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Noem Hires Florida/DC Grad Student to Spin and Burn SD Press

Last summer, Florida native and RNC intern Amelia Joy tweeted that she’d move to South Dakota for Kristi Noem:

Amelia Joy, tweet, 2022.06.29.
Amelia Joy, tweet, 2022.06.29.

Six months later, Joy gets her wish. She reports Governor Noem has tapped her to be the Governor’s next press secretary:

Amelia Joy, Instagram post, tweeted by AP reporter Stephen Groves, 2022.12.22.
Amelia Joy, Instagram post, tweeted by AP reporter Stephen Groves, 2022.12.22.

Noem advertised this month for a new press secretary to tackle the “often hostile” South Dakota media. Evidently the Governor had to reach out of state again to fill that bill.

Joy says on her LinkedIn page that she plans to finish her master’s degree in political communications at American University in May 2023.  Joy earned her undergraduate degree in poli-sci and communications at the University of Alabama in December 2020. She has spent her brief grown-up life (she just graduated from Osceola Fundamental High School in 2018) working for Republicans. She has worked for four Republican Congress critters. This year she worked for the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., first as an intern, then as an election season regional analytics coordinator (translation: she was busy helping the national Republicans fail to predict that their Red Wave was fizzling).

Joy shares with Noem a flair for pageantry; Snow Queen 1990 Noem’s new press secretary was Miss Manatee Outstanding Teen in 2016 and Miss St. Petersburg USA in 2019:

Miss Florida USA, FB post, 2019.07.13.
Miss Florida USA, FB post, 2019.07.13.

Hey, and don’t make fun of that baton twirling; Joy did that with sticks of fire:

Amelia Joy, tweet, 2018.04.10.
Amelia Joy, tweet, 2018.04.10.

Get ready for Amelia Joy to come spin and burn reporters here in South Dakota in the new year.

Amelia Joy, incoming press secretary for Governor Kristi Noem, relishing her work. Artist's representation, Dakota Free Press, 2022.12.24.
Amelia Joy, incoming press secretary for Governor Kristi Noem, relishing her work. Artist’s representation, Dakota Free Press, 2022.12.24.


  1. grudznick 2022-12-24 08:24

    She seems a nice girl. Let us give her a chance before we castigate her.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-12-24 08:27

    So, Mrs. Noem hired another Tomi Lahren? After students of color holding tickets were denied entry to an event sponsored by an extreme white wing group Rapid City Central graduate and Republican former intern for then-US Representative Kristi Noem, Tomi Lahren was driven from the University of New Mexico Student Union Building’s Ballroom B. Lahren is a white supremacist who was booked to speak on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month at a predominantly Hispanic-serving institution in a state where the hate group New Mexico Civil Guard abandoned lawful protest and started shooting protesters.

  3. CraigSk 2022-12-24 08:32

    Does Noem hire anyone from SD? I guess she does not believe anyone from SD knows anything, So she ALWAYS hires people and businesses from other states to help teach us ignorant residents get something done right. Thanks for the support Kristi. Another kid in her circle telling us educated adults what to do.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-24 08:37

    Craig, not for comms, apparently. Fury, Seidel, now Joy.

    Her comms team now consists of Fury and Joy. I think she’s picking people just for name-branding.

  5. John 2022-12-24 08:38

    By her hiring actions it appears Noem believes the South Dakota work force lacks the education and experience to deliver.

  6. e platypus onion 2022-12-24 08:40

    Juggling is a handy tool to have when you have any number of Noem lies to sell to the press.

  7. Donald Pay 2022-12-24 09:23

    I watched “Borgen” on Netflix. It’s a fictional account of the Danish government. Even though it’s fictional, it seems to reflect Danish society fairly well. Anyway, one of the things I got from the show was the importance of honesty. Let’s take the position we call “Press Secretary.” The Danes call these “Spin Doctors.” This is how they actually advertise these positions, and what they are referred to at all times by everyone. There is none of this fancy pretending that somehow this is a “secretary that fields questions from the press, finds the answers and honestly reports them.” No, the Danes do away with the B.S. about these spin doctors who spin “B.S.”

    It seems Noem has seen Borgen. She’s at least honest about hiring “B.S. creators, fabricators and liars” whose job is more beating down any questions, than answering honestly. Now if she would just rename the position “Spin Doctor” I’d be happy.

  8. All Mammal 2022-12-24 09:25

    I wonder if Anti Kristi is jealous that she wasn’t in a pageant organization run by the Florida Fondler. It is really not surprising SD is part of trump’s grooming ring. I apologize if I turned your stomach.

  9. Rick 2022-12-24 09:51

    It has been obvious for some time Kristi Noem is using our State for a long shot run for Washington. Why else does she hire Washington insders instead of South Dakotans? You people just keep putting her in, no matter how she abuses her office, mind boggling!

  10. Sherri Treeby 2022-12-24 10:35

    Whatever happened to the best, most qualified person get the job? If one thing should be obvious to anyone by now is that this country is in dire need of competent people in power
    It doesn’t matter what race, color, or creed they are.
    Stop with the hate. Give her a chance. Intolerance, it seems, is alive and well.

  11. sx123 2022-12-24 11:13

    That’s one way to bring more people to SD. We’ll see how she likes it after winter’s done. Hopefully she does a good job. Looks like she’s a go getter but not going to really judge before I see (hear) her in action as spin meister :)

  12. buckobear 2022-12-24 11:36

    Perhaps all the SD candidates had a moral compass and a flair for honesty ??

  13. Tom 2022-12-24 11:58

    Come on, man! Should the job not work out, she has a skill with the baton that guarantees good pay at the Bah-da-Ding bar in downtown Trent.

  14. Lonnie Wells 2022-12-24 13:00

    I guess Governor Noem was right about the hostile press in South Dakota. What a “snarky article. As a former newspaper publisher I would put this in the round file and find a real journalist to report the news.

  15. TimA 2022-12-24 13:30

    It would be hard for a local, common sense, South Dakotan to work for this administration, then go home and look their family in the eye. It would be humiliating!

  16. Paul Fuller 2022-12-24 13:39

    “She has worked for four Republican Congress critters.” Obviously an open minded, unbiased news article. As with most “news” these days, everything should be labeled oped. She may have been the most qualified applicant.

  17. Arlo Blundt 2022-12-24 14:12

    Well…she appears to be cosmetically gifted and not overburdened by intellect. She’ll niche right in to the administration. Fiery batons have been overdone (I remember them from the fifties), but she’ll bring an appreciation for kitchy fashion to Pierre. She apparently favors tiaras over trucker caps. I suggest the reporters get in the spirit and wear sequins to press conferences.

  18. P. Aitch 2022-12-24 14:38

    Good for her. SD’s variety is infinite. Think she’ll buy a house, grudz?

  19. Richard Schriever 2022-12-24 15:53

    “not overburdened by intellect.” I don’t know about that Arlo. She seems to have been able to compete a double major undergrad degree in 2 years. But then, it being Alabama, and she being a member of a sorority, there’s a good chance I suppose she was handed scripted answers to scripted tests and simply had to maintain a tight schedule.

  20. larry kurtz 2022-12-24 17:59

    Bless her heart. Suffering is the path to rugged individualism and Ms. Joy will find it in spades.

  21. Loren 2022-12-24 18:54

    Will she be the “alternative fact” comm director like Conway, the flat out lies like Sanders or the hide under your desk/no comm mouth piece? Republicans have a difficult time with “normal” communications, or so it seems.

  22. grudznick 2022-12-24 23:30

    Ms. P.h, as you are no doubt well aware, young gals with all that going for them and fire juggling too don’t need to buy a house. People will buy stuff for her.

  23. Scott Ehrisman 2022-12-25 05:07

    This is going to be fun to watch. I give her 3-6 months if that. She will realize the s-hole that Pierre is and be gone. The reason Noem doesn’t hire locals is because we all know her true colors and the facade she puts on nationally.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:27

    On timeframe, Richard: Joy completed an associate degree at St. Petersburg College in 2018 after two years of study. She appears to have put in the erstwhile-standard four years plus an extra semester to complete her undergraduate work, same as I did at SDSU for my double major.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:29

    Scott, Joy said in one of her online postings that her ambition is to work in national politics. When it becomes clear that Corey Lewandowski’s grooming is not going to turn Noem into a national candidate, she’ll hitch herself back to the RNC or one of the 2024 contenders.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:30

    Loren, they didn’t hire Amelia Joy to hide under a desk. She will be front and center for the cameras.

  27. e platypus onion 2022-12-25 08:44

    Was that St Petersburg the one in Russia by any chance?

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:57

    I made no claim to the contrary, Paul, but tell me, what is unfactual or misinformative about saying she worked for four Republican Congress critters? Had she worked for any members of any other party, I’d have mentioned them as well. As it stands, Joy’s entire adult resume appears to consist of working for Republicans. If anyone is biased, it’s Noem’s new press secretary.

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:58

    And if a 23-year-old grad student is the most qualified applicant, South Dakota is drawing a pretty shallow pool of applicants.

  30. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 08:58

    Lonnie, what newspaper did you publish? It must have been boring. :-D

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-25 09:02

    “Hate” and “intolerance” are words invoked by the right to deflect criticism of their hate and intolerance. Read Joy’s tweets: her commentary and tone toward President Biden and Democrats shows at least as much of what Sherri, Lonnie, and other Noem heat shields here would call “hate”, “intolerance”, and “snark”.

  32. Donald Pay 2022-12-25 09:35

    Her work and intern experience suggests she likes to hop from one post to another in pretty short order. Her stay at any one job listed at LinkedIn would average about 3 months. I suppose that is not unusual for GenZ on the way up, but it probably means that her first priority when she gets to SD will be to start looking for the next job. That seems to fit in pretty well with Noem, who has been looking for her next job since she got into the Governor’s chair.

  33. Eve Fisher 2022-12-25 09:46

    Thanks for the link to her twitter post, Cory – almost none of those have aged well. She seems to have a knack for rooting for people who lose elections.
    Meanwhile, she’s blonde, perky, and good-looking, so Mr. Grudznik’s coffee circle will rave about her.

  34. 96Tears 2022-12-25 10:16

    Today’s WaPo article on TrumpWannabes reveals what our backwater state governor has prioritized in her second term:

    While Trump has drawn plenty of direct and implicit criticism from governors, their allies and others who might enter the race, some are also looking to differentiate themselves from DeSantis. One adviser to South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem contrasted her with DeSantis while noting that, late last month, Noem became the first governor to ban the social media app TikTok on state devices while citing national security concerns. Other states soon followed.

    The Noem adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private planning, said the governor expects to visit Iowa early next year. Ian Fury, a spokesman for Noem, said she has invitations to numerous Lincoln dinners coming up, including in Iowa, but has not yet committed. She believes the message that won her reelection in November “should be shared with the rest of the country,” Fury said.

    Of course, that tidbit is buried deeeeeep in the article. I look forward to keeping Noem’s scrawny ass as far away from South Dakota as possible, and Iowa is not far enough. As taxpayers, this means we’ll still be bankrolling her campaign for the next job since she got a green light to use the state airplane for anything she wants. Nobody will find out how much gets wasted on abusing our highway patrol to act as her personal security service and dozens of other expenses to pursue a national brand. And God knows what Mr. Furry is talking about as her message that won her reelection that’s worth sharing “with the rest of the country.” As I recall, that message that worked in South Dakota was “I’m a Republican and if you’re not, you’re too extreme and a commie.”

    Run Kristi run! And stay the hell outta South Dakota.

  35. buckobear 2022-12-25 10:53

    How long before Cory hits on the new Pressec?

  36. Arlys Chays 2022-12-25 12:51

    “SPIN!” The politician’s term for making the positive sound negative and the negative sound positive, I’ve come to the point in my 75 years on this earth where I don’t believe a damn word of what any one of them say. Greed, a lust for power and control over the masses, coupled with over-blown egos must be eliminated from politics. I want the people I vote for to work for the best for the people NOT their damn party.

  37. Jake 2022-12-25 15:38

    Arlys, I agree wholeheartedly! Only you forgot one major incentive that too many pols have; especially on the GOP right it seems: $$$!!!!!!
    My old Dad, born in 1800’s-living to 98 1/2 yrs old and having had a dozen kids on his death-bed said as he usually did when talking of politicians- “Money, Greed and Power and the lust of all three”! Society has made their lives too cushy, soft for our own good…

  38. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-26 04:56

    Buckobear, I hope you’re not suggesting that this married blogger is out playing the field. You must be referring to Corey Lewandowski.

  39. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-26 04:59

    On Paul’s kneeslapping suggestion that Joy may have been the most qualified applicant: in Kristi’s mind, I’m sure she was. Joy comes to SD as her latest stop in her not-unusual college-years job-hopping. She has no prior connection to South Dakota. She owes no allegiance or deference or basic courtesy to anyone in the state but her matron, Governor Noem. She thus will savage the local press and do whatever else Noem tells her, unquestioningly.

  40. buckobear 2022-12-26 10:36

    Cory. – – Sorry, missing the “e”.

  41. Kevin Woster 2022-12-26 10:52

    Cory: Did you ever get an answer from Lonnie on which newspaper he published? I’d be interested to know.

  42. Mark Anderson 2022-12-26 11:39

    Finally, a right-winger LEAVING the west coast of Florida. Good riddance.

  43. R. Kolbe 2022-12-26 15:47

    That position shoulsy be titled
    Building Scenerios . It takes an educated person only drinks the correct coool ade to be good at their B. S. job.

  44. Pat Luecke 2022-12-26 23:48

    I didn’t vote for her.

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