NBC’s coverage of last weekend’s U.S. Open golf championship was notable for two reasons. First, it showcased the masterful performance of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who established a new scoring record for the tournament and possibly signaled a “changing of the guard” from the Tiger Woods era (he didn’t play because of an injury). Second, the network found itself with a controversy on its hands after it presented videos of American youngsters reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and either edited out or didn’t include in the first place the words “under God” in the pledge.
Later in its broadcast, inundated with complaints from viewers, NBC apologized with the statement: “We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being 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.” The network also ran a segment on the pledge and subsequent apology on its 6:30 national newscast Monday.
The pledge, originally composed in 1892 and adopted by Congress as the official pledge of this country, was last amended in 1954, when the words “under God” were added. NBC obviously made a conscious effort to remove these words in its segments, which is puzzling in itself. We have long felt all three major networks in this country exhibit an openly left-wing view politically, but it seems that the executives who made this decision took it upon themselves to remove an official part of the pledge, perhaps to satisfy their own political correctness. Issuing an apology was fine, but the basic question remains: “Who made this decision and will there be repercussions for them at NBC?”