Those who followed yesterday’s inaugural opening on TV saw a counterfeit version. One of the most anticipated events was the invocation delivered the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire. HBO negotiated for and got an exclusive for the event, and then decided that America didn’t really need to hear from Bishop Robinson—his words didn’t make the broadcast (although HBO says that the “the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show”). As Dan Savage wrote, “When you’re throwing folks a bone it’s a good idea to make sure they can, you know, see the bone.” Here’s the invocation:
A representative of the Presidential Inaugural Committee is disputing HBO’s claims. “We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan.” HBO is also now reported to be planning to reedit the tape of the concert to include the invocation.