In NY and NJ, a bomb by any other name is still a bomb

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

BOMB (noun) — “an explosive device fused to detonate under specified conditions” Merriam-Webster.

BOMB (verb used with object) — “to explode by means of a bomb or explosive”

BOMB (verb used without object) — “to explode a bomb or bombs

If the circumstances weren’t so serious, the mainstream media’s reaction to the weekend bombing that injured 29 people in New York City would have been laughable. Instead it was just sad.

Rather than focusing on the matter at hand, the media obsessed over:

  • Donald Trump’s use of the word “bomb” in connection with the incident.
  • Whether he used the term prematurely.
  • If and when Hillary Clinton used the same term.
  • Whether the use of the term was appropriate, no matter who said it or when.

Well, here’s a newsflash (sarcasm fully intended): When something goes “boom” and then disintegrates into a billion pieces that fly through the air damaging property and hurting lots of people in the process, it is pretty safe to say it was a bomb.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Of course I suppose one could also argue that by definition an explosion also goes “boom.” However an explosion can be triggered by almost anything. A gas main leak, faulty wiring or even a bomb.

As a former police reporter, I understand why the media initially referred to the incident as an explosion and hesitated to call it something else. I also understand why the media was legally obligated to use words such as “alleged” and “apparent” in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

But I digress. Once all the talk about the use of the word “bomb” got old, the media-fueled speculation turned to whether or not the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park, New Jersey, were terrorist acts, whether they were linked, who was responsible and so forth.

Meanwhile, local, state and federal law enforcement officials — who are routinely castigated by the mainstream media — were doing their jobs. A comprehensive investigation, including analysis of evidence found within a few blocks of the Chelsea bomb blast — resulted in the arrest of a New Jersey man on Monday morning.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, the suspect in the bombings, is now facing multiple charges stemming from the gun battle that transpired before police took him into custody.

Score one for the good guys…

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