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The Mainstream Media Must Stick to the Truth They Have Stumbled Upon

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Pavel Dorogoy

It's no secret that many in the mainstream media are duplicitous goons whose only standards are the double standards they wield to selectively present stories in the best possible light to their liberal friends and radical activists. Of the myriad issues they find themselves playing both sides — #MeToo allegations, complicity with Russia, etc. — the issue of life in the womb is one of their most disgusting.

The mainstream media has come down inconsistently and selectively, pretending some lives are important and others aren't even lives. The latest example of their standardless and fickle definition of personhood was on full display amid Putin's bloody war on Ukraine.

Consider first the mainstream media coverage of the Russian attack that razed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. After an Associated Press photographer snapped photos of a pregnant woman being rushed from the hospital's smoking rubble, Ukrainian television reported the tragic news: "While she was being resuscitated and the anti-shock measures were being taken, we performed a cesarean section and took a child with no signs of life. The child's resuscitation for more than half an hour did not work. Resuscitation of the mother for half an hour or more -- without any results. They both died."

So how did the mainstream media cover the tragic situation in which a mother and her unborn child — later delivered by c-section — were killed by a Russian assault? 

"Pregnant woman, baby die after Russian bombing in Mariupol," reported AP. 

"Pregnant woman pictured at Mariupol hospital dies, along with baby," was the headline on NPR's story before it was mysteriously changed to remove mention of the unborn baby to "The pregnant woman from the iconic Mariupol photo has died. Many more are at risk." 

"Pregnant mother whose photo showed tragedy of maternity hospital bombing in Ukraine dies with her baby," read The Washington Post's headline. 

"Mother and baby injured in Mariupol maternity hospital bombing have both died, their surgeon confirms," reported CNN. 

Subsequent reportage featured additional mention of the tragic deaths of a mother *and* her baby at the hands of Putin's forces. Nowhere is the second casualty referred to as anything but a baby — a person — whose death is one of many lives lost to Russia's war on Ukraine. To characterize the situation as the slaying of two innocent people is correct, but it doesn't align with how the same mainstream media outlets talk about the unborn in other coverage. 

That's because it's not just Putin ending innocent lives half a world away, it's abortionists killing unborn babies here in the United States at an even higher rate. But when it comes to the Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthoods of the country, killing an unborn baby is spun as a constitutionally-guaranteed right that must be readily and cheaply available on-demand. 

So mainstream outlets tell stories that paint the unborn as nothing more than a fetus, a clump of cells, or a parasite — definitively not human persons. Unborn children, the media will assert, don't have rights, so their systematic slaughter is unimportant when compared to the rights of women — or birthing persons, at the extreme — who are oppressed when they must carry their babies to term. 

Not only are these arguments from Democrats and their pals in the media sexist — women don't, in fact, need to kill their unborn babies in order to succeed — they undermine the humanity of the unborn to bend the narrative away from justice and toward the pro-abortion crowd. 

Even worse, these mainstream media outlets know the truth and yet issue public guidance for their writers to follow in order to avoid humanizing the unborn. As NPR tells their writers: "The term 'unborn' implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus" and "Babies are not babies until they are born… They're fetuses." Therefore, as NPR instructs, "The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is 'fetal homicide.'" 

The examples of mainstream media coverage that dehumanizes the unborn are plentiful and hypocritical. 

CNN writes how, under Texas' new pro-life law, "abortion is prohibited when a fetal heartbeat is detected," not a baby's heartbeat — a fetal heartbeat. Yet just this week, CNN's Ana Cabrera interviewed a pregnant Ukrainian refugee who fled to the United States. For her interview, the woman wore a shirt that said "Russian Military Targets Unborn." Cabrera talked about the woman's "baby" rather than her "fetus."

NPR has written about "When Fetuses Yawn In The Womb," denying the humanity of the unborn while still attributing human characteristics to them, reported on "Multiple Problems In Fetuses Exposed To Zika Virus," and noted that "severe cases of COVID-19 are also dangerous for the fetus." Why, if it's just a fetus and not a baby, is NPR concerned about the effect COVID or Zika may have on it? 

The Washington Post, too, has used sanitized and dehumanizing language about the unborn in their reporting, seen in a piece mentioning how "Idaho's current law allows for abortions until a fetus is viable outside the womb, around 22 to 24 weeks." If viability is possible just past the halfway mark of pregnancies, how can outlets like WaPo maintain it's still just a fetus? If viability outside the womb becomes a prerequisite for human rights, there are many adults who are not viable without medical attention or treatment — does The Post support depriving those individuals of life too? "But that's different," they'd be sure to say, but it isn't.

So what gives? If the mainstream media is willing to concede that an unborn baby being killed by a Russian strike on a maternity hospital is, in fact, a human person, why not the unborn babies killed in abortion clinics in the United States? 

Is it that the Ukrainian mother presumably wanted to have the baby, and that makes its death worthy of humanity and a tragedy? If so, would that mean the death toll for a Russian strike on a hypothetical abortion clinic that kills multiple pregnant women would only count the women and not their unborn children?

The tragedy of innocent irreplaceable life lost at the hands of Putin's forces is not more or less tragic than the loss of innocent irreplaceable life at the hands of abortion doctors — the value of a person doesn't change based on whether they're wanted or who takes their life. The only difference in how the two tragedies are viewed and portrayed through the framing enforced by the mainstream media and their Democrat accomplices.

To quote from Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who!," "a person's a person no matter how small." But the mainstream media's duplicitous and fickle assignment of personhood demands that the value of a life be judged before humanity is granted. It's a twisted way of viewing their fellow man and it's the flawed basis on which people have justified the subjugation of others as second-class members of society who aren't worthy of equal rights simply because of their ability or appearance.

As the tragedy in Mariupol has proven, the mainstream media is capable of covering the unborn as the fully human persons they are. It's time for them to stick to the truth they've stumbled upon and stop undermining the humanity of unborn children elsewhere.


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