KSU grad, former 11 Aliver Jarrett Hill discovered Melania Trump/Michelle Obama speech similarities

Jarrett Hill

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jarrett Hill, the media observer who first flagged the similarities between elements of Melania Trump’s speech last night with that of Michelle Obama in 2008, has plenty of Atlanta ties.

And like many people in the media world nowadays, he has been itinerant over the past decade.

According to his Linkedin page, the northern California native is a Kennesaw State University graduate who worked as a production assistant and camera operator at the local NBC affiliate 11 Alive (WXIA-TV) from 2006 to 2010. He interned at PR firm Fletcher Martin and CNN and produced a Sirius/XM radio show before moving to Los Angeles in 2010. He was also a strategic marketer for AIDS Walk Atlanta for several years.

Once on the West Coast, he did some post production for “America’s Next Top Model,” was a cruise director for Celebrity Cruises and became a production assistant for the briefly revived “Ricki Lake Show.” He also did casting for TBS’s Howie Mandel reality show “Deal With It.”

He worked briefly in Tampa Bay as a digital producer in 2014 and 2015 and has contributed to Huffington Post as a blogger for several years on subjects such as homophobia and the Orlando shootings. He has also hosted a podcast called Back2Reality.

Hill started his own interior design firm last year Jarrett Hill Design. On his Twitter page, he also describes himself as a “DIY enthusiast” and “Dope Cook.”

I reached out to him via email and Facebook but he’s obviously busy. He did speak to the New York Times and said he had been recently laid off. He was in a Los Angeles Starbucks watching the speech and one of Melania Trump’s lines –   “strength of your dreams” – reminded him of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.

“I thought, ‘That’s legit plagiarism,’” said Hill, who described himself as a supporter of President Obama. “‘Someone took this piece and plugged in their own information.’”

With all the heat following his discovery, he spent the day interacting with media, including visits to CNN, “Access Hollywood” and KTLA-TV.

“He’s a really sharp guy,” said Shawn Reynolds, who worked at 11 Alive with Hill in the late 2000s. “We Facebook message from time to time. I was on Twitter last night and noticed people re-tweeting him. I always knew he was destined for bigger things but who knew he’d change the narrative on the first night of the RNC?”

The story was still leading the New York Times website Tuesday afternoon. And it was a prime topic on news networks Tuesday morning.

Evelyn Mims, who worked at 11Alive for almost 39 years until 2014 as a producer and community relations specialist, remembered Hill was bursting with ideas and was very enthusiastic about social media in its relative early days. “He worked all the shifts,” she said. “But he realized he couldn’t move up. So he left. He’s in a better place.”

Former education reporter Donna Lowry, who took a buyout in the spring, in a text recalled he was a good writer and very funny to boot.

Fellow reporter Keith Whitney, who also left at the same time as Lowry, called him “one of those brilliant creative young people that you’re glad to see get into journalism. Loved working with him! He was a floor director then. Funny and passionate. We will be hearing more from him in the future.”

Here’s Hill’s Tweet that caused the ruckus:

Reader Comments 0

130 comments
Marie Snowden
Marie Snowden

I just lost everything except a picture of the student. I guess Trump had Facebook remove it.

Allen Hill
Allen Hill

I wish that Trump or I had the power to remove your PC ignorant comments from Facebook. It has been resolved that a speech writer wrote those words for her. Can you keep up with the news? Or are you a homosexual being catered to by Hillary Clinton for votes?

Marie Snowden
Marie Snowden

I just read today that he had many unpaid debts. If he won't pay his own, what makes you think he's going to pay the country's. You go ahead and keep your head in the sand or try checking him out. I've seen a lot about him that I won't go into because you don't want to listen.

Cindy Galloway Daniel
Cindy Galloway Daniel

What Ever......maybe he Needs to figure out All of the damage and lies Obama has done as president.

Derrick Smith
Derrick Smith

Keep up the great work, the truth/speech shall set you free DT & MT. Melania has been watching our magnificent First Lady Michelle Obama speech for months & rehearsing 24/7. Melania can not speak English correctly and no way interested or else she could have earned a English degree from Trump University in 2 minutes.

Allen Hill
Allen Hill

It has been resolved that a speech writer wrote those words for her. Can you keep up with the news? Or are you a homosexual being catered to by Hillary Clinton for votes?

Linda Vick
Linda Vick

Plagiarism and paraphrasing are two very different things. If he's so smart why didn't he think of that.

Sha Richard
Sha Richard

Because paraphrasing is putting it in to your "own" words. And she did not. So if you knew the true definition of paraphrase, you wouldn't have asked that question. It's okay. We all get confused with stuff sometimes. I learn new stuff everyday.

Ashli Hale
Ashli Hale

If it's 5 consecutive words that are exactly the same...that's considered plagiarism...anyone with a high school diploma knows this....23 of 26 consecutive words makes this fall under plagiarism. Yikes!!! Make America smart again....

Linda Vick
Linda Vick

Wow it took you six hours to look that up on the Internet. Go post some more pictures of yourself on your page, because that's all you're full of, yourself. Bye bye little HS grad.

Allen Hill
Allen Hill

A speech writer for Melania Trump has confessed so this is old news. Now I hope this young African American can discover that the Democratic leadership is destroying America morally. I lived in Midtown Atlanta, the mecca of Atlanta gays, and I knew some homosexuals dying from a AIDS and some homosexuals who were huge weight lifters as well. Are you unaware that some professional football players are homosexuals? And though I am a heterosexual, I also went to a gay nightclub and saw the signs in the Men’s restroom stalls that read “Only One Person in a Stall at a Time” and I saw the rooms where the gay men had group sex. I saw the shameless homosexuals in Piedmont Park in Midtown, with women wearing no tops and covered in tattoos, and ear rings and nose rings as they tried to intimidate me and my wife. I don’t get intimidated by homosexuals. They came down the streets on floats in a parade and simulated sex and acted “gay”. What’s “GAY” about AIDS, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?

Ryan Mclean
Ryan Mclean

LOL what in the hell does this paranoia diatribe about your hate and obsession for homosexuals have to do with this story? Are you insane? Bets are you're a closeted self loathing homosexual .Most are who write garbage like this…and if you're straight what are you doing hanging out in gay bars?

Ryan Mclean
Ryan Mclean

and you chose to live in midtown when there are only like a thousand other neighborhoods you could have lived? I call bulllshit on your little fictitious story .

Liz Bracey
Liz Bracey

Someone forgot their meds again.

Ryan Mclean
Ryan Mclean

And I see you worked at Monsanto .. I'd be more worried about your guilty conscience of killing people with dangerous gmos than what consenting adults do in their bedroom

Mike Martin
Mike Martin

Yvonne thank you for those delicious shrimp

Lisa Foust
Lisa Foust

So this dude is actually being nice to Melania. He tweeted that she stole one paragraph from Michelle Obama, when in fact she stole two! But it's nice to know she admires the First Lady so much!

Dale Watson
Dale Watson

Every 4 years (and the last 8) stool pigeons rear their true colors..and get shot down..come November..you will crawl back under your rocks for another 4 years ! That is all! \U0001f602

Dona Elaine Hubbs
Dona Elaine Hubbs

It's hilarious to see all the left wing nut jobs freaking the fu!# out over our next POTUS. Bahaahaaa

Sheva Bree
Sheva Bree

And... top two comments as soon as I hit like. Racist as hell. Oy.

Vicki J Brooker
Vicki J Brooker

Who really cares? Michelle probably stole some of her speech from Laura Bush. People get over it.

Bonnie Chase
Bonnie Chase

Shane Burrell It's true check it out\U0001f60e

Anne Nelson
Anne Nelson

Congratulation Jarrett Hill, keep up the great work. We have your back because black lives matter, just block negativity on facebook AJC. When you block these angry people there comment rides away within their heart. This is not really what I want to say. We are proud out you & love everything that you do.

Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

You can't have the "award" because you could only match 2 you forgot the 3rd; the original! But we will give you the participant award so you don't feel left out.

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

It's obvious this Einstein missed that Michelle Obama copied parts of Her Speech from known Marxist Sol Alinsky from his book that Michelle and Barry and Hillary are fully aware of "Rules for Radicals" mic drop

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

Google "Did Michelle Obama Plagiarize Saul Alinsky" and it will direct you to this, but since my critics are ill informed uneducated high school urbanite dropouts and have ZERO Clue on who Obama's Communist mentors were then STFU I HATE Obama not because he's a Black man, I HATE his White Half also because this MUSLIM Snake Hates America

Wanda Marshall
Wanda Marshall

Neal Mckeown no she did not. It was one sentence in her speech that was similar. That is not plagiarism. Politofact fact checked it. By the way President Obama is not a Muslim and never have been one.

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

So I guess Wanda Marshall photo's of young Barry Soetoro in Muslim Clothing doesn't prove he IS A MUSLIM??? Also Wanda did you know Barrack went by the name of Barry Soetoro? This is 1000% fact, why does this Man who promised transparency when he is running for president hide from his own record? I mean you cannot even find his college grades or even if he went to these Ivy League schools and how in the hell did he get in there? I am waiting for your response

Wanda Marshall
Wanda Marshall

Neal Mckeown schools don't usually give out that information. You have heard of the privacy act? I saw your flag so I know where your thinking comes from. Please show facts that are cited when you make statement about The President of the United States.

Dan McGehee
Dan McGehee

Any chance it was done intentionally to avoid Trump answering any questions of HOW he could ENACT any of his delusions or any discussion of the Republican platform?

Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland

Gwen Heath Johnson trump is best for us...im not dem nor repub...but i see far more from him than i do killary.putting someone in office cause you think it should be a woman....smdk idiot please

Susan Lamb
Susan Lamb

Oh the fear! What is so mind boggling is how many of these guys tuned in to the RNC. Too much hit home (they know because they all watched). Too much made them think but they would never admit (they know because they watched). Too much over the top support for Donald Trump both thru enlightening speeches and just the roars of excitement for a new future scared the hell out of them (they know because they watched). But not the kind of fear that is desperate for a real change, the kind of fear that they've pigeonholed themselves into being followers, koolaid drinkers, and to have to change from that way of thinking is the ultimate fear

Bob Hunt
Bob Hunt

did he look into Obamas past, or Moochelles past...of course not...just another liberal hack wantabe

Sharon Slocum Greer
Sharon Slocum Greer

Doesn't need to Michelle is not a immigrant from Slovenia who strips for magazines!

Angela Harris
Angela Harris

You mad because he caught the FACT that Melania's speech bore an uncanny resemblance to the current FLOTUS' speech? That's your beef with this man?

Mary Cunningham
Mary Cunningham

Childish elementary school name-calling. Yes, you fit the profile of a trump supporter.

Bob Hunt
Bob Hunt

Mary Cunningham and you fit the profile of a Clinton supporter, don't care that she incompetent to handle top secret info, that from the FBI, pathological liar, lying about stupid stuff like who she was named for, about her grand parent, about being shot at in Bosnia...yes you . You'll accept from her what you wouldn't from your family...typical liberal.uninformed and don't care as long as she 'sa dumbacrat.