Yeah, this is a meta post.
Over the years in covering government and politics for this blog I’ve taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 images. Obviously most of those images don’t make it into a post, but a lot do. I tend to remember most, if not all, of the images I’ve taken (yes, even for that large a number) because, well, because. From time to time a newspaper, magazine or other news outlet will contact us and ask for permission to use my images for one of their stories. We’ve always granted such for legitimate news sources (Did you see what we did there?) provided that they credit the photographer and the blog.
There are other times that we discover our images have been appropriated by campaigns for their attack ads. This is one of those times.
In June of 2013 I covered Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) in Warrensburg. I shot several hundred stills. One of those stills made it into a blog post. In February of 2014 we were contacted by Governing magazine’s Corporate Creative Director, asking for permission to use one of my images of Jason Kander for an April 2014 article in their magazine. We granted permission with the proviso they credit me and Show Me Progress. They agreed. They published the article and left off the photo credit.
Fast forward to this week. We noted my 2013 photo of Jason Kander in a post attacking him on a web site associated with Roy Blunt’s (r) campaign. The photo was credited to Governing magazine.
The offending post from Jason Kander Watch, paid for by “Friends of Roy Blunt”:
Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) – Warrensburg, Missouri – June 20, 2013. IMG_8587 – F 2.8, 1/100, ISO 800, 200 mm. Michael Bersin – Show Me Progress.
Here’s the thing. If Roy Blunt’s attack dogs had asked permission we wouldn’t have granted it. Mostly because they’re the kind of political operation, even with their millions of cash on hand, that’s too cheap ass or lazy to pay a photographer to take a few stock images of another public figure when he’s at a public event. Show up. It’s easy enough to do. We do it all the time.
Roy Blunt (r) deserves to lose for a lot of reasons, this one is just icing on the cake.