South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem ridiculed after using an Obama-era photo to promote Trump’s America

South Dakota says that 4 July firework ban is a “part of the radical left’s agenda”

Clara Hill
Tuesday 06 July 2021 15:36
Governor says rejection of fireworks at Mt Rushmore 'part of radical left's agenda'

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s attempt to score political points backfired on her when she inadvertently gave a nod to a former Democratic president.

The South Dakota governor posted a side-by-side image on Twitter to make a point about how Joe Biden being in the White House had ruined their Independence Day festivities. In Ms Noem’s state, Mr Trump allowed a firework display to happen at Mount Rushmore for the first time in 11 years.

The image on the top was Mount Rushmore lit up by a firework display with the caption “Trump’s America”. This was juxtaposed with her family standing glumly with sparklers with the caption “Biden’s America”.

However, Twitter users quickly discovered that the fireworks picture was from 2015, a time when President Barack Obama was in office. She had also used the photo without crediting the owner.

“Here’s a fun fact about that “Trump’s America” fireworks photo: It’s actually a composite image, made of many photos combined, because no one moment of the fireworks was actually impressive enough on its own. Also Gov Noem cropped the photo to remove the photographer’s credit,” wrote Kendall Youens.

The photographer was identified as Matt Halvorson by journalist David Hobby.

@matt_halvorson FYI, and regardless of (registered/not) copyright status of a photo, stripping a credit from a photo before infringing it is an add-on $10,000 liability under the DMCA. This is a slam-dunk for any copyright lawyer.”

“And this. (It was taken during the Obama administration.)” wrote Nathaniel Parkinson.

“This image is one of my few composite photos. I actually did this composite a few years ago,” Mr Halvorson wrote on a post dated 5 July 2015.

However, despite the image being fake, Mr Trump did allow for the first firework display at Mount Rushmore to take place since 2009. Previously, they have been not allowed over concerns about fires and a beetle infestation.

Ms Noem’s post was a part of a long campaign against the Biden administration and their support of not having firework displays at the site. In April, she tried to sue the federal government over the fireworks ban at the historic site..

“This is part of the radical left’s agenda. They don’t want to celebrate America or our freedoms, they’re pushing Critical Race Theory, they’re pushing the 1619 Project and this is just another one of those battles to erase our true, honest and patriotic history in this country,” she said on Fox News in May.

In March, the National Parks said for health and safety reasons, as well as cultural sensitivities, fireworks are not allowed.

Herbert Frost, regional director said, “Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event.” He continued, “In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial.”

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