NBC has issued a formal apology to members of Congress for opening its broadcast of the U.S. Open championship with a montage that included children reciting the pledge without the words "under God" and "indivisible."
In a letter to 108 U.S. lawmakers, Kyle McSlarrow, president of Comcast and NBC Universal, said that the channel's effort to produce a patriotic piece was undermined by "a serious error in judgment" by a "small group of people" who have been "reprimanded."
"To be absolutely clear, this was not an ideological decision by the company and it was not discussed with or approved by any senior NBCUniversial official," McSlarrow wrote.
"We have made quite clear -- internally and externally -- that the employees who made this decision were wrong," he said. "Not only were countless citizens justifiable upset, but also the actions of this small group cast a negative light on NBCUniversal, NBC, and NBC Sports, as well as our partners at the United States Golf Association.
"It was an inexcusable mistake in judgment and it will not be repeated."
The letter sent last week came in response to a missive from Reps. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Mike McIntyre D-N.C., co-chairmen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, sent to NBC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Burke last month after NBC issued an on-air apology for the altered pledge.
That note was signed by 108 members of Congress.
"Although we are aware that NBC has apologized for the omissions, we are concerned that the video was allowed to air with the altered Pledge of Allegiance in the first place," they wrote. "We live in a society where there are increasing efforts to remove all mention of religion from public life, and we remain dedicated to defending against such attempts."