The Media Doesn't Want to Talk about the 26th Victim of the Texas Church Massacre

Crosses for members of the Holcombe family are part of a makeshift memorial for the victims of the church shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church

Media outlets across the country are apparently having difficulty counting. They can't seem to get the number of victims right in last week's horrific Texas church massacre. While many correctly reported that 26 people were killed during Devin Patrick Kelley's maniacal rampage, many others went to great pains to avoid reporting that an unborn child died at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday. Or, if they did report the baby's death, they reported it as a footnote, careful to separate the unborn child from other victims.

Take, for instance, the Chicago Tribune, which wrote, "Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant." The newspaper didn't want to get caught recognizing the humanity of the unborn baby, so they deferred to "authorities." There wasn't a deceased baby, there was a pregnant victim, according to the Tribune.

CNN wrote that "the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will reopen its sanctuary as a memorial on Sunday, one week after a gunman killed 25 people and an unborn child." In other words, 25 real people and one blob of tissue.

At USA Today, they didn't even try to cloak their hostility toward unborn babies in clever wording. "The memorial ceremony was a block away from the First Baptist Church, which is slated for demolition after the massacre during Sunday services Nov. 5 that killed 25 people including a pregnant woman and wounded 20," an article declared.

The same with the New York Daily News, where they reported: "Michael Kelley, who lives just 35 miles away from Sutherland Springs, where his son killed 25 people and an unborn child at the First Baptist Church, told ABC, 'We are grieving, our family is grieving.'" And an unborn child, as if it's a creature belonging to another species.

Time opted to go with word gymnastics: "Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant." Which is it, 25 people or 26? Time wouldn't dare recognize the humanity of the slain child, though they dutifully reported what "authorities" said.