NBC Says Cutting Pledge During U.S. Open Was Bad Decision
Letter to viewers ascribes it to "small group of people" and says controversy was justifiable
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/20/2011 3:09:59 PM
In a letter it is sending to viewers who complained, NBC says the decision to edit the Pledge of Allegiance in a piece teeing off its U.S. Open Golf coverage was a "bad decision" made by a "small group of people," and that the controversy it created was justifiable.
In a montage of students reciting the pledge, intercut with images of flags, soldiers and monuments from nearby Washington that aired early Sunday afternoon (June 19), omitted was the phrase "under God" (as well as "one nation" and "indivisible").
NBC apologized on-air a few hours later after receiving almost immediate complaints in the twittersphere about the omission of "under God," and according to an NBC Sports spokesman was sending response letters to viewers who had complained about the cuts.
"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," said announcer Dan Hicks in an on-air apology Sunday. "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."
In the letter, a portion of which was supplied to B&C, NBC elaborated:
We understand your concern over the beginning of our U.S. Open coverage on Sunday.
We are aware of the distress this has caused many of our viewers and are taking the issue very seriously.
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.
As soon as management became aware of this decision and the controversy it justifiably created, it immediately took steps to correct it resulting in an on-air apology provided by NBC Sports' lead golf commentator Dan Hicks.
It was not the intent of NBC to upset anyone and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.
STEPHANIE JONES - 10/9/2011 4:42:21 PM EDT
If we continue to leave God Out of our country, then God will not bless our country as He has since our nation was founded on the word of God and principles contained in His Word.NBC( no backbone company) Will fall and fall hard from the hearts of not only the American public, but the heart of the great and powerful God that will not tolerate complete disregard for His existence. If this continues, might i suggest that you do as the wife of Job( of the Bible), said" Curse God and die".
James Turner - 6/24/2011 10:42:10 AM EDT
Lee C. Seligman, USNA '60 - 6/23/2011 6:02:00 PM EDT
Why was it necessary? When I watch sports, I don't expect a broadcast of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch and I don't expect the Pledge of Allegiance to be shoved down my throat. The national anthem isn't always shown before an event.
That having been said, it was a ridiculous editing job and NBC deserved to be called out of it.
J.J. - 6/23/2011 4:55:08 PM EDT
This was a blatant omission and should not be just dismissed. I cannot believe someone would be so callous as to do this! I will not support NBC as a media source.
Sharley Harrell - 6/23/2011 11:39:07 AM EDT
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