Monday, May 18, 2009

Pope-arazzi scrum in the Holy Land

A Papal Scrum and a clear case of a government flack manhandling a tough Jewess shooter at the sacred Dome of the Rock are featured in Julian Rake's post on the Reuters' Axis Mundi blog. Herding cats is a cinch compared to security gorillas' heavy-handed attempts to control the pope-arazzi and the local press on this historic visit, which required 80,000 security troops plus a popemobile and was codenamed "Operation White Cloak"!
Dion Nissenbaum at Checkpoint Jerusalem dubbed it Media Smackdown, round one, and perhaps there may have been a foreboding sense of a potential Vatican Celebrity Death Match in this volatile place. Ask Hedi Levine, of Sipa photo agency, aka the shovee.

It takes all kinds: A journalist named Jeff Israely on the Vatican pool and a cameraman named Tony Gentile were following the octogenarian German Pope B-16 - he da bomb! - whose Italian handler protested had never, never, never been in der Hitler Youth; oops, the Pope had detailed this youthful interlude in his official autobiography and in speeches at Auschwitz and Cologne. Whatever. Some of the pool journalists were gestured just to "talk to the hand" during these scuffles. Watch the professional comportment in this very controlled and accredited venue. The helipad from Hell!

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