WASHINGTON NBC omitted the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance during an opening video in its coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament June 19 and then apologized on-air apparently after receiving criticism.
The patriotic-themed opening to the network's tournament coverage showed elementary school children citing the Pledge. The quick-moving segment mixed in video of the children citing the Pledge with video of military personnel raising a U.S. flag. During the controversial portion, the children can heard saying "one nation," and after a video of a soldier saluting the flag is seen, the children finish: "with liberty and justice for all." Seconds later, the children could be heard repeating the same phrase, again with NBC omitting "under God, indivisible." Immediately, golf fans began expressing their outrage on Twitter and Facebook.
NBC apologized on-air and then went a step further the next day.
"We are aware of the distress this has caused many of our viewers and are taking the issue very seriously," the network said in a statement June 20, according to Broadcasting & Cable's website. "Unfortunately, when producing the piece which was intended to capitalize on the patriotism of having our national championship played in our nation's capital a decision was made by a small group of people to edit portions of the Pledge of Allegiance. This was a bad decision."
NBC's Dan Hicks had said on-air, "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."