Making yourself a human xerox is not art. ART is where you recompose the picture to convey an emotion, make it more appealing to the eye, etc.
The INTENT of a Rockwell painting is to convey that image that he wanted to convey.
The INTENT of a newspaper photo is to represent reality.
Changing to composition of a photo and painting it to make it art is perfectly acceptable. Changing the composition of a photo and then publishing it in the paper as a representation of reality is fraud.
The attempt to conflate the two is ludicrous.
“If all Rockwell did was paint exactly what was on a photo then it wouldn’t be ART.”
I don’t agree. Granted, it would be a lower form of art to exactly reproduce nature. Also, if it was done for the purposes of journalism, then it wouldn’t be art at all. Of course, the line between journalism is sometimes fine. I’ve heard “The Gulag Archipeligo” refered to as a work of journalism, whereas I think it is a grand work of literature.
The thing is, it’s almost impossible to recreate nature exactly as it is. Even bad artists can’t help putting themselves in the picture, so to speak. Your introduction of intent is important, and I think almost conclusive. Except I would have to add that sometimes people produce high art by accident.