Scalia suggested that his critics go take it up the ass
Scalia seems to be directing the spin: Split hairs over the meaning of the gesture, and hope people forget the obscene suggestion that accompanied it.
Herald reporter Laurel J. Sweet had asked the justice after mass how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship. Smith said for today's paper: “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."
The Italian phrase, according to the Herald, means “(expletive) you.” [E&P]
A more literal translation of vaffanculo is "go take it up the ass." I'm sure Scalia thought that was very witty for a split second, considering how much criticism he gets over his opinion in Lawrence v. Texas.
Frankly, I don't care whether Scalia is making obscene suggestions to reporters. It's more or less what we've come to expect from him. Besides which, civil discourse is probably overrated.
I don't know whether it's especially rude to say that your critics can go Cheney themselves immediately after Red Mass. You'd have to ask someone who takes that stuff seriously.
Hat tip to NTodd.