Thursday, March 30, 2006

Photographer: Herald got it right

First, here is the famous Scalia pic:

Antonin Scalia gestures inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. (Herald exclusive photo by Peter A. Smith)

Now for the story. This is from The Boston Herald:

Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture.

"“It'’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.

Despite Scalia'’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper "“got the story right."

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.

“The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means “(expletive) you.”

Tony....Tony....Tony--what were you thinking of? You've insulted the Church, you've insulted the photographer, and you've insulted the American people with your innocent Sicilian gesture. You screwed up Tony--screwed up big time! What is even more funny is that you know you screwed up, otherwise, why would you have asked for the photographer not to print that picture? All you had to do was to be courteous to the reporters, smile, and keep your mouth shut. But I guess you couldn't do that. Even after this controversial mess started, you still had to flap your mouth by accusing the Boston Herald staff of watching too many Soprano episodes? Tony, you've insulted the Sopranos now--and that's not good for business. Keep this juvenile behavior up, and you're going to be paid a visit by a couple of traveling shoe salesmen, offering you a free sample:

We'd like you to try on this pair of cement shoes here....

Courtesy of the Sopranos.

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