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Why is Noem Snubbing KELO TV?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Ahead of the release of Governor Kristi Noem’s new book, excerpts from early copies have kept the vice presidential hopeful in the news, though she has dodged coverage by journalists covering her in her home state.

The early scandal was Noem’s decision to include a story in which she shoots her family’s 14-month-old puppy, cricket, as well as a family goat, which she shot back-to-back on the same day.

Next came questions of accuracy, the most glaring of which was an account Noem made of meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — a meeting which foreign policy experts say could not have occurred.

That passage of the book is being removed, with Noem telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that “as soon as it was brought to my attention, we went forward and have made some edits.”

This stood out as interesting choice of words, as Noem posted to social media in March about narrating the audio version of her book, which presumably included the supposed meeting with Kim Jong Un.

Noem’s interview with Brennan came on May 5, a day before she was slated to speak on “CBS This Morning.”

During the May 6 CBS appearance, CBS affiliates across the country, including KELOLAND, were given notice that there would be opportunities to interview Noem remotely.

KELOLAND News secured a slot to interview Noem via CBS at 9:00 a.m. on May 6, confirmed via email on May 3. The interview was to be conducted by KELOLAND’s Tom Hanson.

Hanson’s interview with Noem through CBS was to be our first chance to speak with the Governor since news of the book began to circulate. This is despite KELOLAND’s best effort.

On April 29, 2024, KELOLAND News reached out to Noem’s office via email, requesting an interview with the governor, and sending along a handful of questions.

We were met with an emailed response from Noem’s communications official, Ian Fury, directing us to Noem’s then-recent social media posts promoting her book.

On April 30, 2024, KELOLAND again emailed Noem’s office with a request for an interview.

This email went entirely unanswered.

On May 2, 2024, KELOLAND tried again, emailing Noem’s office with a request for an interview and a copy of her book.

Fury replied by email, saying “I believe you have the Governor’s statements. The book publishes on Tuesday, so you can always obtain a copy then – but you can also reach out to the publisher to request one.”

With no ability to speak with the governor ahead of her CBS appearances, KELOLAND News was prepared to interview Noem remotely during her time in New York. This did not come to pass.

On May 4, 2024, the day after KELOLAND’s interview slot had been confirmed, CBS notified KELOLAND that Noem was declining to speak with KELOLAND, and that the governor would instead be reaching out to set up an interview in studio in Sioux Falls once she is back from promoting her book.

Seeking further clarification on the matter, KELOLAND News was told by CBS that Noem’s office said they would be reaching out directly after getting through Monday’s appearances.

KELOLAND News has yet to hear from Noem’s office on an in-person interview.

While Noem opted not to speak with KELOLAND via CBS on Monday, interviews were given with CBS affiliate stations in Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Baltimore.

This is not the first instance in which Noem has snubbed local media in South Dakota.

In 2023, South Dakota News Watch outlined the experience of South Dakota journalists who said Gov. Kristi Noem and her administration have significantly reduced access of journalists to information and interviews over the past few years.

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