Longtime “Jeopardy!” television host Alex Trebek, fighting pancreatic cancer, recently thanked his fans for their thoughts and prayers.
But two of three networks that reported on his recent update censored that comment.
The popular game-show host had announced in March his diagnosis with stage 4 cancer.
He said in an interview with People magazine that doctors have been shocked at how he’s responding.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said in the interview. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed toward me and their prayers,” Trebek said. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.
“I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayers, and I will never ever minimize the value of that,” the 78-year-old said.
Newsbusters documented the network censorship by NBC and CBS.
Among the three legacy networks, ABC was the exception.
“ABC anchor David Muir recalled how Trebek ‘vowed to fight it’ by playing a soundbite of the gameshow host telling fans back in March: ‘With the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.'”
Then Muir read quotes from the magazine, including his reference to a “couple million” and their prayers.
But on NBC, correspondent Joe Fryer played the same sound bite of Trebek’s vow, but “spoke over the prayer part so it sounded like this: ‘I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.'”
Then Fryer “skipped over” Trebek’s credits in the People interview, quoting him saying, “I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed good thoughts. … I told the doctors this has to be more than just the chemo.'”
As for CBS, fill-in Margaret Brennan gave short time to Trebek’s statement.
She only quoted Trebek saying the turnaround was “mindboggling.”
“There was some encouraging news today from Alex Trebek,” she said. “The host of ‘Jeopardy!’ says his doctors tell him that his stage-four pancreatic cancer is in, quote, ‘near remission.’ In an interview with People magazine, Trebek calls the prognosis ‘mind-boggling’ but says he has several more rounds of chemotherapy to go before he’s declared to be in full remission.”
Commented Newsbusters, “It’s disturbing that NBC News would go to such lengths to avoid saying prayer help[ed] someone through a tough time in their life.”