Mount Rushmore: Once Iconic, Now Canceled

• July 6, 2020 6:30 pm


Mount Rushmore has come under fire from liberals in recent weeks for its depiction of presidents who were slaveholders, but before President Donald Trump gave a speech there, it was revered by figures on the left.

While covering Trump's Mount Rushmore visit over the weekend, CNN reporter Leyla Santiago described the famed South Dakota site as a "monument of two slaveowners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans," and MSNBC's Tiffany Cross criticized Trump for picking the "most grandiose symbol of U.S. imperialism on earth."

It's a far cry from how it was described when Democratic politicians were mentioned alongside it.

MSNBC's Al Sharpton wondered in 2013 if President Barack Obama deserved a spot alongside Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, as did MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

Matthews also cut a "Lean Forward" ad for MSNBC in front of Mount Rushmore in 2012, praising the four presidents as makers of American history.

In 2008, CNN's Jim Acosta covered Obama's visit during the Democratic primary as "a fitting campaign stop for a presidential contender looking to make history." Another CNN anchor called it "quite a sight if you haven't seen it."

In office, Obama referred to Mount Rushmore as one of the nation's "most iconic landmarks," on par with the Statue of Liberty.

In 2016, CNN's Jeff Zeleny covered Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) visit there and noted he took in the "majesty of the moment."

Sanders called the monument "our country at its very best" and said it made "one very proud to be an American."