Politician Peruses Playboy, in Frightful Flight Faux Pas
Rep. John Conyers was caught reading Playboy on a plane. Scandal! Er… no. Ungentlemanly conduct, yes.
Big blog bytes are being taken out of the unfortunate congressman today. In July, an anonymous flyer in the same row as Mr. Conyers captured video and stills of the politician flipping through a copy of Playboy. The incriminating files were sent to Charlie LeDuff, an ex-Detroit News reporter, who recently posted them on his Facebook page.
Now, how do we react to this? If you’re the Detroit News, you go with “Mr. Smut goes to Washington”. The Washington Examiner preferred the less-cute, but equally misleading “Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., caught reading porn in public”.
Silly people. We are a very silly people, sometimes.
The congressman wasn’t reading “smut” or “porn”. He is not guilty of offending community sensibilities by consuming the tame photography and occasionally very good commentary in Playboy magazine. In this excited electronic century, that declining publication may be considered entirely mainstream. In fact, I’ve argued that Playboy might even be a good and healthy read for teenage boys.
The story here is about a “distinguished gentleman” who needs a refresher course on what it means to be a gentleman. We behave with civility and respect for those around us. We understand the difference between the locker room, the living room and the bedroom - and public transport with limited elbow room. We don’t read Playboy on a plane, on a train, on a boat (with or without a goat), or anywhere else in public. It just isn’t done, sir.
Yes, I realize that Mr. Conyers is currently deprived of the comfort and companionship of his ex-Detroit councilwoman wife Monica, who’s serving 37 months in prison for accepting bribes. And kudos if he's acquiring his titillation via glossy pages from the news stand, rather than girlfriend-escort nights for three grand.
Still, his stunningly foolish choice of in-flight entertainment suggests that, at 81, some of his organs may be working better than his brain. Or maybe this isn’t age-related at all, and he’s just a moron.
Playboy in private? Good show. It’s a manly mag, and quite acceptable. But keep your playmates off the plane. I frown on Rep. Conyers, for a bumptious breach of gentlemanly etiquette.
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