Here in the blogosphere, we’ve been having lots of fun with the silly little story about Justice Antonin Scalia’s colorful, obscene-or-not-obscene hand gesture. That’s fine; that’s what we do. We’re bloggers, and it’s our job to make mountains out of molehills.
But the amount of attention this story is getting from the mainstream media is getting embarrassing. There have been stories in the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Globe, among many other places. A video clip about the incident is in the top 10 most watched videos at CNN.com.
The Boston Herald, which has been leading the charge, went so far as to interview “Sopranos” stars about the import of the gesture. And now our favorite Beantown tabloid reports that the photographer who snapped the shot, Peter Smith, has been “fired.”
That seems like a bit of a stretch. Smith, who teaches photography at Boston University, did some freelance photography for the Boston Archdiocese’s weekly newspaper. The Archdiocese didn’t want the photo of Justice Scalia to be publicized, presumably to avoid embarrassing the justice, yet Smith went ahead and publicized it. So the Archdiocese decided not to hire him for future gigs; that’s all. They can’t really be blamed for that.
We agree with Philadelphia Will Do: “This is one of those non-scandals that, uhm, reporters just love to keep going.”
But hey — anything that results in a newspaper story whose primary source is named “Joe Bubbles” can’t be all that bad.
Readers Lend a Hand on Gestures, Germs [Chicago Tribune]
South Philly’s Verdict on Scalia [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Scalia Gesture Not Obscene, Court Rep Says [Boston Globe]
“Sopranos” Stars Divded on Bawdy Body Language [Boston Herald]
Church Fires Photog Over Scalia Picture: Freelancer Pays for ‘Right Thing’ [Boston Herald]
How Do You Solve the Problem of Scalia? [Slate]
Meet Joe Bubbles [Philadelphia Will Do]