Hey guys, did you hear? NBC turned all their viewers into accidental Satanists by airing a saccharine recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance prior to a golf tournament without including the words, “under God, indivisible.” Who dares to stand up against this horrific injustice? One man: Senator Dan Coats from Indiana, you are a true American hero.
Plenty of angry, ignorant religious folk complained both to Twitter and to NBC because they felt that rather than an obvious oversight, NBC was making a specific statement that they hate God and/or would prefer if the majority of their viewership would just grow up already and stop believing in fairytales. No, seriously: check out this hysterical opinion piece from Fox News titled “Does NBC stand for ‘No Believers, (Especially) Christians’?” Ha ha, yes Fox News, that is exactly what NBC stands for. Hide your Bibles! Today it’s a pre-game ad, tomorrow it’s the cast of 30 Rock going door to door melting down crucifixes to mint new gold coins that don’t have “In God We Trust” on them.
Let’s be clear: it was a stupid montage of various people reciting the pledge, with lots of edits that make it relatively easy for one segment to accidentally end up on the cutting room floor. Had they meant to leave out “under God,” they probably would have kept in the word “indivisible.” But of course, even if they had meant to leave out “under God,” they simply would have been using an earlier, pre-1954 version of the pledge – a version favored by many of us who prefer God be left in the realm of churches and out of our government-approved jingoistic indoctrination chants.
I don’t really care about dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of ignorant, angry Christians writing to NBC to express their anger. It’s their right to let NBC know that they’ll stop watching Touched by an Angel or whatever unless the network starts honoring their god during televised golf tournaments. What I do care about is politicians wasting their time and our tax dollars to score cheap points by “investigating” what happened here.
In his letter, Coats writes, “I am disturbed with NBC’s decision to modify the Pledge for this broadcast. I understand that NBC acknowledged its error at a later point in Sunday’s broadcast, and has since stated that this action was a ‘bad decision’ made by a small group of individuals. Nonetheless, I remain concerned that such a decision to selectively edit the Pledge could be made in the first place.”
Coats asked NBC to provide a written account of its decision-making process and what actions the network will take to prevent a similar occurrence from happening in the future.
Are you kidding me? It’s neither Coats’ business nor that of the US Government to know why NBC airs what it airs. The network could have aired “I pledge allegiance to the Chinese government” and not had to deal with a fame-hungry senator writing them haughty letters with official US Senate letterhead. In fact, one organization did air an ad that said exactly that on TV in 2009, with, as far as I can tell, no formal investigation by any Senator:
Children: I pledge allegiance to America’s debt, and to the Chinese government that lends us money. And to the interest, for which we pay, compoundable, with higher taxes and lower pay until the day we die.
VO: American tax payers owe more than $500 million in interest payments every day to cover our government?s debt, much of that debt is owe to foreign governments. Go to DefeatTheDebt.com.
Girl: Debt Stinks.
Or what about something along the lines of, “I pledge allegiance to my tits”? Done!
That also ran on TV in 2009, and again, there was no angry letter from a Senator, and there shouldn’t be one now. Why? Because we don’t live in a giant treehouse where Senator Coats gets to decide what pledges companies can make up.
For those of you in Indiana: why not call Senator Coats and tell him to leave
Britney NBC alone and get to work on things that matter, like jobs and protecting women’s health? Worth a shot, anyway.