Reporters Use Good Cancer News to Push for More Federal Money

U.S. cancer deaths declined for the second year in a row. It's great news, but network reporters and in-house doctors used the news to argue for more federal spending on cancer research.

Of course they failed to mention the massive private investment into cancer drugs done by the pharmaceutical industry.

Fill your prescription here.

This is just a free sample:

ABC’s Dr. Timothy Johnson leveled the harshest criticism, telling anchor Charles Gibson that President Bush was "misleading" about his government medical research, which he lamented had actually been "cut" last year.

Johnson’s liberal complaint about inadequate spending isn’t surprising. The Business & Media Institute (BMI) has previously documented Johnson’s advocacy of government-run health care and higher tobacco taxes.

And while Johnson is correct that the National Cancer Institute’s budget was decreased less than 1 percent for the current fiscal year, The Heritage Foundation’s chief budget watcher Brian Riedl told BMI that focusing on that one statistic neglects the long view.

The federal government has greatly doubled for cancer research specifically and medical research generally.

"The entire NIH budget since 1998 has gone from $12.5 billion to $27.7 billion, it’s more than doubled,” Heritage’s senior federal budget policy analyst noted, adding that the National Cancer Institute went from "2.38 billion in 1998" to "$4.793 billion" in 2006, unadjusted for inflation.

Riedl complained that the media frequently use the term "cut" as shorthand for "not increasing the budget as much as I wanted."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters