While NBC was basking in the thought that the next Tiger Woods was plying his trade at the U.S. Open golf tourney held in Washington D.C. last weekend (22-year-old Rory McIlroy won it going away), the network also got skewed via social media when it cut the words “Under God” from a pre-taped, patriotic segment that featured the Pledge of Allegiance recited by schoolchildren.
When the tweets started to come in criticizing the network for leaving the words out, NBC did apologize on air, but strangely, announcer Dan Hicks didn’t mention that the phrase cut was “Under God.” He also said the omission was “done not to upset anyone,” which pretty much means it wasn’t an inadvertent act.
A look at the tweets and subsequent comments on blogs reveals that while many viewers were outraged, there was spirited debate if NBC had the right to edit the words out. After all, “Under God” was not in the original Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by Baptist minister Francis Bellamy. The phrase was added by Congress in 1954.
The brouhaha goes to show that while to many golf is a religion, perhaps it isn’t the best thing to mix the two (or even go there) during the telecast of a major tournament.