Alex Trebek Thanks Millions For ‘Prayers’ In Cancer Fight; NBC, CBS Omit
Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Just a few decades ago, that was a death sentence. But medical advances have moved swiftly and many with the same diagnosis now live for years.
Trebek has been even luckier. After treatment for the last two months, Trebek announced earlier this week that his cancer is in near-remission.
The 78-year-old host told People magazine that his doctors are shocked at how well he’s responding to treatment.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said. “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.”
All three over-the-air networks reported the news. But media watchdog NewsBusters found that only ABC’s World News Tonight included Trebek crediting “prayers” as part of his recovery. CBS’s Evening News and NBC’s Nightly News both omitted Trebek’s gratitude for prayer.
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.”
Muir read sizable quotes from the magazine article where Trebek credits prayer:
Trebek telling People magazine: “The doctors said that they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory. Some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.” He adds, “it’s kind of mind-boggling. I’ve already gone from where I was to this. The doctors are so excited, just beside themselves with joy.”
And Trebek again thanked the millions who have sent good wishes. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just chemo. I’ve had a couple million people out there who expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy and their prayers. The doctors said it could very well be an important part of this.”
“No doubt it is,” Muir agreed.
But NBC correspondent Joe Fryer omitted Trebek crediting prayer; “He tells People, “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.” For Trebek, that support is part of the answer,” he said.
“As for CBS, fill-in anchor and Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan only had a news brief on the story in which the only quote from the magazine was that Trebek thought the turnaround was ‘mindboggling,’ ” Newbusters reported.
There was some encouraging news today from Alex Trebek. 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.
It’s disturbing that NBC News would go to such lengths to avoid saying prayer help someone through a tough time in their life.