Congressmen and women have lots of reading to do every year, especially when lawmakers try to pass 2,700 page bills like ObamaCare. But whatever, we all know that Congress doesn’t read bills before they pass them. It’s only after bills are passed that we get to find out what is in them, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Maybe if the bills weren’t so boring — or even better — contained photos, then members of Congress would read them. Or better yet, how about just ditching the bills altogether and read more stimulating publications like Playboy … in public… on an airplane … in an aisle seat.
Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) loves that idea. In fact, he loved it so much that on a recent flight from Michigan to Washington, D.C., he was caught on video tape flipping through nude photos of women in the August issue of Playboy and, according to the Detroit News, lingering on a piece titled '"La Chatte' by Maureen Gibbon, an article exploring lesbian sex.”
In the last Congress, Concerned Women for America (CWA) supported a bill introduced by Rep. Heath Schuler (D-N.C.) called The Family Friendly Flights Act, which would have made special family-friendly seating on airlines where kids would not be subjected to R-rated films shown during flights.
It appears that this bill doesn’t even scratch the surface of what really needs to be done. First and foremost, how about we introduce the "Porn Elimination for Representatives Viewing on Airplanes Act," otherwise known as the "PERV Act," to make sure pornography stays off airplanes?
It’s not enough that we have to get groped while passing through security (although one wonders if Rep. Conyers almost didn’t mind that part), sit on planes that are more and more crowded with smaller seats, and aren’t served with free snacks. Oh no. Now we have to worry about our children sitting next to a member of Congress perusing pornography. Just great.
Recently, a Concerned Women for America member was on an airplane waiting in line for the restroom when she was confronted by another passenger proudly viewing a porn movie on his laptop in full view of the aisle.-- She and the other passengers had no choice but to see it because it was in clear public view. The CWA member asked the flight attendant if something could be done but was told that, as much as she would like to help, she couldn’t do anything.
An airplane is a public place and should have certain restrictions on the type of material allowed to be out in the open. And while Playboy may not meet the standard set by the Supreme Court for illegal obscenity, that does not mean it should be allowed in a public place where children are forced to see it.
This next Congress needs to pass the Family Friendly Flights Act and then take up measures to help protect people on airplanes who are offended by the inane actions of thoughtless, arrogant people like Rep. Conyers reading Playboy from his aisle seat out in full open view of anyone who passes by or is forced to sit next to him.
In the meantime, Mr. Conyers should be ashamed of his pervy behavior and start reading those massive bills so he can be well-versed on legislation instead of lesbian sex and Miss August 2010’s measurements.
Penny Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).