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Thread: Antonin Scalia Caught On Camera

  1. #1
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    Antonin Scalia Caught On Camera

    Photographer: Herald got it right

    http://news.bostonherald.com/localRe...48&format=text



    By Marie Szaniszlo
    Thursday, March 30, 2006 - Updated: 09:39 AM EST

    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 said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”

    Scalia’s office yesterday referred questions regarding the flap to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, who said a letter Scalia sent Tuesday to the Herald defending his gesture at the cathedral “speaks for itself.”

    “He has no further comment,” Arberg said.

    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.”

    Yesterday, Herald reporter Laurel J. Sweet agreed with Smith’s account, but said she did not hear Scalia utter the obscenity.

    In his letter, Scalia denied his gesture was obscene and claimed he explained its meaning to Sweet, a point both she and Smith dispute.

    Scalia went on to cite Luigi Barzini’s book, “The Italians,” which describes a seemingly different gesture - “the extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin” - and its meaning - “ ‘I couldn’t care less. It’s no business of mine. Count me out.’ ”

    “How could your reporter leap to the conclusion (contrary to my explanation) that the gesture was obscene?” Scalia wrote.

    Quite easily, according to experts, even if the justice had offered more than a two-word explanation - “That’s Sicilian” - Sunday.

    “There is no answer to ‘what it really means,’ because those gestures have different meanings in different locations, even in neighbouring locations,” said Janet Bavelas, a University of Victoria, British Columbia, psychologist who has studied human gestures.

    The gesture typically means “I don’t know” in Portugal, “No!” in Naples, “You are lying” in Greece and “I don’t give a damn” in northern Italy, France and Tunisia, said David B. Givens of the Center for Nonverbal Studies in Spokane, Wash.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    Good Doctor HST Guest
    I always thought that was a French gesture meaning "piss off" or something similar? An Italian move (I instantly think of my father) of displeasure would be thrusting your right fist forward and grabbing your forearm with your left hand. You'd have to see it to understand.

    Either way, Scalia's a fuckwad..... I think he should go hunting with Cheney again.... we can only dream.....

  3. #3
    Partridge Guest
    thrusting your right fist forward and grabbing your forearm with your left hand
    Like the Presidental Salute in Spaceballs (only in that its followed by a little wave).

  4. #4
    jetsetlemming Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    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.”
    Brilliant!

  5. #5
    Partridge Guest
    Church fires photog over Scalia picture: Freelancer pays for ‘right thing’
    Boston Herald

    A freelance photographer has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper for releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial gesture in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday.

    Peter Smith, who had freelanced for The Pilot newspaper for a decade, lost the job yesterday after the Herald ran his photo on its front page. Smith said he has no regrets about releasing it.
    “I did the right thing. I did the ethical thing,” said Smith, 51, an assistant photojournalism professor at Boston University.
    Smith snapped the photo of Scalia flicking his hand under his chin after a Herald reporter asked the conservative jurist his response to people who question his impartiality on matters of church and state.
    Smith wouldn’t give up the photo earlier this week but chose to release it when he learned Scalia said his gesture had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald. Smith, who was standing in front of the judge, said the Herald “got the story right.”
    Smith said the Pilot had an obligation at that point “to bring some clarity to it.”
    “I felt that same obligation,” Smith said. “I had to say what I knew and come forward with it..”
    The weekly Catholic newspaper made a “journalistic decision” not to run or release the photo, said Archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon. “Because he breached that trust with the editor, we will no longer engage his services as a freelance photographer,” Donilon said.
    “It’s nothing personal,” added Pilot editor Antonio Enrique. “I need to try and find people I can trust.”
    While news outlets from across the country sought Smith’s photo yesterday, the archdiocese said there’s no proof that Scalia uttered an obsenity in the church. Smith said Scalia said, “To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” while making the gesture. That’s Italian for (expletive) you.
    “It was pretty clear,” Smith said yesterday. A Herald reporter who was nearby did not hear that utterance.

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