Barney Frank Still Hates ‘House of Cards’

The former congressman says it's hurting America's reputation.

Barney Frank hated the first season of Netflix’s “House of Cards” so much, he felt compelled to write an op-ed for the Portland Press Herald about it. Netflix has followed up that first season (of which Frank watched only three episodes) with two more. It has not changed Barney Frank’s mind.

In a video for Business Insider, Frank re-outlined his concerns with the show. “Oh, it’s a terrible show,” he says. “No one should take that as remotely serious. It is the kind of thing that debases people’s view of politics.”

Frank thinks TV shows that depict politics should do so in a way that casts it in a rosy, honorable glow, which is why he keeps pointing to “The West Wing” as a better example. This is largely the argument he put forward in his op-ed. But this time, he’s come armed with evidence for his claims that “House of Cards” erodes faith in American politics. That’s right, he’s got a story about a definitely not-made-up-foreign president:

“I was told by a friend of mine who had been an ambassador to a country we were trying to improve, that the president said ‘Oh don’t tell me about human rights. I’ve watched House of Cards. I know how it is in America.'”

If this foreign president really exists, he needs to fire everyone in his state department who compiled research on American human rights violations by watching Netflix. Then he needs to fire himself, and appoint a deputy with some debate skills (and a better record on human rights, while we’re at it.) We’re pretty sure you could find some non-fictional examples of the U.S. government’s human rights abuses with a light perusal of the New Yorker or a Google search of the words Abu Ghraib.

But anyway, Frank evaluates TV shows the way Frank evaluates TV shows (by not watching them) and that’s his right. And until Frank Underwood starts cleaning up his act—or the American political system unites to expel him from its ranks in a fit of moralistic fervor—Frank’s opinion is probably not going to change.