Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Because It Won't

Did he or didn't he?

The flipping question of the day is: Did Scalia Flip?, as asked by Free Market News:

Did a Supreme Court Justice "flip the bird" at journalists in Boston on Sunday? It depends on who you ask: Antonin Scalia says he did not, but the Boston Herald claims he did, while exiting from a mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Original reports said that Scalia gave the press the finger after Mass, but based upon a release from Scalia's PR person, later reports were downgraded to a merely obscene Sicilian chin flick gesture. The issue is a deserving one.

In fact, Wonkette has 2 posts on the controversy, Guess Nino Didn't Give Up Cursing for Lent and Justice Scalia Is Less Cool Than We Thought. Another Blogger, David Giacalone of f/k/a, notes that:

Across the nation, news outlets have been publishing a silly Associated Press report tonight, asking "Scalia's Gesture: Obscene or Sicilian?" -- as if the two concepts are inconsistent. That's based on a statement from Scalia's spokeswoman, who said Nino used a "hand off the chin gesture," which Italians commonly use to show displeasure.

Hmmm. She's got a point: No one ever uses the middle finger to show displeasure.

Scalia might want you to believe that his little Sicilian chin action was harmless, but a lot depends on the attitude displayed along with the gesture. [Both of my sainted grandmothers could definitely make it look obscene.] It's too bad the Justice apparently bullied the photographer who captured the moment into keeping it unpublished. No, it wasn't someone from the Herald -- it was a photographer for the Archdiocese of Boston newspaper, The Pilot.
Ah yes, I too had a sainted grandmother, Noni, who didn't speak English very well, but always managed to get her point across very well.

A Boston Herald side article, Fans and foes weigh in on justice gesture, tantalizes with the knowledge that the answer is so near, but so far away:

While legal watchdogs wagged a disapproving finger at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for his off-color "Sicilian" salute in Boston's cathedral, the Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday it won't publish a photo of the gesture in its newspaper The Pilot.

"Because it won't," archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon responded when asked why. (Emphasis added)
(Photo via About.com -- Italian Hand Gestures)


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