NBC apologizes to Congress for edited pledge

July 12, 2011

WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC has issued a formal apology to more than 100
members of Congress for omitting the words "under God" from the Pledge
of Allegiance during a patriotic montage that aired last month.

The letter, signed by Kyle McSlarrow, president of NBC Universal,
comes in response to a complaint by 107 members of Congress alleging
that a montage shown during coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament
obscured America's religious heritage.

The montage featured video of schoolchildren saying the pledge
alongside images of soldiers and American flags, but did not include the
phrase "under God." It also omitted "one nation" and "indivisible."

McSlarrow expressed regret over the segment, saying "a serious error
in judgment was made by a small group of people. To be absolutely clear,
this was not an ideological decision by the company and was not
discussed with or approved by any senior NBC official."

The letter also stressed that action had been taken, noting, "The
employees involved have been reprimanded. And we have already
implemented a new checks and balances process for pre-produced pieces,
ensuring that nothing will go on the air without senior-level approval."

The letter was addressed to Reps. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Mike
McIntyre D-N.C., who co-chair the Congressional Prayer Caucus, but was
also sent to more than 100 other members of Congress.