AP's Tale of Flying Missile Launchers

It's a sad story from New Jersey, where an errant shell fragment killed a little girl's cat. But Bettnet can't believe the verbal incompetence of the Associated Press in describing it. Their headline: "Misfired artillery crashes into girl’s bed."

A piece of artillery that was apparently misfired by the military crashed through the roof of a New Jersey home miles away Friday and injured a young girl's cat, which had to be euthanized, officials said.Picatinny officials told The Star-Ledger of Newark they were investigating. The base had been conducting tests Friday, and it wasn't immediately clear what type of artillery hit the home.

In a post mockingly titled "Watch out for flying artillery," blogger Domenico Bettinelli mocked the reporter's complete lack of dictionary skills:

Here’s the problem. It wasn’t artillery that hit the home, unless you mean that the military fired the actual gun through the air, having it land on home. The word "artillery" does not refer to the ammunition. In fact, the reporter could have used "ammunition," "round," or several other types, one of which was undoubtedly used by the spokesman for the base.

Dictionary.com clearly states that "artillery" refers to guns or missile launchers, or the science of operating said weapons. Later AP reports were amended to the house being hit by an "artillery shell fragment."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis