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NOVEMBER 24, 2010 2:14PM

Politician Peruses Playboy, in Frightful Flight Faux Pas

Rate: 16 Flag



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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I rise on a point of order.
Maybe he was just reading the interview.
I am sure he was reading it for the articles. That's what I have always heard is the main attraction of the magazine.
I still think we're way too concerned with prurient interests in this country. Playboy is not a magazine I consider to be problematic in any way, when someone can be reading Maxim or any other types of cheesecake magazine out there, including People and Us. The articles are far superior in Playboy than they are in 90 percent of other magazines out there. The only reason people read it these days is BECAUSE of the articles. In 1960, this might have been something to think about, but in 2010, it really is not. Maybe reading it in a church might cause a bit of a stir, but I just don't see it anymore. rated
Much ado about nothing. Sad commentary on the media
Well said. And totally the point.
rated for " bumptious breach!"
I' m sure he was just reading the articles. I've heard that they historically hire excellent writers/ editors. (John, you can just pay my by Tip 'Em!)
Playboy is a very good publication, for lots of reasons. Sexuality and flying don't go together well, however. Mile High Club is a dumb and unsanitary idea, too.
There is absolutely NO excuse for a man in his position to have been reading, in public, a magazine devoted to the beauty of the female form - and much of the male form too!!

He should have been reading something wholesome, like war stories, and newsmagazines full of tales of how the rich get richer by screwing their workers, or "How I fired 2,700 American workers and moved my factory to China where I got 10,000 workers for 1/10th the3 cost."

Y'know stuff that promotes our high morals and strong business ethic.
heres a trick that most boys learned in middle school. surround the magazine with another lame one. say national geographic. its called camouflage, and is ubiquitous in nature & most complex systems [eg capitalism, where corporations masquerade as something harmless]. I fondly recall reading a very, very porno mag in school this way during a study break. it was the first time Id seen a lesbian porno spread. ah, the first time is always the best =)
With all the stuff that is going on in our country and some editor thinks this is news. Maybe that editor should try 99 weeks of unemployment and then he can write about that.
Y'all put on a great show of being concerned that a child might see a photo of a nude person. What? Will a child suddenly become some kind of alien creature if they do? Children see each other and often their parents and a great many naked people on TV, all the time. The children of nudists have the lowest rate of becoming sexual molesters of any group in the world.


Mom and six year -old son driving on the freeway. They pass a convertible being driven by a nude woman.

"Mom, mom, did you see That?!!"
" what?"
"That lady! That naked lady driving that car?!!"
"Um....uh....yeah. What about it?"
"Mom!!! She hasn't got her seatbelt on!!"

The kids are more healthy than we are.....
Hey, if he's still looking at the pictures at 81, he deserves a medal for his mettle if not his metal, if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do.
It's good he has you to teach him some manners. John Blumenthal would be proud of him. rated
Duane G is "spot" on.(Yes, that was a pun)
The very same of you who whine about political corretness are some of the same ones who bought into this bullshit article in OS.
What total garbage.
It's nothing more than an empty attempt to make the babbling blogger think he's "gentlemanly" superior to the average REAL American man.
XJS is right, damn it. I *am* a babbling blogger. The very worst kind of blogger. I frown on babbling bloggers.

Carry on. Read your Playboys on the plane.
The short stories--that's the only reason anybody reads Playboy.
I, a female, have read Playboy since its first issue, in '53. Back in the day, the recipes—food and drink—were awesome and I used to try them out every month. Playboy interviews—Malcolm X; Milton Friedman; Jimmy Carter— are classics in journalism. The photography was new and fresh and sexy. The Feiffer cartoons were the best.

I've not kept up with it monthly but do pick it up wherever I find it. I've always enjoyed it. Conyers has his problems; this isn't one of them.

But, was he observed to be holding the magazine sideways? I think that would been the preponderance of evidence on which you might raise your point of order, MTN.
Ha! Well put, Abby. ;)