Barney Frank rips 'House of Cards'

He left Congress earlier this year and now it appears former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is moonlighting as a television critic.

In an op-ed published Monday in Maine’s Portland Press Herald, Frank gives his scorching review of “House of Cards,” saying the Netflix series “demeans the democratic process in ways that are unfair, inaccurate, and if they were to be believed by a substantial number of the public, deeply unfortunate.”

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The retired 16-term congressman, 73, says he’s “never met anyone in a position of power in Congress” who resembles Kevin Spacey’s character on the popular show. Spacey plays a corrupt, fictional Democratic House majority whip.

The Academy Award winner told ITK earlier this year that Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) were both “really helpful” in prepping him for his starring role. Spacey told us, “They answered all my questions. They were forthright. And they let me sort of tag along and watch how it works.”

But Frank writes that Spacey’s character is a “caricature,” calling him “wholly amoral” and incapable of the “ludicrous” scenarios portrayed in the drama.

“[Spacey’s character] was able to prevent the speaker of the House from seeing the president of the United States. Nonsense. The notion that the majority whip would have the power to step between the president and the speaker is as fanciful as the zombie series with which it competes for viewers,” says Frank.

The former lawmaker admits he only viewed three episodes of “House of Cards” before handing down his verdict, but says that’s one of the perks that comes with life after Capitol Hill: “Not having to sit through presentations that neither instruct nor entertain me is one of the nicest things about never being a candidate again.”

While Frank concedes “Dramatic criticism is neither my interest nor my forte,” he writes he was troubled by the notion that the “House of Cards” audience might “think that this is the way government functions and be further disillusioned from trying to influence it.”

Frank concludes, “I hope people will enjoy the drama, but ignore the message.”