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.

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Comments on “Lazy-Ass House GOP Uses Foreign Stock Photos In Video About America”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well of course, if they had to govern rather than rule they might have to pay attention to the filthy peasants whining about ‘rights’ and ‘laws’ rather than just handing out edicts to force people to live and act according to their flawless and moral plan for how things should be that just so happens to always have them and theirs at the top(except when they’re rightly pointing out how persecuted they are).

Anonymous Coward says:


When the economy has little to do with who has been in office the last 2-4 years, and not a lot to do with anyone in office ever, why bother with the stock photos meant to illustrate your bullshit narrative when everyone (pro or con) eats it right up anyway. As once claimed by a UCB character, “Vomit is a food.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Republican’s are far too hipocrite to even source photos depicting America by an American photographer. So much for creating jobs or their America first nonsense.

Of course it’s easier to look up pictures of foreign places like Russia since for them it comes with the “perk” of not having any pesky racial diversity that might offend its rabidly racist base.

Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

(R) means rookie at the Indianapolis 500. Same for Congress.

Mr. Gengrich was not one of my faves voting/speaking wise, but his stratigerie was incredible to watch. The “Contract with America” was the right thing at the right time for his party.

In contrast, Mccarthy’s “commitment to America” is no such thing. Contracts are a meeting of the minds, legaly bound, usually with method or results. Commitment is what republicans say to their wives just before they go on a 10-20 year cheating spree. Then they pay for that abortion. Sorry, Mr. Walker, you can shove your football trophy so far up your sphincter but you’re still a wide open asshole.

Life is precious but your word is not and cheating is ok, and murder, and gay sex, and shooting people. Just don’t let women have an abortion because God wrote it in his own words using a Sharpie™ to point out how that’s wrong.

Mr. Musk, a nonpolitician, suggested today that the UN should go into Ukraine and redo those elections fairly. I don’t seem to recall him suggesting anything similar in the US in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, or 2020. The Russians have veto power in the only committee in the UN that actually has the power to act — the UN Security Council. So does the US. We tend to ignore what the UNSC says because we can either veto it IN committee, or ignore it and veto their responses to our failure to adhere to their actions later. Russia (and China) are no different.

SO yeah, republicans can use foreign videos to make their pointts. They can cheat on their wives and have abortions. All that is ok. But everyone else better not have abortions, because that’s killing, and God said it was wrong.

I don’t recall what God said about cement floor jail cells with 24 hour white fluorescent light and children handcuffed to chain-link fences and not allowed fresh water or bathroom access.

On a final note, gambling is not prohibited by the bible, but getting rich off of stocks, bonds, and crypto is. The republicans are working hard to prevent the upcoming bill to require blind trust or cessation of gambling on the stock market. Their ethics banks are bankrupt.

But yeah, stock photos.

(1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5; Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10).
P.S. Not that you care about what I believe. Paul T does, but the rest of you don’t. I’m not religious. I just happen to know how to read.

Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

Re: One more thought

I said “Gay sex” and an implication I did not intend is that it IS or SHOULD BE unlawful criminal behavior. I was using it as an example of hypocritical Republican “lawmakers” tapping their feet in airport restrooms to get Gay sex, then bashing people who have gay sex.

What people choose to mutually do with one another is their business. No offense was intended and upon reading my words I entered this to make the point clear.

John85851 (profile) says:

In Biden's America

I still remember the Trump campaign ads for what will happen “in Biden’s America”: footage of rioting, homeless people, drug users, police brutality, and more!!
Except that the footage was of recent events, during the Trump administration! Instead of scaring people about what might happen in the future, how about dealing with the issues that are happening right now?

PaulT (profile) says:

“Interesting how you guys aren’t remotely interested on the issues facing the American people in the video”

I’m sure that if American people are identified in those videos, then the relevant embassy or consulate would be happy to help them with whatever they need.

The question now is that if Americans are suffering on US soil to the same degree, why are you unable to get footage of them? Because it’s not as bad there, because you’re lazy/incompetent, or because the Russian propaganda sources working for you (or who you are working for) didn’t change their VPN address before going through geolocated search results?

Towanda Gwen Underdue-Thomas says:

You're On the Mark with Your Description of Lazy Republicans!

All of my life, I have heard Republicans claim poor people are “lazy” dregs of society who expect for our big government to hand them free welfare checks and other financial aids. But I now see that our Republican House of Representatives, REALLY lives high on the U.S. public dole! They don’t get measly welfare checks of some $140 per month each. They get six figure salaries, AND great benefits from we the people! And they don’t work much for all that we give them. Our lazy Republican leaders actually stop all Congressional business now, just by claiming their “philosophical differences,” keep them from naming their new House Speaker. Bull! They’re just LAZY! They’ve been cruising since 2017, when their boy, one-term-only Republican President Donald Trump, took his reigns. Trump’s incompetence didn’t bother Republican leaders, who just silently sat on their rumps as our former president burned the house down! It must have been pretty easy to just nod in agreement to whatever outrageous idea Trump trumped. No Republican stopped him, even as Trump gained the unprecedented privilege of being the only president in our U.S. history, impeached two times! Republican leaders lazily chilled, as Trump sparked our January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot. But they did find a little energy afterwards, to vote against the official inauguration of our current Democrat President Joe Biden. They’ve retreated to their chill box again, as Democrats work to finally bring Trump to justice! How great it must be, to rest on Republican laurels, at we the people’s expense!

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