Last week, "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek stunned America when he announced that his stage-four pancreatic cancer was in "near-remission," a disease that yields a survival rate of just 3%.
Speaking with People magazine, Trebek credited this undoubted miracle to the prayers of millions of fans, with doctors admitting they may have played a significant factor in his recovery.
"I told the doctors, this has to be more than just chemo," he told the outlet. "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."
According to Newsbusters, both "NBC Nightly News" and "CBS Evening News" edited those parts about prayer out of their broadcasts last week while ABC's "World News Tonight" included them. For context, here is how ABC reported on Trebek's recovery, explicitly mentioning that he not only called for fans to pray for him but also credited his fans' prayers for his survival:
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.”
Over at NBC, Trebek's quotes were specifically edited to eliminate the word prayers by including an ellipsis in its place. So rather than the full quote, NBC reported it as follows: "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."
Over at CBS, anchor Margaret Brennan included only a brief segment from People magazine about his "mindboggling" recovery:
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.
The "Jeopardy" host has been quite open about his calls for prayers ever since announcing his disease back in early March. "I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," he said in a video announcement at the time. "And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."
Exactly why NBC and CBS did not include Trebek's use of the word prayer remains unknown at this time. It does, however, speak to a broader cultural trend that looks down upon the words "thoughts and prayers" during a time of crisis. When actor Chris Pratt announced on Twitter he was "praying" for director Kevin Smith in the wake of a horrible heart attack, leftists attacked him mercilessly.