Leave John Conyers Alone!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 24 2010 11:44 AM

Leave John Conyers Alone!

I can't believe I'm saying that, but this is deeply creepy.

Detroit Congressman John Conyers was caught on camera in a late July flight to DC this summer ogling a Playboy magazine.

The video and pictures – first posted by ex- Detroit News reporter and New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff on his Facebook page – were taken by an anonymous passenger seated in the same row as the 81-year old congressman. Conyers – in his aisle seat – is shown flipping though pages showing two nude gal pals in the August issue of Playboy. And he also apparently reads Hefner’s product for the articles! He appears to linger on an article titled "La Chatte" by Maureen Gibbon.

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So: It happened in July, the magazine was Playboy -- which is not really "smut," unless you're 12 years old and raised by tapes of Veggietales -- and the Citizen Journalist got the story by holding a cell phone camera sideways surreptitiously. What part of this isn't rotten? Insofar as "politician likes porn/sex" is a good story, it's when the politician in question crusades against the thing he secretly enjoys, or when the thing is illegal to start with. None of that here. I'm not even sure if "congressman reads Playboy " makes a good color lede.

Now, if he was reading Screw ...

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.