In this morning’s must-reads, I posted video of MSNBC’s new “Lean Forward” ad starring Rev. Al Sharpton in which Sharpton’s voiceover seems to invoke the Pledge of Allegiance, sans God. This afternoon, our own Eddie Scarry spoke with a spokesperson with MSNBC who assured us that there was no real intention to omit God from the Reverend’s remarks and that they were simply a portion of one of his recent broadcasts.

I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not the omission was intentional or not. As for myself, I will say that I’d be inclined to give MSNBC the benefit of the doubt… if this weren’t the first time they’d done this.

Remember a couple years ago when NBC came under fire for (twice) omitting “under God” from a segment aired during their U.S. Open coverage? Glenn talked about it on his Fox News program at the time and it actually turned into something of a controversy that garnered national attention.  

The folks at NBC worked overtime to reassure everyone that the edit was “not intentional” — sounds familiar, no?

I also take MSNBC’s “unintentional” excuse with a grain of salt because anyone with common sense recognizes Sharpton’s remarks as echoing the Pledge.  Whether the words were written for him or ad-libbed, I’d hope Sharpton and his MSNBC bosses all know the Pledge and could identify it when they hear it as easily as the rest of us.

I’m not a stickler who’s outraged that “under God” may have been omitted on purpose; I’m sure someone who leaves God out of the Pledge has their own personal reasons for doing so and they are entitled to their opinion. I’m more offended when people caught in a sticky spot treat me like an idiot to deflect scrutiny. Not cool.