Another Fingergate Update: The Ocular Proof
The Boston Herald has the goods: a front-page photo of our gesturing justice, Antonin Scalia:
The picture was taken by freelance photographer (and photojournalism professor) Peter A. Smith, who also spoke with the Herald about the incident:
"It's inaccurate and deceptive of [Scalia] to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said [Smith]. 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?'"
Additional details, after the jump.
Smith's account of the interaction differs somewhat from that of the Herald reporter who covered the story:
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.
Whether or not Justice Scalia dropped the F-bomb in Italian, this is still pretty damn awesome. The federal judiciary is usually a pretty dry subject; but with Justice Scalia around, there's never a dull moment.
Keep on keeping on, Nino!
Photographer: Herald Got It Right [Boston Herald]