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Former Clark Atlanta University Student Talks Life After Exposing Plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s Speech

Posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2016


Contact: Mario Boone

ATLANTA (AUG. 31, 2016)     Former Clark Atlanta University (CAU) student Jarrett Hill became an instant household name in July, during opening night of the Republican National Convention.  His notoriety began with a single tweet in which he accused Donald Trump’s wife of plagiarizing sections of a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama during Mrs. Trump’s address to Republicans.  He said he noticed similarities in the speeches while watching it from a Starbucks in Los Angeles where he lives.  His claim, later backed up by fact-checkers, sent political shockwaves around the world.  It also propelled the out-of-work reporter to weeks of cable news and network TV interviews because he was the first person to point out the discrepancy.

“It has been nuts,” said Hill of his sudden fame.  “I have been in a lot of spaces that I never had the opportunity to be in before,” he said, including being invited to the Democratic National Convention and the annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists.  He also has been able to meet people he never thought he would even be in the same room with like BET’s Debra Lee and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.  “I still don’t believe that it happened.”

Two months since Hill inadvertently broke one of the biggest political stories of 2016, he explained how his life has changed for the better.  “There are some cool developments,” he shared, like recurring appearances on Access Hollywood.  He also has been offered several freelance reporting opportunities, and he has several TV projects in the works.  However, the elusive network TV reporter job has not developed.

Hill credits being ready for his impromptu time on the world political stage in part to the one-year he spent at CAU from 2005-2006 and, a simple motto he learned while here, “I’ll find a way or make one.”  The former CAU-TV news anchor and publisher of his own newsletter while at Clark Atlanta said that’s the message he hopes current CAU students learn from his recent moment in the spotlight.   

“I have been finding a way or making one since I was 15,” he repeated. “If you can’t get in a door, build a new door.” 

Category: University Media
Keywords: Jarrett Hill