While the gesture was immortalized on film, the United Press International reported that Scalia told the photographer, "Don't publish that."
On Wednesday, 'Famously feisty Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday denied that he made an obscene gesture Sunday inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, accusing the Herald staff of “watching too many Sopranos episodes.” '
Later that day, AmericaBlog demanded that the photo be released.
Today, the Boston Herald released the photo:
Whether or not you believe the gesture to be obscene (meaning "fuck you") or not (meaning "I don't care") seems to depend on how many generations removed you are from Italy.
That said, the Herald also reported today that while making the gesture, Scalia had some choice words to go with it:
“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.For those who don't know, "vaffanculo" translates to:
UPDATE: Photographer who took the picture of Scalia has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper.