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This Fuckin’ Guy

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I was hoping that Ryan “Cosplaying as a Fisherman” Zinke had disappeared forever. Alas.

It’s portrait season in Washington, DC. The latest Trump official to get the official portrait treatment is scandal-plagued former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. He unveiled his official portrait (as well as an unofficial joke one) that will serve as a reminder of his greatest accomplishment during his tenure: shrinking a national monument that tribes hold sacred and turning the land over to oil, gas, and mining.

Zinke’s portrait was painted by Montana artist Brent Cotton and shows the former secretary riding on a horse in front of a tree-capped butte. The department said the painting was funded by private donors, though it did not specify who ponied up for the portrait. The inspiration for the painting is Bears Ears National Monument, which the then-secretary visited in 2017 ahead of shrinking it. Heather Swift, a former Interior press secretary, tweeted at Deseret News reporter Amy Joi O’Donoghue, asking, “look familiar? :)”.

Indeed, it does! O’Donoghue joined Zinke on a ride through Bears Ears. Photos of them show a butte in the background that’s a carbon copy of the one in Zinke’s portrait.

“Bears Ears is a little large to me,” he told O’Donoghue at the time.

By December of that year, he watched over Trump’s shoulder as the president signed an order shrinking Bears Ears from 1.35 million acres to just 201,000 acres. That happened despite the objections of tribes, conservationists, paleontologists, archeologists, environmental groups, and 99% of the public who commented on the issue.

As for the artistic quality, well….you can see it at the link.

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