Friday, 09 Jan 2015 01:56 PM
NBC News did not respond to Starnes' questions about why the words "under God" were omitted from their customary place in the pledge: after the words "one nation" and before "indivisible."
But it's not the first time that NBC has faced questions about the removal of the reference to God from the Pledge of Allegiance.
In 2011, NBC apologized after twice removing "under God" from the pledge during its coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
The New York Daily News reported that scores of viewers took to Twitter to express their anger.
"Why does mainstream America not trust media? Simple, you can't get Pledge Allegiance right, why trust you to tell us anything else? #NBC," a pastor said on Twitter."If NBC can omit 'under God' from the Pledge, I can omit them from my TV lineup. I like God far more [than] The Office! #NBC," wrote another man.
The network apologized at the time. A portion of the Pledge of Allegiance was "regrettably" edited out, noted NBC sportscaster Dan Hicks. "It was not done to upset anyone and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."
But Al Sharpton, a talk-show host for MSNBC, its cable affiliate, was apparently not bound by such an apology.
In February 2013, Sharpton ignited a firestorm of controversy when he omitted the words "under God" from language he lifted from the Pledge of Allegiance to advocate equal rights for people "whether they're African-American, Latino, lesbian and [sic] gay."