Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

NBC Apologizes For Not Baiting Commies Or Something

NBC ran a pretaped segment before the final round at Congressional yesterday in which some soldiers saluted and a bunch of kids recited the pledge and a handful of monuments hulked above the D.C. skyline in a way that suggested that someone in the editing room knows his Leni Riefenstahl. The whole thing was so nut-punchingly patriotic it's a wonder we didn't see an eagle soaring above the fairway at 10 with Luke Donald's hair on its talons. It was tacky and stupid, and in a sane world the only people who would be angry today are the handful of fans tired of seeing their sports wrapped in bunting. This is not that world.

The Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "one nation under God" — except when it's part of NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open Championship.

Someone in the editing room, trimmed two references to the line during an opening piece that aired Sunday on patriotism. It showed children in a classroom reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

NBC Sports immediately came under fire when folks on Twitter began slamming the network for the ungodly trim.

Here's one guy who slammed the network. He tweeted:

Why does mainstream America not trust media? Simple, you can't get Pledge Allegiance [sic] right, why trust you to tell us anything else? #NBC


Oh, bother. First of all, broadcasters who stick military dudes in a promo for a golf tournament aren't the sort of people who run away from outward expressions of piety. The video also left out the "indivisible," and then the second time the kids recited the pledge we lost "one nation," too. Hang on. Is NBC promoting godlessness and secession?

In any case, the stupid part isn't that NBC might omit the "under God" line, intentionally or otherwise. (Strict pledge constructionists should remember that the original version, written by a Christian Socialist, said "one nation indivisible." "Under God" is there mainly because of Dwight Eisenhower's pastor and the Roman Catholic Knights of Columbus, who at the height of the Red Scare got Congress to insert the phrase into the pledge as if they were slipping a tiny American flag into God's fist.) The stupid part is that NBC made the promo in the first place. What does a loyalty oath have to do with a golf tournament? And what's with all the chest-pounding nationalism, anyway? "America's championship." The "United States ... Open championship." NBC pimped its golf tournament with a John Birch Society orientation video — during a weekend that a kid from Ulster made everyone else look like a guy swinging an egg beater (the top American finished 10 strokes back). Apologize for that, NBC — not for offending the noisy minority that could find creeping godlessness in the Tonight Show's choice of ficus plants.

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