In the second installment of our DecodeDC special series, “Inside House of Cards,” we go into the world of journalism and politics.
Our guide, Matt Bai, spent years as a Washington political reporter for The New York Times Magazine and is now a political columnist for Yahoo News. He has a particularly interesting perspective on how “House of Cards” depicts his profession, because Bai plays himself in several episodes of the second season of the series.
While Bai thinks journalism in “House of Cards” is much darker than what really happens in Washington, D.C., he says there still is a lot that rings true. Frank Underwood and other characters are more transactional than real politicians, Bai says, but the series represents some essential truths about how the public sees Washington politics.
“Sadly the thing that ‘House of Cards’ gets at is that everybody is about themselves, everybody is trying to game the system to their own advantage” Bai says. “There’s virtually no one for whom the end game is the actual enactment of policy.”
Want to keep up with all the latest DecodeDC stories and podcasts? Sign up for our weekly newsletter at decodedc.com/newsletter.