Ted

    So … what the hell. Prior bad behavior justifies current bad behavior. So, let’s just do it. What the hell.

  • Ted

    You got that right! (!!!)

  • Cliff

    If this it what the left is going to hang the rut hat on?? They better hang it up Trviveil pursuit ..

  • Cliff

    Oh?? And Potato is not spell right????

  • Cliff

    Kudos to Mr Aronoff! Great work as usual!

  • Cliff

    Iron balls go back to checking your snap card and all the free stuff you have bilk from the working man and woman and while your doing it! Don’t play with yourself .??

  • rebeccadewhirst

    It’s a shame the RNC didn’t let her use her own words because she has so much grace and style…makes Hillary and Michelle look tacky

  • Joey888

    I am old enough to remember that potato USED to be spelled with an e at the end. I also remember when I was marked WRONG on a spelling test because I spelled the word COLOR this way: COLOUR. I also remember when we spelled theater this way: THEATRE. But my point is this: we ALL say the same things just a little bit differently, and even if these very words were, in fact, lifted from MICHAEL’S horrible speech of 2008, Melania said the same words with much more style, grace, elegance and from the heart and soul. Michael has no soul. Hellary is an evil practicing witch. Be VERY CAREFUL voters. This is our LAST CHANCE to get it right. VOTE FOR DONALD J. TRUMP.

  • Ron

    These disgusting liberal socialist’s attacks on plagiarism have been a part of democrat politicians for years. An example;

    ”Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

    words were made famous by United States President John F. Kennedy in
    his 1961 inauguration speech. He should have said, ”In the words of
    Kahlil Gibran … ”, referring to the Lebanese-American poet and artist
    who lived from 1883 to 1931.

    But Gibran never intended these words
    to be addressed by a president to his people. He was writing an open
    letter, in Arabic, to Lebanese parliamentarians in 1925, during the fall
    of the Ottoman Empire. His letter was titled ”The New Frontier”,
    which gives a completely different meaning and context. ”Are you a
    politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one
    asking what you can do for your country?” he wrote. ”If you are the
    first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in
    the desert.”

    JFK even used the new frontier idea in his
    convention acceptance speech, a few months earlier, and later made it a
    theme of his administration, saying: ”We stand today on the edge of a
    new frontier – the frontier of the 1960s, the frontier of unknown
    opportunities and perils, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled
    Democrats, go suck a bug.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    Just how old are you? Noah Webster cleared up the colour change back in 1828. Potato was well.

  • Joey888

    I went to Catholic schools. I remember how they made us spell the words. I am 72. I was not born in the 19th century, but the Catholic church kept the tradition going. So don’t put too much trust in what you read in books. LIFE HAPPENS whether you like it or not.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    Don’t put too much trust in an American Dictionary published in 1828???

  • Joey888

    You can call a rose by any other name, but it is still a rose. Thanks, but no lectures. I’m long ago out of school.

  • Tbear

    Only the libtard media would make a big deal over a few dozen words!!!!

  • tomads

    How does one plagiarize stale cliches?

  • rangerider

    I went to school in the fortys to 1958 and we spelled potatoe the same 🙂

  • Sam


  • Steven Barrett

    Notice who demonstrated the class act tonight of not mentioning anything about Melania Trump’s plagiarism? Hint, it’s the same woman Mrs. Trump lifted words from and wants to succeed.

  • Dave

    Yes! I was the only student in 5th grade that attempted to “correct” our teacher’s pronunciation of the archaic English word common on many business signs, “Ye” (as in Ye Ole Tavern. She had read an example in literature and pronounced it as “Yee” in typical American fashion. Archaic English used the symbol Y to replace TH in many manuscripts, but “Ye” was pronounced as, “thee”. Many more common mispronouciations can be found in early attempts to write native American or Hawaiian names or words in English letters. Indigenous people didn’t have written languages and early attempts by foreigners to arrange English letters to write their words distorted the pronunciation to suit English or other European tongues. Reading old maps and manuscripts is sometimes comical.

  • Dave

    As an adult interested in Montana history, I met a professor that studied extensively and wrote books about the Lewis & Clark expedition. I was surprised when he informed me that the name of the native girl that guided them was pronounced more like “Sa-ka-ka-way-ah” not “Sack-a-jawa” as I had been taught by teachers unfamiliar with indigenous languages.
    The careless and pompous tendency of modern American English speaking educators to distort pronunciations I find insulting to indigenous peoples and young students like myself. Amazing the colour of language!

  • Dave

    I venture to say that nearly everything worth saying has already been said by someone. Whether restated using same or similar word arrangements or (if even possible) entirely different words, doesn’t diminish the message. If her speech is the only thing Democrats can criticize, they’re desperate. MSM attempts to create controversy over nothing.

  • Dave

    Most amazing, me thinks! Where’s the manufactured outrage?

  • Joey888

    Very interesting!!! Thanks!