Former New York City mayor and 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg appears to have copied content word-for-word from several non-profit groups and media outlets for use on his campaign plans. The Intercept compared Bloomberg's campaign plans to the websites of several non-profit, educational, and policy groups and found at least eight instances of plagiarism from other source material. A spokesperson for Bloomberg's 2020 campaign said internal drafts of the documents mentioned by The Intercept included footnotes, which did not appear in the web or emailed versions of the same information. Other presidential candidates have been called out for plagiarism on campaign websites. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Michael Bloomberg's 2020 campaign appears to have plagiarized policy plans from several non-profit groups and other websites. The plans were on the website and in fact sheets emailed to reporters. They have since been corrected. The Intercept compared Bloomberg's campaign plans to the websites of several non-profit, educational, and policy groups and found that several sections on Bloomberg's 2020 pledges were lifted word-for-word from other source material. The Intercept found at least eight instances where Bloomberg's campaign plans or accompanying fact sheets — including plans for maternal health, LGBTQ equality, the economy, tax policy, infrastructure, and mental health — were lifted in part from other sites. According to the outlet, these source materials included articles on CNN, Time, and CBS, the American Medical Association, and an infrastructure fund co-founded by Bloomberg. In a statement to Business Insider, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg's 2020 campaign said internal drafts of the fact sheets mentioned by The Intercept included footnotes, which did not appear in the web or emailed versions of the information. "The Intercept story is about several lines among hundreds of pages of background documents that provide context for reporters, not policy plans themselves," spokesperson Julie Wood said in a statement. "Internal drafts of these fact sheets included footnotes, which should have, but didn't, appear on the web versions or what was emailed to reporters. We have since added citations and links to these documents. For sourcing, we often look to the organizations that Mike has led or worked with in the past, like the City of New York and Building America's Future." Bloomberg's campaign shared the following statement with The Intercept:
"Much of what you flagged were fact sheets that went out via MailChimp, which doesn't support footnote formatting. When we announce policy platforms, we put together detailed fact sheets with context and supporting background, so that reporters understand the problem we're trying to solve with our policy. For sourcing, we often look to the organizations that Mike has led or worked with in the past, like the City of New York and Building America's Future. We have since added citations and links to these documents."
Other presidential candidates have been called out for plagiarizing campaign pledges. In 1987, then-US senator Joe Biden withdrew his presidential bid after admitting to plagiarism and embellishing his academic record. In June 2019, Biden's campaign admitted to lifting phrases from non-profits for its climate and education plans. According to Politico, material on the 2020 campaign websites of Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders were lifted directly from academic papers, think tanks, and policy institutes. First Lady Melania Trump also faced backlash for her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which broadly resembled several sections of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention address.SEE ALSO: CNN anchor confronts Trump campaign about plagiarism: 'You keep ignoring it, and I don't understand why' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why hydrogen cars will be Tesla's biggest threat
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Bloomberg News says it will not investigate Michael Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals during the presidential campaign
Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait set out the news organization's coverage guidelines after its owner, Michael...Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait set out the news organization's coverage guidelines after its owner, Michael Bloomberg, announced he was running in the 2020 presidential election. Micklethwait wrote that the outlet will avoid investigating Bloomberg's personal life and finances while he is campaigning, and would extend the same courtesy to the other Democratic candidates. The outlet will also apparently stop publishing unsigned Bloomberg Opinion editorials, as they are shaped by the views of Bloomberg News as an institution, and now-candidate Bloomberg's personal positions. The policy is a continuation of the outlet's current stance but may present a concerning imbalance that could see stories focused on President Donald Trump emphasized over other 2020 hopefuls. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Bloomberg News says it will not publish unsigned editorials, and its reporters will avoid investigating owner Michael Bloomberg's personal life and finances while he is in the running for the 2020 presidential election. The billionaire and former mayor of New York City has already had a turbulent few weeks since news broke that he was contemplating entering the race, but made it official on Sunday with the first of $30 million in TV ads. Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait sent a memo to news staffers after Bloomberg's official announcement in order to layout guidelines for avoiding any conflict of interest. Micklethwait detailed some leadership changes to accommodate the outlet's unique situation as well as expectations for how the staff will cover its owner during the primaries. "So Mike is running," Micklethwait wrote. "There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves (and very rarely about our direct competitors). No previous presidential candidate has owned a journalistic organization of this size." Micklethwait noted that the publication would continue its "tradition" put in place during Bloomberg's time as mayor of not investigating his personal background, his family, or his wealth. Micklethwait stressed that the outlet would also "extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries," although it would continue to investigate the Trump administration as it has been. Observers have noted that this could lead to an imbalance in Bloomberg News' reporting that could see it emphasize stories focused on Trump, his family, and his organization while possible developments involving Bloomberg and a crowded field of other Democratic candidates could go unmentioned. But Micklethwait said Bloomberg News would publish investigations involving other Democratic candidates from "credible journalistic institutions," without identifying the criteria that make an outlet credible. He added that the outlet will stop publishing unsigned Bloomberg Opinion editorials, as they are shaped by the views of Bloomberg News as an institution, and now-candidate Bloomberg's personal positions. The two executive editors of the opinion section, David Shipley and Tim O'Brien, will take a leave of absence and join the owner's campaign. The outlet's awkward place in covering its owner was previously highlighted in a 2011 profile by The New York Times, which detailed Bloomberg News journalist Henry Goldman's role in covering his boss for the news site, which The Times deemed "inherently problematic." Read more: Michael Bloomberg is expected to run for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition. Michael Bloomberg is reportedly planning to run for president. Here's how the 8th-richest person in the US and former NYC mayor makes and spends his $52 billion fortune. Michael Bloomberg's past comments about women and rape will likely haunt him on the 2020 campaign trail Michael Bloomberg apologizes for stop-and-frisk policy amid a potential presidential runSEE ALSO: Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope