Prying eyes, flying kids

Anytime Congress writes a big bill covering a big issue such as the FAA funding bill that’s now under debate, a lot of ‘interesting’ little issues come up and find their way into the legislation, from harmless amendments naming a facility after a retired employee (the Frederick Q. Schmerzenheimer Auxiliary Radar Centre) to amendments that may not be so harmless.

Take for instance the FFFA (Family Friendly Flights Act) that some solons want to attach to the bill. This would compel US airlines to create “child-safe viewing areas”. caption.jpg These aren’t for people to look at kids; these are rows of seats where no one would be within 10 rows of a movie screen that showed ‘violent’ programming. Violent programming, explains Rep. Heath Shuler, the North Carolina Democrat and former professional football player who wrote the measure, is any show that had an adult or adult-guidance rating on television or in the movies. That means that even some of the self-censored films that airlines show would be forbidden. The airlines don’t like the idea, and are moving to defeat the measure, although this bill raises a number of issues, among them the behaviour of children themselves on airplanes. We wonder, though, if the answer lies with the same folks who bring the kids on the planes: dear old mom and dad. And not Uncle Sam.

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