NBC has issued an apology the same day for removing the words “under God” from a reading of the Pledge of Allegiance during an intro video prior to the U.S. Open Golf Championship on 6/19. The network skipped over the phrase twice and issued the following apology on air:
“We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago. When we did, it was our intent to begin our coverage of this US Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship, held in our nation’s capital for the third time. Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone, and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”
NBC opened its U.S. Open telecast with a pre-taped segment that included audio of children reciting the pledge of allegiance. The network not only omitted “under God” but also “indivisible” from the pledge–and, later in the segment, “one nation” was cut, too. The outcry, on Twitter and elsewhere, “was immediate and almost universally negative,” Yahoo! Sports’ Jay Busbee wrote on the Devil Ball Golf blog.
See the video:
NBC’s Dan Hicks also said in an on-air statement later in the telecast: “Regrettably, a portion of the pledge of allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Like Busbee said, maybe the segment producer, in a quest to interweave the pledge with military and golf-related sound bites decided to cut the words for time savings. But it really looked strange without it. Whomever put that video together should certainly find another line of work. Talk about offending the core viewers right at the beginning of a major piece of programming—this one takes the crown.