Lazy-Ass House GOP Uses Foreign Stock Photos In Video About America
from the 'merica dept
I get that stock photos are a thing and that political campaigns or teams may be pressed for time, but some things really shouldn’t be so hard. If you follow politics, you may be aware that House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, unveiled an agenda for 2023 politics it’s calling “Commitment to America.” I’ll leave any discussion of the agenda itself to sites that focus on politics. I will note, however, that if this whole thing sounds familiar to you, then you’re old enough to remember Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” which is heralded as an important primer that led to the GOP gaining 54 House and 9 Senate seats in the 1994 elections.
McCarthy, in other words, is recycling an existing play in politics. Which is perhaps not terribly strange, since the video House GOP leaders put out to announce the Commitment to America managed to use a bunch of stock footage to demonstrate its points. And that stock footage, it appears, managed to depict any country it could other than America.
For instance, the video begins talking about the American dream over a photo of an oil rig drilling oil. However…
…this video snippet, an apparent nod to America’s natural resources, wasn’t even filmed in America. It’s stock footage created by Serg Grbanoff, a filmmaker based in Russia. Grbanoff told HuffPost that he filmed this scene in Russia’s Volgograd region.
HuffPo has the screenshots so you can go see for yourself, but it’s the same image, only flipped/mirrored. With the goings on in the world, the Russia thing is kind of weird. But it’s not the only image from Russia used. In another scene, with the words “Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” at the bottom of the screen, a young boy is seen smiling and playing with a model airplane. That photo is also one of Grbanoff’s and, again, was shot in Russia.
It seems that all of these are taken off of Shutterstock, for what it’s worth. And it’s not only photos taken in Russia that appear in the video. Another section of the video talks about how the other party has doomed us all with crime and inflation over a photo of a woman walking through a grocery store. A Slovakian store, as it turns out.
But this is footage from a European grocery store. If you look closely at the screenshot, you can see a tag hanging on one of the store shelves that says “AKCIA,” a Slovak word meaning “action.” Informally, “AKCIA” is used to designate sales in Slovakian stores.
Other images used appear to have come from Ukraine as well, which strikes this author as odd.
So what does this all mean? Nothing massively important, obviously. But it does strike me as more than a bit lazy to have this big rollout video showing what the House Minority leadership thinks are good and bad things about America… only to have the accompanying images show a bunch of countries that are decidedly not America.
When asked for comment, McCarthy’s spokeman was very McCarthy about it all.
“Interesting how you guys aren’t remotely interested on the issues facing the American people in the video,” responded McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar.
A little tone deaf, considering much of what was shown in the video had nothing to do with the American people, but I digress. Just do a bit more vetting on this sort of thing, folks. At the very least, it will prevent people like me from poking some fun at you.