Barack Obama bypassed Congress yet again, Sunday, but NBC and ABC barely noticed or offered much of an objection. The President unilaterally changed the name of Alaska's Mount McKinley to Mount Denali. Republicans swiftly objected, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Rob Portman, among others.
In 1917, the 64th Congress officially declared that the name was "Mount McKinley National Park." Yet, Today's Natalie Morales saw no problem with the President's executive action. She trumpeted "a White House announcement that the name of North America's tallest mountain has officially been changed." Morales blandly added, "Alaska's Mount McKinley is now Denali, which is the mountain's traditional native American name. Denali, which stands for the high one or the great one, had been named after former President William McKinley."
On Sunday's Nightly News, guest anchor Thomas Roberts at least managed to describe the action as one "that's sure to rile some in President William McKinley's home state of Ohio who have fought for years to keep his name on that peak."
Who were those people? Roberts didn't say. However, The Hill identified:
"There is a reason President McKinley’s name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy," Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement issued Sunday night.
"I’m deeply disappointed in this decision," Boehner said after noting that McKinley served in the Army during the Civil War before representing Ohio in Congress and as governor.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said in a statement posted to social media that he was similarly "disappointed" in the decision to rename the mountain long named after “a proud Ohioan.”
"The naming of the mountain has been a topic of discussion in Congress for many years. This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress," Portman said.
Good Morning America's Amy Robach offered a similarly vague assertion: "Critics are slamming the President for not getting congressional approval." Robach allowed no actual quotes from the mysterious "critics."
As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey pointed out, there already was a bill in Congress to rename the mountain, Senate Bill 319. This would have gone through the proper legislative channels. But the President avoided this process.
On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante managed a slightly more specific comment on the congressional objections: "In President McKinley's home state of Ohio, some criticized the change. Senator Rob Portman tweeted that it's 'another example of the President going around Congress.'"
Transcripts of NBC's news briefs can be found below:
NATALIE MORALES: Today, President Obama becomes the first sitting president to visit the Alaskan arctic when he closes out an international conference on global leadership. The visit comes just one day after a White House announcement that the name of North America's tallest mountain has officially been changed. Alaska's Mount McKinley is now Denali, which is the mountain's traditional native American name. Denali, which stands for the high one or the great one, had been named after former President William McKinley.
NBC Nightly News
THOMAS ROBERTS: On the eve of his trip, the President says he's renaming Alaska's Mount McKinley. This is the tallest peak in North America. Or rather he's changing its name back to Denali, that is the Alaskan native name for it, a move that's sure to rile some in President William McKinley's home state of Ohio who have fought for years to keep his name on that peak.